Well, I have to make a big old pot of tea as my voice has completely gone on vacation.  (Do you hear everyone cheering in the background?)  I prefer to use the whole spices in this recipe, if I have them.  The powdered ones make the chai cloudy, but it is still tasty!  This one is for me, but I also make a decaf one for the big kids.  They like it a bit more “milky” than I do.

Chai Tea

6 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick (8 inch), broken into 1” pieces OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 cardamom seed pods

4 whole allspice OR 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
½ inch crystallized ginger OR 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

5 rounded teaspoons loose Darjeeling tea (or other black tea)

To make the tea, you will need:

6 cups water

2 cups almond or soy milk

3 tablespoons honey

To make dry Chai mix:  Mix together all dry ingredients and store tightly sealed until ready to make tea.

To make a pot of Chai tea:  Mix the Chai tea mix in a medium saucepan with the 6 cups of water and bring to a low boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups of almond or soy milk and bring to a gentle simmer, do not boil. Allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches the desired strength, even over an hour.   Strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer.  Add honey and stir to dissolve. Serve immediately or chill and serve over ice.