Chai is a hug in a mug. I'm not a fan of tea leaves, so I'm kinda glad they aren't part of FMD.
This is technically a Masala Chai, since it is spiced.
This is highly customizable, also. There is no one Chai recipe. Change spices to please your palate. This is my favorite blend at the moment. Some folks like 1 part water to 2 parts milk, others for 1 to 1. You do want a thick and creamy milk.
I prefer to use whole spices, as the ground spices will not dissolve.
I think this fall, this will be simmering on my stove all day!
Phases 1 & 3
Makes 2 mugs of tea
3-4 slices fresh ginger
10 green cardamom pods, smashed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
2-3 whole star anise
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 whole nutmeg, broken
Sweetener to taste
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened plant based milk
Optional spices: split vanilla bean, fennel seeds, whole coriander seeds, holy basil leaves, lemongrass.
Place all the spices in a pot. Break the cinnamon sticks if they're too long to fit. Add 1 1/2 cups spring water. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. You need it to reduce to about a cup.
Add the milk and sweetener. Bring to gentle boil while stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir. You can repeat this process if you like. I think it adds more flavor to cook the milk a bit.
Strain the tea. If you want it thicker, use a milk frother or whisk for a minute or so.