Coming from a land of die hard chai fans, where desi chai is boiled with spices and ginger with a generous helping of full fat milk as creamer…this might just look like boiled water lol! ( at least from where I come from) I must say over the years my taste buds have learned to appreciate the subtle blends of spices brewed with a mild tea. I really enjoy some light versions of tea more than the kadak (strong) chai. Don't get me wrong, I still love a dialed down version of adrak (ginger) chai, but not as much. I remember when I was in Dehradun, India this summer and I was making myself some cinnamon tea, from fresh cinnamon leaves ( grown in my sister's place), my mother's cook asked me why I was boiling water with some leaf, when I told her it was tea…I think she was certain that it was some kind of medication for a stomach ailment or a chest congestion. When I was brewing this chai to serve it to some of my friends that evening, she told me that she rather serve them 'proper chai' least they think she's a horrible cook. I assured her that her name will not be associated with the chai, and I will take the full brunt of it. It must have been a shock to her that they asked for seconds… finally I convinced her to try it. The next moment she was taking some cinnamon leaves home ;) I dug up a picture of the fresh cinnamon leaves from my visit.
I was trying to clean up my photographs from my hard drive, ( note the word trying) I was reminded of the cinnamon chai - and since there was no way I could get some fresh cinnamon leaves…I created something very different this has become a staple drink for cool ( read cold) fall evenings. I was not sure how finally teen and my better half will react to this concoction. Finally teen, did not like star anise in her chai, so the next time I made it I replace it with cardamom. My better half lapped it up, he's pretty vocal about his taste preferences, and the fact that he asked for it this morning…makes it quite a hit.
I have got some email and messages on Fb about this mug, it is from good earth, my sister gifted this to me when I was visiting her this summer. Thank you Sista!
1 cup green tea brewed with spices of your choice ( I used a small piece of star anise, one clove, a bit of cinnamon stick and some red pepper, In another version I replaced the star anise with green cardamom)
Mix the apple cider with the brewed chai, heat and serve hot!
1 tsp honey optional