In the final step, I give tips for saving more money on this recipe. So don't miss the last step!
WARNING! Many people (myself included) have developed addictions to this recipe! Proceed at your own risk!
Step 1: Gather your ingredients.
2 C. Water
2 Regular Tea Bags
1/8-1/4 teaspoon EACH of ginger and cardamon
1 whole clove
1 cinnamon stick
6 Splenda packets or 1/4 cup Sugar
2 1/2 C. Milk
Step 2: Mix tea and spices.
Step 3: Boil it up.
Step 4: Add the sweetener.
Step 5: Add the milk.
Here's a neat little trick: if you take a stick of butter and run it quickly around the rim of the pan when it's hot, the chai won't boil over.
Step 6: Strain and Enjoy
Step 7: Money Saving Tips and Variations
First, try finding the spices at a health-food store. You can usually buy in bulk there, and purchase small amounts by weight. It's much more economical, and you can keep them fresh - they lose their flavor over time.
If you want larger quantities, Sams and Gordon Food Service have spices in 1 lb containers. This is how I purchase my cinnamon sticks. And while I'm on cinnamon sticks, did you know you can reuse them? Rinse them off and let them dry out again. Give them a sniff and if you smell cinnamon, use them again. You can get 3-4 uses from them anyway.
As for the Splenda, I did a little research and discovered that it is cheaper to purchase the box of 1000 packets at Sam's club than to use even the Walmart brand of measurable sweetener.
I love this chai just the way I described it. But if you want to vary it, try one of these ideas:
Richer Chai: Use whole milk or even some real cream instead of skim milk.
Dessert Chai: Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Make-ahead Chai: My sister makes double, triple or even quadruple batches of the first 4 steps and keeps it in canning jars in the refrigerator. Then when she wants chai, she just adds the milk and heats up what she wants. It keeps a week or more in the fridge. (But personally, I like it fresh!)