Chai ... yum

It's been dreary here...

yup... dreary. (This is my backyard -I use "yard" loosely)

... the kind of dreary where you just want a blanket and a book - and a really good latte. Mmmm.... dream with me for a minute. A yummy Chai latte, my lovely nook and a big comfy blanket. Feel the stress melt away.

Okay, back to reality. There is no way I am driving all the way to Starbucks with Macie to get a latte in the rain. I need a new option, enter Pinterest. 

I pinned this a little while back because of my deep love for Chai, but it took me awhile to gather all the ingredients so that I could finally try this. It took three different stores but I finally found all the spices and was ready to tackle it, and let me tell you - it was worth going to three stores for. 

I won't go into huge detail on how to make this because, honestly, you don't need a step by step - its EASY. I will say this though, open the cardamom pods and take a big whiff - it's fall in a jar to me. Those little pods just yell - CHAI!!

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be hot or cold. I tried it both ways and for this dreary week, the hot was just perfect. I made an iced chai in hopes of sunnier weather for the picture...fingers crossed!

Spiced Chai Concentrate adapted from A Wooden Nest
4 1/2 cups water
2 stick cinnamon
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
8 whole cardamom pods
2 whole star anise pods
10 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
10 bags of black tea
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla

Prepare the spices and the tea, and set aside. Bring the water to a boil, and remove from heat. Add the spices and the tea bags, and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large bowl, discarding the spices. Add the sugar, honey and the vanilla, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator. To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk. Heat for a warm beverage, or pour over ice to enjoy cold.