Chai is such a special drink. It’s warm. It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It’s milky. It’s tea-y (wait, no that doesn’t work). You get the picture. Chai is plenty of brilliant things. It’s a happy drink. But sometimes you just want your hot beverage to happen quickly. That’s why the teabag was invented. Less faff, more caffeine. Well. Here is an excellent idea for getting a Chai fix with the minimum of fuss. Chai Concentrate (or syrup if you fancy). Simply keep a bottle of it in the fridge and when the Chai urge takes you just warm up with some milk for instant Chai deliciousness.
Chai concentrate will keep for a couple of months in the fridge but I doubt it will last that long. It is too darn tasty.
There are so many possibilities for deliciousness with Chai Concentrate. You could whip up a Chai Latte/Cappuccino, or you could make a Chai Hot Chocolate, or even keep it fresh with Chai Milkshake. Eeeek! It’s going to be so fun to experiment.
Chai Concentrate (makes 1 litre)
1 litre water
7 tea bags
1 stick cinnamon
2-inch piece fresh ginger, halved
7 green cardomon pods
10 whole cloves
2 star anise
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
70g brown sugar
1tbsp vanilla essence
first, find yourself a pretty glass bottle (I picked mine up from Wilkinson’s for pretty cheap), thoroughly clean and sterilise the bottle and set aside.
assemble all the spices and teabags ready.
in a saucepan bring the water to the boil and then remove from the heat.
add the spices and tea. allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
strain the tea through a sieve into a large bowl (I did mine twice to get rid of the sediment).
add the sugar, honey and vanilla and stir for about 3 minutes or so until all of the sugar has dissolved (do not cheat on this step. all the sugar must be dissolved.)
pour into a jug and allow to completely cool.
carefully pour into your sterilised bottle and keep refrigerated.
to make chai
add equal parts of chai concentrate and milk to a small pan. place on a very low heat for 5 minutes or until the milk is steaming but not quite at a simmer.
***pssst… this might make a rather nice Christmas present too. ***