Vanilla Bean Chai

Vanilla Bean Chai

It's been a while,

And now it's cold.
Let's make something hot to drink
Before this waiting-for-a-new-post thing
gets old.

-for marek

Several weeks turned into several months. Getting settled into another country wasn't as easy as I wanted it to be. I had plans and drafts for summer recipes but as we are well into fall, I must turn to cold-weather recipes. Nothing warms like spice, multiples of them, with a delectable touch of vanilla.

Go forth, make your house smell wonderful and autumny. Almost as good as mulling cider.

Vanilla Bean Chai

  • 1500 ml filtered water
  • 60 g fresh ginger, grated
  • 20 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, (the ones I used were approx. 3" long)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tsp clove, ground
  • 1 tsp orange peel
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 5 black tea bags (I used breakfast tea, use which ever variety is your favourite.)
  • 170 g honey
  • 100 g - 200 g sugar (depends on how sweet you like your chai.)
  • 370 ml evaporated milk
  1. In a medium sauce pan bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, clove, orange peel, peppercorns, and vanilla (pod and seeds.)
  3. Keep spices at a low boil for 30 - 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by 50%.
  4. Add honey and sugar, continue to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until the liquid has thickened to a light syrup.
  5. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a separate pan containing the tea bags.
  6. Adjust sugar levels to taste and repeat simmer to dissolved any added sugar.
  7. Allow the tea to steep for 5 - 7 minutes including any time spent simmering in the sugar.
  8. Strain into storage container through a fine mesh strainer or a few layers of cheesecloth. (I used a thermal tea pot.)
  9. Stir in evaporated milk.
  10. If not consuming immediately, cool in an ice bath before placing in the fridge to chill.

More milk or sugar may be added to each individual serving, this is just a lovely spiced base, adjustments can absolutely be made to taste.

Yield: approximately 1 L.