Wednesday, 18 September 2013

DIY Chai

We can kid ourselves no longer - summer is over and autumn is upon us, with days shortening and temperatures plummeting more every day. Chai lattes are one of my favourite winter warmers, the delicious hot, sweet spiciness of them never fails to comfort and thaw on even the coldest days. The only downside is the price, which at about three pounds a go is not especially student friendly, especially when the attempts of the huge, commercial coffee chains are usually disappointing anyway. I have found the best chai lattes at Froth & Fodder, a small but popular coffee shop opposite uni in Leeds, (if you ever find yourself in Leeds be sure to pay a visit - they also do the most delicious homemade soups) but this Valentine Warner recipe makes the next best thing. Although you have to forgo the frothyness that only a coffee machine can provide, the intense flavour of this chai certainly makes up for it.

For 1 Large or 2 Small Mugs-Worth You Will Need...

- Milk - enough to fill your mugs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla-infused caster sugar

- 4 green cardamom pods, smashed
- 2 thin slices unpeeled root ginger
- Half a cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, bashed
- 1 clove
- 1 black peppercorn
- 1 bayleaf, bashed to release flavour
- 1 teabag or 1 tsp loose tea of your choice e.g Earl Grey, Assam, Darjeeling 

You Will Need To...

- Tie up all the spices, the bay leaf and the tea in a small square of muslin cloth to make a spice bag. If you don't have any muslin then just put all the spice bag ingredients straight into the milk with the sugar, and strain through a sieve before drinking.

- Simmer the milk and sugar in a small sauce pan with the spice bag until bubbling gently.

- Turn off the heat and leave to brew to desired strength - between 5-10 minutes. When ready to drink, squeeze the bag with a spoon to extract any remaining flavour and remove.

Enjoy! C x

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