Food gifts are such a great way to go handmade and please almost anyone on your list. This chai recipe makes enough mix for four of the folks on your gift list!
Chai is a traditional Indian spiced tea, and there are lots of different ways you can make it. If you’re used to ordering Chai at Starbucks, you probably think of this drink as a super sweet, super milky treat with a nice, spicy undertone. The mix below is not like this. Brewed chai is lovely, because you can add as much (or as little!) milk and sweeter as you like, and this mix is a little bit spicier than the commercial chai at many coffee shops. The spices are what shine in brewed chai, and I much prefer homemade chai tea to the sort you buy on the go.
Hand-mixed teas make a great gift, and chai is a perfect tea for the holidays – it’s deeply spiced and delicious mixed with a little almond milk and maple syrup. When you’re giving out loose tea, it’s a good idea to include brewing instructions. If your giftee isn’t a big tea-drinker, you might also want to include a tea ball or diffuser, to make it easy for her to make the tea you mixed up.
This tea would be beautiful packaged in half pint mason jars. The recipe below makes enough for four of these.
Yield: 2 pints of loose tea
- 48 cardamom pods
- 3/4 cups crystalized ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks, ground coarsely in the food processor or blender
- 2 organic vanilla beans, chopped
- 2 cups organic Darjeeling tea
- reclaimed paper for writing brewing instructions
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until the ingredients are well combined. Divide between your 1/2 pint Mason jars (or use reclaimed glass jars!).
- Write up brewing instructions (see below) on your reclaimed paper, punch a hole, and tie the instructions to each jar.
To brew one cup of tea:
- Fill your tea ball with 1 tablespoon of chai mix.
- Place in a mug and add 1 cup of boiling water.
- Steep for 5 minutes, then add almond milk and maple syrup, to taste (or your favorite milk and sweetener).