I was introduced to chai tea by Arin, a friend of Deric's from his days at camp. She used to make it for Deric and it was one of his favorites, so she passed along the recipe to me when Deric and I got married.
This fall, Deric let me try some of his chai tea latte from Starbucks and of course, I loved it. Before that, there were only two drinks I'd get from Starbucks: frappucinos for the summer and hot chocolate for the winter. But their hot chocolate isn't actually that good, so winters were kind of a bummer. (Side note: We get Starbucks less than five times a year. The introduction of chai tea lattes is really testing my willpower.)
Anyways, back to homemade chai tea. Chai tea really tastes like Christmas to me-- the ginger and cardamom make it nice and spicy but still sweet. Its perfect, and a welcome reprieve from my almost-daily hot chocolate (most people drink coffee in the morning-- I drink hot chocolate).
Here's Arin's recipe for chai tea (serves two).
1/2 cup water
1 bag of tea
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups milk
2 tbs. raw sugar or honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
(optional: I sometimes add a dash of allspice for extra Christmas-ness:))
Stir over medium heat just until mixture is heated. Don't boil.
Serve in Christmas-themed mugs. Turn on your Christmas lights and some Christmas carols, and you're good to go!