Toward the end of summer, I lent a mason jar to my friend Liz so that she could take home some leftover sangria. We do not let good sangria go to waste, guys. When the jar was returned to me, it had an adorable handwritten recipe for chai tea, plus almost all the ingredients I’d need. Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard of? Liz believes – and now I do, too – that it’s bad luck to return a dish (or jar or any other sort of container) empty. Liz, I hope you don’t mind that in addition to adopting this belief, I will also be stealing this chai-in-a-jar for future gift ideas.

If any of you are searching for a last minute Christmas gift, this could be the ticket!

chai tea in a jar | a couple of amateurs

The cuteness alone would be enough to justify adopting the practice, but have I mentioned that the chai tea we made was also COMPLETELY DELICIOUS? Like, at least 8 times better than any mix or packet you’ve prepared. Throw those away. It’s worth the work to do it right. And Liz will show us how.

ground nutmeg | chai tea from scratch | a couple of amateurs

Here’s the recipe for Liz’s Byron Bay Chai:

  • 3 to 4 teaspons black tea (we used Darjeeling)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 7 cardamom pods
  • 1/8 of a whole nutmeg, ground
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • honey to taste

Combine the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cardamom and coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle (or whatever tools you have on hand).

chai tea from scratch | a couple of amateurs

Add ground spices, ginger slices, and water to a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer 5-10 minutes then add black tea and simmer for an additional few minutes.

chai tea recipe | a couple of amateurs

Add milk and return to a low simmer to heat tea throughout. Strain into mugs (using a cheesecloth, French press, etc) and serve with honey to taste.

chai tea kit | christmas gift ideas | a couple of amateurs

Of course Liz’s original “kit” is gone, but we still have the recipe and we’ve recreated it several times! I’ll be honest, my husband does most of the work. But from what I can see (and taste!) it’s worth the extra work to make your own chai this way instead of from a mix. So try it yourself, and if you like it, then make a couple chai kits to give as gifts this holiday season!

wake up little owl | homemade chai tea | a couple of amateurs

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