What makes this Chai tea so 'unexpected'? It's the type of tea's I used to make it. I use a nice quality kukicha green tea and....drum roll please, Lapsang SouChong. If you have never had a campfire warmly taken in through your mouth and not your skin and nose, you are in for a treat! This is one of the most unexpected flavors in teas that I have found. It is very dark and smoky, the leaves are hand-picked, fermented and smoked over pinewood embers. This tea tastes as mysterious as it sounds and makes a mean chai. I hope you look for it today and try it out!
Unexpected Chai Tea
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
5 cardamon pods
2 quarter size pieces of ginger, sliced
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp vanilla, pure
5 TB loose-leaf green tea
1 TB Lapsang Souchong
2 cups milk, (I use farm-fresh and raw)
4 TB honey
1. Place the first 7 ingredients in a sauce pan, stopping before you add the tea. Let this simmer for 10 minutes.
2. After 10 minutes, add the tea and let simmer for another 3 minutes.
3. Turn heat down to low and pour in the milk, add the honey. Taste and adjust any spices to your liking.
Just a side note: I like a strong, spicy chai. To make this stronger in flavor, I added additional powdered cinnamon, cardamon and a little more powdered clove. I use powdered forms of the spices that were previously steeped whole and it came out wonderful. This tea is not a science and adjusting it to your taste is really the only way it will come out perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
To another winter day whittled away in the kitchen,