1. Start by warming your water and milk in a saucepan ? don?t do it too fast or you?ll burn your milk.
2. While your liquid is warming, crush your cardamom seeds to a fine powder. You can also add in other spices, like peppercorns and cloves, but I find them too strong ? I prefer a milder, aromatic flavour.
3. Add your ground cardamom and cinnamon to the milk and water.
4. When the liquid starts to simmer, add in your grated ginger and your tea. I?m using a really fine black tea that was given to me by my Sri Lankan PhD student, Lee ? I?m sure my family would lynch me for using Sri Lankan tea, but it has a great flavour ? but is very, very fine (kinda goes everywhere!)
5. Let your chai start to boil and keep it at a gentle, rolling boil ? don?t over heat it, or it?ll overflow as well as burn the tea. Leave it gently rolling for about 3 mins. This is also the time to add in some sugar ? my father?s family are sugar and buffalo farmers ? so, the chai I grew up with is sweet and creamy ? chai tends to be sweet, so don?t by shy with sugar in your chai.
6. Take your chai off the heat and pour it through a tea strainer.
7. I like to pass the chai between a couple of cups, back and forth, a few times aerate it a bit ? it leaves it with a smoother texture.