My daughter Amila took me to a little coffee house many years ago and introduced me to chai tea, which was a completely new taste experience; all spicy sweetness mixed in with steaming tea and milk. Since then it has been one of my favorite hot drinks. Now for the last several years, my friend Anna Penk and I meet for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant, and we always order chai after our meal. The recipe below is quite similar, only instead of mixing the tea and spices with hot milk, it calls for powdered milk which makes it possible to mix up a cup of hot chai tea anytime, for months… or until it’s all gone.
Chai Tea Mix
7 cups nonfat dry milk
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Place ingredients in a large bowl and stir until mixed. Send through a blender, 2 cups at a time, until the mixture is ground to a powder. Store in airtight jars. This recipe makes about eight half-pint jars of mix.
Iced Chai Tea
Put three tablespoons of chai tea mix in a large glass along with 1/4 cup of boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Pour the hot liquid over eight ounces of ice and stir, then add 1/4 cup of cold water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Vanilla Chai Tea Mix
To the mixture above, add two teaspoons of powdered vanilla.
Lightly Spiced Chai Tea Mix
Follow the recipe above, only use half of the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Then, you can increase the spices by 1/8 teaspoons until you achieve the taste you like.
Super-Spiced Chai Tea Mix
Follow the recipe above, but add 50% more of the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Then, you can continue to increase the spices until you achieve the taste you like.
This Chai Tea Mix is perfect for holiday gift-giving and adding your own custom packaging can make it that more special. I packaged mine in small glass jars and used personalized a holiday circle label in two different sizes. First, I chose a 2″ circle label for the lid and front of the jar. Second, I used 1″ circle labels and some green ribbon to create a seal over the top of the jar for a unique finishing touch.