Chai Concentrate

Chai — or tea — is mixed with warm milk (I like soy milk) in about a half-half ratio, though of course you may adjust to your taste. I keep a jar of this concentrate in the fridge for a morning pick-me-up before heading in to work — it's much tastier than the boxed stuff.

Makes 4 cups

4 1/2 cups water

10 black tea bags

1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the end)

1 stick whole cinnamon

3-inch piece chopped fresh ginger

7 whole cardamom pods

2 whole star anise pods

10 whole cloves

1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea, spices and orange zest, stir and remove from heat and let steep 15 to 20 minutes. Strain out the spices and tea and add the brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract if using. Stir well to combine.

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