A simple chai syrup made with whole spices and loose leaf tea
Chai tea is a sweet milky black tea enlivened by spices. Originating from India, chai tea enjoys the addition of ingredients commonly used in Indian cuisine such as ginger, cardamon and cinnamon. While flavoured black teas can provide a comparable chai tea experience, authentic chai is created with aromatic whole spices and black tea, simmered in sweet milk.
A concentrated chai syrup is a nice compromise to making fresh chai each time you have a craving. This syrup can be added to any hot or cold beverage of your choice. We blend it with soft served ice cream at the store, an amazing combination that could be recreated at home in a blender with hard ice cream. If you are dairy free, it can be added to a dairy-free milk or dairy free ice cream. It can be mixed into baking, giving banana bread and cookies a hint of the exotic. There are many creative ways this syrup can be used to add a bit of spicy goodness to your day.
Options to customize are endless. If you like your chai to be extra spicy add some peppercorns. If you love a hint of citrus, toss in some orange zest, or whole dried peel. If you want to add more cinnamon, or ginger...feel free! There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making this recipe. It is a starting point from which to create your own personal chai.
Simple as Chai Stovetop Syrup
3.5 cups of water
10 teaspoons of black tea
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of fresh whole ginger peeled (our ginger herbal tea also works great!)
10 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise
10 whole cardamon seeds (crushed slightly)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Add all of the above ingredients together and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer your chai mixture for 30 minutes. Let cool until just warm. Strain liquid through a cheesecloth into a mason jar, or glass container. The liquid will look cloudy once it cools. Don't worry about it! This is the beauty of using whole spices.
How to use
Keep your syrup mixture in the fridge for up to a week. Mix to taste with a beverage of your choice, blend with ice cream or add to baking.