Bourbon Beauty: Chai (Tea) Recipe

 (n.) A hug in a cup. 

Tea has always had a special place in my heart. Whenever I was ill, or not feeling well, my mom would always have a "te de manzanilla" (Chamomile Tea), ready to soothe whatever ailment I had going on. I don't know if it was the healing properties in the tea that actually eased my symptoms, or feeling the warm comfort of my mom soothing me, but tea always made me feel better.

As a little girl, I have fond memories of my grandfather working outside on his "Beauty Queen" truck. I remember my dad telling me to make him his iced tea, so it would cool him down during our hot Chicago summer. I still remember running into our old garage, the scent of car oil hit me as I opened that garage door, & yelling for Vito excited I had his iced tea.

Chicago was the melting pot of culture, and although Ethnic food was *always* in my home growing up, visiting friends' homes was where I really had my exposure to other people and their food. I loved seeing what their moms' were cooking, and the different snacks they had in their home. The one that sticks out to me most, was visiting my Indian friend, and smelling the delicious Chai (tea) her mom had prepared on the stove. Cinnamon and cloves (along with the faint scent of curry) filled the air, and I was intrigued. I was too embarrassed to ask for a taste, but I quickly jotted down the name of the tea before running home -and asking my mom to buy it. (Side note: I miss the days I could ask my mom to add my "wants" onto her grocery list hahaha.).

When I first attempted to make Chai, it tasted awful! I didn't realize it was prepared with milk and not water. (Its funny, because Mexican Hot Chocolate never has water, its always made with milk. I should've known better!) I don't remember how I came to the conclusion it was made with milk, my mom probably suggested it. (This was way before smart phones with google existed, LOL).

As an adult, I absolutely adore tea, and the many variations of it. I'm a huge foodie, and tasting teas (as well as preparing them differently) is something that excites me! I'm not sure if this is the authentic way to prepare Chai, but this is how I do it. Adjust your sweetness accordingly.

Preparation of Indian Chai (Tea)

2 Cups of Organic Milk
2 Tazo Chai Tea Bags
2 TBSP of Raw Cane Sugar
Pour 2 cups of milk into a small pot. Bring the heat up to a rolling simmer, taking care not to scald the milk. (Milk burns very easily!) Turn off the heat. Place the tea bags, and the sugar into your cup. *Carefully* pour your hot milk into the cup, and let it steep for about 4 minutes or so. (I've never had bitter Chai before, you can let it steep for quite a while, and the spice intensifies the longer you let it steep). Enjoy!
Alternate Method:
If you prefer Iced Tea, cook as directed. Let the tea cool, and pour over ice and enjoy! Feel free to add a dried rosebud (as I did) for garnish! Dried Roses available here.

What are your favorite teas? Have you tried a milk tea before?

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!