After a beautiful prairie summer in Manitoba, autumn is showing its face with shorter days and cooler temperatures. Even though we’ll all mourn the end of summer, the weeks after Labour Day bring a feeling of fresh starts, curiosity about the change of season, and excitement that we can begin thinking about cozy sweaters and hot tea!
Some of the most comforting flavours in the fall are the spices from chai tea. Spicy ginger, cardamom and cinnamon blend with milky sweet tea to give you a taste of comfort and the exotic. This drink is ubiquitous in India (chai means tea in Hindi) with the nation drinking 837,000 tonnes of chai per year! For a visual journey into the culture of chai in India, browse through this BBC photo article.
With just a couple more steps than brewing a mug of tea, you can make your own spicy hot taste of fall (and India).
Select one of our delicious chai tea options. Cornelia Bean has a chai in each of our tea categories. In black teas, we have Masala chai and Cosmo chai. We have a white chai, an apricot green chai and a chai pu erh. If you’re looking for decaffeinated options, we have a yogi herbal chai and red rooibos chai. These will all work in this chai recipe. 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup of tea is the general rule, so adjust depending on how much you need to make.
In a saucepan, combine water (1/2 cup per 1 tablespoon of tea) with the tea. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes until the mixture is fragrant. Add milk (1/2 cup per 1 tablespoon of tea). Simmer for another minute then turn off the heat and let steep for 2 minutes.
Pour into a cup through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the leaves and spices. Add sweetener (honey, sugar, stevia) to taste.
You can also follow a traditional recipe of using a strong black tea (like our Assam black tea) and a pre-made or homemade spice mix (with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon) and then use the same steps above.