The first time I ever had Chai Tea, was when I was sixteen and living on the beach with a whole bunch of other rambunctious teens. We sang all night and slept all day. One morning, while we were making black coffee over the fire, this guy pulls out a pouch. He started pulling out little jars and packets and a tea strainer and starts making Chai. I had never had Chai before, but after one taste, I drank it every morning for the rest of the summer. Apparently, this guy had gotten the recipe from another guy who had gotten it from another guy who had gotten it from some guru in India, which is where Chai comes from. Chai is a delicious, yummy, spiced tea that is milky and sweet.
I would totally prefer to drink Chai every morning before work but it costs like $4.oo a cup at the local coffee drive-through. And when your kids love it too, that’s just too much money to waste. There is no way I can do that every morning. Plus, we love this especially when we are camping. It totally warms you up on a cold morning, just like oatmeal, but better. So, I experimented. There are so many different recipes out there and ways to make it. However, this is the prefect blend for me. Depending on where you live and where you are able to get spices, this can make between 4-8 serving for less than $10.00. It’s hard to get fresh spices in my tiny town, so I have to either drive an hour away to purchase them or order them online. Buying the spices in bulk is also more affordable.
Not only does this store well, put it in a little jar with a bow and gift it to someone who lives tea. Your gift will be greatly appreciated, especially during the winter months. Besides camping, this makes a yummy beverage while backpacking or ice fishing.
Campfire Chai Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes 8-10 servings
10 whole cloves
7 cardamom pods
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger (if using fresh ginger, use 10 thin slices)
6 tbsp. black tea (Darjeeling or Earl Gray preferred)
8 cups water
Milk (can substitute almond milk)
Sweetener to taste: brown or white sugar, maple syrup, honey or stevia
- Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, crush five first ingredients. Add fresh ginger if making right away, otherwise use ground ginger and add tea leaves. If not using mixture right away, this can be kept in an airtight jar up to six months.
- To make tea, boil water. Add spice mixture and simmer on low for 10 minutes. For a single serving, boil 1 ¼ cup water to 2 tbsp. of the mixture. Use a tea strainer or tea filters for single servings. For a large amount, strain into cups using cheesecloth or a strainer.
- Add milk and sweetener to taste.
**For a nice gift, put mixture in a glass jar and tie with a bow. Include directions for making a single serving.