Apparently most recipes out there for Chai tea don’t have star anise in it, but I found a few that do, and decided that was a good enough reason to start playing around with it. I love Chai tea and I love Chai lattes, but always find that when I order those at a coffee shop, they’re far too sweet for my taste. I love the idea of a spiced tea with just a bit of milk and a hint of sweetness to round it out. So I threw together some cinnamon, cloves, pepper, smashed cardamom seeds, fresh ginger, cloves, and of course, star anise. I cooked the mixture until it was bubbling and fragrant, then steeped some Darjeeling tea bags in it. The resulting tea is spicy and warm. I love adding hazelnut milk to get a little bit of a nutty taste to the tea, but regular milk would work wonderfully here as well. I think I’ve found my new hot drink for the winter!
4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods, smashed
10 whole cloves
1 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced thinly
1 star anise pod
4 black tea bags (traditionally Darjeeling, but any black tea will work)
Milk and sugar to taste
1. Combine everything except the tea, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring up to a simmer. Leave on low heat for about 10 minutes, covered.
2. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and steep for an additional 3-5 minutes.
3. Strain the tea into cups and add milk. If you want to keep the tea screaming hot, add the milk directly to the pot, heat the mixture up once more, then strain into mugs. Serve hot and add sugar or honey to taste.