I keep saying “I’m not addicted to coffee” and I’m really not compared to friends I know who truly can’t function without it first thing in the morning. I can function, but at some point mid-morning or early afternoon I find myself longing for a frothy cappuccino or a post-lunch espresso.
I’ve been trying to drink more tea so I’ve been making this Masala chai, a kicked up version of strong black, usually Assam, tea; a favorite South Asian beverage. There are so many ways to spice it and variations depend on region and climate. Ginger and cardamom are often commonly used, along with a combination of any of the following: clove, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, etc. Add in some steamed almond milk or whole milk for a rich, frothy mouth-feel. And with warmer days on the horizon, why not ice it down for a refreshing mid-morning pick-me-up or to offer summer time guests? This doesn’t mean I have given up on the coffee bean, but this tea is a nice change and I love the words together and the way it sounds when someone asks for more “masala chai.”
To Make 2 to 4 cups: Boil 6 cups water and steep 2 to 3 teaspoons black tea, such as Assam. Add whole spices and let steep about 5 minutes; you could steep a little longer but just make sure that the tea doesn’t turn bitter. Strain tea leaves and spices. Steam almond or whole milk and add. Chill, if desired.