Creating your Chai - step by step
Step 1 | Choose your tea
Any tea can be used to create your chai tea. Do keep in mind that when you use milk, condensed milk or a sweetener you’ll need a tea with a strong character to keep the chai balanced.
Step 2 | Choose your Spice combination
Select a combination of ground spices to infuse together with the tea. There are many delicious combinations that will each give a different kick to your chai. But it doesn’t end with just spices. Try infusing the zests of citrus fruits in your tea. Lemons and limes often find a great partner in chillis while oranges team up with cardamom or cinnamon in a delicious way.
Step 3 | Add the tea
In combination with milk and a sweetener you’ll need a strong brew. Use 2 grams of tea or 1 teabag on 200 ml of water. Add the tea and to the teapot or plunger.
Step 4 | Add the spices
Add the ground spices to the teapot or plunger. Creating your Chai step by step
Step 5 | Brew the tea
Use the maximum brewing time when milk and/or a sweetener is used in your recipe. For black tea and herbal infusions maximum brewing time is 5 minutes, for Oolong teas 3 minutes is sufficient. Without the use of milk or a sweetener usually a medium brew is strong enough. For black tea a medium brew is 4 minutes, for Oolong teas 2.5 minutes and for green teas 2 minutes.
Please keep in mind that different types of tea have different brewing temperatures: Green tea - 75-80°C Oolong tea - 85-90°C Black tea- 95-100°C Stir the tea gently after each minute of brewing. Agitating the tea leaves and the spices will enhance the development of character in the tea. You’ll need that character to find the right balance between the tea, the spices, the milk and the sweetener.
Step 6 | Strain the tea
Strain the hot tea into the first chai mug. I recommend to warm up the mug so you will not loose too much of the heat of the tea. If you want, you can add a sweetener at this point. Sugar, honey, syrup or marmalade, any type of sweetener can be used to work with the bitterness of the strong tea, with the sharpness of the spices or with the cream of the milk.
Step 7 | Pour de milk
Add the milk, condensed milk, soy milk or almond milk to the second mug. Again it is recommended to warm up the mug.
Step 8 | Air the tea
Especially when condensed milk is used “airing” the tea is a key element in the making of the perfect chai. By throwing the chai from cup to cup, also known as “pulling the tea”, you create a foamy top on the drink. Because of the extra air that is added to the drink the aroma of the spices comes out stronger and the tea is quickly at drinking temperature. The higher the throw, the frothier the drink. Throw your chai up to a dozen times and then pour it into your cup.