Home truths: How to make chai

Time for chai? Here’s how in six easy steps

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Ceylon One chai blend. You can buy their teas at Borough Market in London

Some days call for definitely not going out (hello rain, hello winter) and instead wallowing on as many cushions as possible with a cup of something hot in hand.

While Boston Tea Party make (probably) the best chai latte’s in Bristol, that would involve going OUT and not staying IN. So I decided to take an adventure into the kitchen cupboard to see if I could make something similar. Having pulled out an approximation of masala chai ingredients (cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, loose leaf tea), I came upon Ceylon One‘s pre-blended chai. Thank the tea gods that those little leaves don’t go off. The tin was a present from my sister at Christmas in 2011.

So, while it might be possible to really DIY, here is how to do it with Ceylon One’s (very good) chai blend loose leaf tea in a very few easy steps.

1. Boil the kettle, select favourite mug (or a just a clean one), put one tablespoon of chai in a pan. Pour a bit of boiling water into the mug to warm it.

2. Measure half a cup full of the boiled water and pour into the pan. Then add just over half a cup of milk. It’s better to over cater on the liquid as the water evaporates off slightly meaning that you do get a little less that what you first put in the pan.  Light the hob.

DIY chai with DIY spoon

DIY chai with DIY spoon

3. Bring the chai to the boil and then simmer for 8 minutes or so. They say 5-8 minutes but I like my drinks piping hot and it cooks the chai in better the longer you leave it.

4. A couple of minutes before it’s ready stir in a level dessertspoon of soft brown sugar.

5. Give it a good stir to make sure the milk hasn’t formed a skin and then pour through a strainer into your mug.

6. Sit back and feel proud. You’d be a mug not to.

It should look the colour of a digestive biscuit

It should look the colour of a digestive biscuit

If you don’t have a pre-blended mix hanging out in your cupboard, try using loose leaf tea (Earl Grey might do it but Assam or Ceylon tea would be better) and adding cloves, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon and a drop of vanilla essence. Then follow the same procedure.

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