OOPS. We've accidentally made it to 100 posts! CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER!
We (the Oops! team) feel so honored and loved that you, dear readers (all five or so of you) have stuck with us through 100 posts. This blog has seen us through lethargy, unemployment, Farch*-based despair, and other trials. However, this blog has also given us creative outlets, reasons to gather and eat waaay too much food, and, dare I say, launched a career (go Pancake!).
I can't wait to see where we are in another 100 posts.
What kind of recipe could be worthy for the 100th post, you ask? A creamy, steamy beverage known as...the Perfect Cup of Chai.
*Farch: February/March. The most awful time of year. Sloppy, gray, cold. Gross. Notice the calendar? Bad news - it's almost Farch!! Don't fret though. This chai is a Farch BLASTER.
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 star anise, crushed
2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, plus the pods
1 teaspoon ground pepper
15 whole cloves
5 cups water
1/4 cup high quality loose black tea leaves (I used Assam tea. Buy fair trade!)
3 cups almond milk
Gather your spices. It will look like this:
Put 5 cups of water in a pot, and add the spices. You may choose to use cheesecloth to make a custom tea-bag type thing for all these bits and pieces, but I didn't have any, so I just dumped them all in loose. Bring the water to a gentle boil, then lower the heat so the water is steamy. I had mine so that no bubbles appeared in the pot. This is because I think tea tastes flat if the water is boiled too long. Let the spices steep for 20 minutes.
Add your tea to the pot. I allowed the tea to steep for 15 minutes, with no bitterness as a result. Feel free to experiment, but remember - tea steeped for too long will taste bitter! If you want a stronger flavor, add more tea and not more steeping time.
After 15 minutes, drain everything through a colander or sieve or a cheesecloth into another pan. Return the first pan to the stove, and into that pour 3 cups of almond milk. Heat until steamy, stirring often. Meanwhile, rinse your mug in hot water. Once the milk is hot, return the chai to the pan with the milk and stir together. Serve with your favorite sweetener!
You might feel like this recipe is way more work than pouring some hot water over a chai tea-flavored bag. You're wrong. It's only a little bit more work. And your chai tea-flavored bag sucks.