Invite someone lovely over (preferably somebody who drapes a lot of shawls around themselves at all times), brew up a pot of this intoxicating drink, and sip away the hours languishing over the state of your modern day trifles. Just don’t let the tea sit around once poured into cups as it will develop a harmless, yet unsightly, skin over the top. The rich warmth of the chai will surely detract from the embarrassing moment where they pull out a Christmas card scrawled with your name and you have to awkwardly accept it with no chance of reciprocation. Good thing you made them such a delicious cuppa.
BA’s Best: Masala Chai
Taken from BA’s Best arsenal
Serves 4 in larger mugs, or 6 in smaller mugs
1 1-½-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled and coarsely grated
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife
6 tbsp strong, black loose-leaf tea (I used Yorkshire)
14 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed (or ¾ tsp cardamom seeds, lightly crushed)
2 ¾ cups milk (preferably 2% or higher)
¼ cup maple syrup (or more if you like your tea quite sweet)
Place 3 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan and add the grated ginger and cinnamon stick. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer rapidly until the liquid has reduced by ~1/3, about 20 minutes or so. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the tea and cardamom. Let steep for 2 minutes. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add milk and maple syrup. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes foamy and begins to boil. Immediately remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a teapot and serve. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.