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February DIY – Homemade Chai Tea

Still working on my list of 12 DIY Projects to Try in 2011. I know it’s a long way from February, but bear with me. Here’s what has happened so far:

I started with the Spicy Chai Tea recipe from Houseboat Eats. I doubled it, since I figured that everyone would want a taste, and I didn’t want to have to skimp!

Jewel and I had a fun time together on Mother’s Day making up our new concoction.

Bulk spices all came from the Monterey Bay Spice Company (online), except for the cardamom, which I had already purchased (ground, so not as pretty!).

Pretty, eh?

Then I discovered that I didn’t know a good way to crush the harder items – whole cloves, peppercorns, etc.

Here’s what I came up with. Functional, not glamorous.

But anyhow, we got the job done! Then they simmered in the pot.

Taking a West Ladies idea, I strained it using a well-washed section from an old sheer curtain (and a brave husband).

Since the milk is added with the tea, it is already creamy looking – not the clear tea you see in some of the photos with the online recipes (although of course you could make it that way).

And the verdict? Everyone enjoyed the tea! (That’s Jewel sipping hers at the top of the post).

We all agreed it had a bit too much bite, and added a bit more sugar and milk than seemed to be indicated.

Based on our taste test, as well as the variation at Tammy’s Recipes, we’ll be tweaking it a bit next time.

Less ginger, for sure. Perhaps a bit more orange, and a bit more allspice.

Next time will be soon, though! Chai is so delicious…

Wolf asked me if it was worth it — all the time and effort, and even the monetary investment — over buying Chai teabags or concentrate in the store. Aside from the “fun” factor, I readily admit that that cup of chai wasn’t worth all that… But as part of a process, I believe it was. Being able to build it exactly to our taste is a wonderful feeling.

Hopefully we can get a “perfect blend” worked out, and make ready-to-go chai packets as Christmas presents this year.

[Be sure to check out the blog hop I’m entering with this post: Simple Lives Thursday, co-hosted by the amazing GNOWFGLINS]

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