Fill a 2-quart saucepan nearly full of cold water and put on a low boil. Drop in 2 black tea bags.
Add directly into the water:
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
2 cardamom pods -- Scrape out the seeds from the inside and discard the pods.
|(I've since bought a large bag of star anise at a local Asian market for less than $2.)|
|a black "witch's brew" after all the reduction has occurred|
|I love this part. It's so pretty to watch.|
One more thing -- I keep the spices from the previous batch and heat them in the new batch by placing them in a handled strainer and placing it across the top of the new batch while it brews.
I do this because I'm cheap and want to get the most from my spices. Discard the twice-used spices afterward.
The spices are expensive, but when you consider your real cost and how much chai you get from it, this is a very cost-effective way to drink your chai, and it is vastly tastier than any I've had from a shop or a tin.
|the best chai you've ever drunk, perfectly spiced to your taste, at fraction of the cost|