Camp Chai: DIY Chai from Everyday Stuff!

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Camp Chai: DIY Chai from Everyday Stuff!

A few years back, my wife and I were up at my family camp near Blue Hill, Maine. It was a cool, rainy Sunday and I really craved a warm spicy mug of Chai. The problem was that I didn’t bring anything to specifically make Chai. I had some Earl Grey loose tea with me, but that was about it. Being a good New Englander, I thought it could be worth a bit of cupboard rummaging to see if there was anything at all to make Chai from.

Our camp cupboards were pretty bare, but I did manage to find a box of black tea bags, ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger (presumably left behind from some baking). There was of course black pepper, a bit of sugar, some maple syrup and a quart of milk in the fridge. I found a small sauce pan in the drawer beneath the stove and proceeded as per the recipe below. The resulting Chai turned out better than expected.

Normally when I make chai, I use loose tea leaves and whole spices, with my favorite teapot pre-warmed. I was happy to find that with just a few ingredients, I was able to make something pretty darn close to that warm spicy mug of chai that I am used to making when I have everything at my disposal.

Makes (2) 16 oz Mugs of Chai

Assemble:

1 Quart (or larger) saucepan

1 Pint Water

3-4 White Heron Classic Black Tea Bags

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon, ground

1 Teaspoon Ginger, ground

1 Pinch Cloves, ground

1 Pinch Black Pepper, ground

2 Tablespoons Sugar, Honey or Maple Syrup

1 Pint Milk (Soy or Almond Milk etc work fine)

Good to Have (but if you don’t, you can still make this :)

•Small Whisk (if not use a fork)

Tea Strainer (mesh tea balls wont work for this)

•Tea pot (pre-warmed with some hot water)

Pour 1 pint of water into the saucepan and heat to a boil. Add the ground spices and sugar or sweetener and whisk for 30 seconds. Add black tea bags and simmer for 5-6 minutes. The longer the tea and spices simmer together, the stronger the flavor. Finally, add 1 pint of milk and give a quick stir. Simmer until the surface of the Chai develops a creamy head. Shut the heat off

If you have a teapot handy, empty out any water, place a tea strainer in the pot, and carefully pour Chai through the strainer into the pre-heated pot. Remove the strainer and replace the teapot lid then pour into warm cups or mugs.

If you don’t have a teapot or strainer, no big deal, just give a final stir to your chai, then carefully pour into heated cups or mugs while trying to keep the tea bags in the pan. Enjoy!

Tips:

•Be careful not to boil Chai once the milk is added, just simmer

•Get creative, add a teaspoon of cocoa powder or a drop of vanilla if you have them handy

•Add more cinnamon, ginger or black pepper if you like your Chai extra spicy