Chai Basics & A Recipe for Apple Pie Chai | Bonnie Eng | Skillshare

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Chai Basics & A Recipe for Apple Pie Chai

teacher avatar Bonnie Eng, Author, Thirsty for Tea Blog

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Chai vs. Masala Chai

    • 3. The Essentials

    • 4. Personalizing Your Chai

    • 5. Milk & Sweeteners

    • 6. Apple Pie Chai Recipe

    • 7. Gifting Your Chai

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn how to make a basic Masala Chai, also known as "spicy tea." We'll go over the essential ingredients that you'll need, and then branch out from there to describe other add-ons for creating your own signature blend. I'll also share my recipe for Apple Pie Chai with you, and take you through the step-by-step process of blending and brewing it. Create a chai blend for yourself or for your friends and family as a gift--there's nothing like a cozy pot of chai brewing on the stove!

Meet Your Teacher

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Bonnie Eng

Author, Thirsty for Tea Blog


Bonnie Eng is author of the tea blog, Thirsty for Tea, a blog dedicated to modernizing the classic tradition of tea. The site is a collection of tea recipes, reviews and crafts all dedicated to tea and tea-inspired. For more tips on tea, visit Bonnie at her site or on Instagram.

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1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome to the class. My name is Bonnie Ang and I'm the author of the Block called Thirsty for T. Thirsty for Tea is a collection of recipes, reviews and crafts all dedicated to t and t inspired. And today I'm gonna be showing you how to blend your own chai at home. This is a great little project. If you happen to look to yourself or if you happen to know somebody who loves t the scent of chai brewing during cold months of the year Winter fall is just one of the best things you can experience. So I think you're gonna really love this lesson. I'm gonna start off by going over the difference between a chai and masala chai. And once we clarify the difference between those terms were going to go over the five ingredients that you'll typically find in standard chai blend. I'm also going to go over with you some ingredients that you can add to personalize a child to your own liking. And I also share with you my own recipe for Apple Pie Chai, which is a really warm and homey blend of apple pie flavors and China flavors and I think you're really gonna love that. We're gonna finish the class by going over some ideas for gifting your chai to your friends and family way. Want to make the child portable and ship herbal and presentable so that you can share it with those that you love? By the end of this class, you should be able to blend your own child at home. And I'm looking forward to seeing the recipes that you come up with and any of your secret ingredients that you're willing to share about. So thanks for following along and welcome to the class. 2. Chai vs. Masala Chai: before we get blending today, we're going to want to go over the terms. Chai and Masala chai. If you're ever in India and you want to drink a plane cup of tea, you're going to ask for a cup of chai because chai literally means t. Here in America, we have the term chai tea, which is actually kind of redundant because it translates to t t. We've also taken the term masala chai, which basically means spicy tea and shorten that to just chai. So for the purposes of today's class, we're going to refer to a spicy T justus a chai. But you'll want to keep in mind that if you're ever in India and you want a cup of spicy tea to ask for a cup of masala chai. 3. The Essentials: There are five main ingredients that a child's made from. I like to refer to these as the essentials. Of those five ingredients. One is a T and four or spices. The first ingredient is T, and this is where an Indian black tea is typically used. A 50 50 mix of assam and sail on our ideal. But English breakfast can also be substituted. The second ingredient is cardamom, which comes in these small green pods and floral and almost Citrus like in flavor. I like to lightly crush these before adding them into my chai. The third ingredient is ginger, which is important for adding a hot element to the child. You can use fresh ginger root or the candy type. I prefer to use the fresh if I'm enjoying the child right away. But if you wanted to blend the tea and drink or gifted for enjoying later than the candied or crystallized ginger works great, the fourth ingredient is cinnamon. The most common type, Cassie A, is found in common grocery stores, but if you confined sail on, it's a real treat. You'll know it's sale on cinnamon. If stakes break and flake apart easily, stay long cinnamon is also known as true cinnamon. The fifth essential ingredient is clove. Club has a warm, sweet taste but can also be overwhelming. So be careful about how much you add to your child. Keep in mind that all of these spices come in powdered form as well, but because they're stronger in this ground form, you want to use them sparingly. Start with an eighth of a teaspoon and work up from there. 4. Personalizing Your Chai: So now I'm going over some ingredients that you can add to your child to personalize it to your own taste. This is a great time to use some of the ingredients from your pantry or your spice Cabinet . And really, what homemade chai blending is all about? You want to create something one of a kind and something that you really enjoy. So there are a host of ingredients here, and I broken them down into four categories, which is spice fruit, nuts and extras. And as for the spice, if you remember from the last segment, we went over the four main spices in H I. And that was cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. And so I have three extra spices here. The 1st 2 star anise and star anise looks like this. It's sort of hard, um, almost flower like shape, and I like to break it in half or break off segments of it and throw that in with my tea while it's simmering. This is gonna add a strong licorice taste to your tea, and you'll want to use it sparingly, just as is the case with cardamom clove. Just because it's so strong, I also have some peppercorns here. This is a mix of red, green, white and black, and I typically like to use anywhere from 5 to 10 of these peppercorns. Give him a light crush and then throw them in with the simmering T. These are gonna add a nice hot taste to your child, just like the ginger does next. To have federal and fennel is really great for adding a hint of licorice taste without being overwhelming. So I typically like to start with about an eighth of a teaspoon, and they work up from there. Next. I have some fruits, and this is my favorite of the fruits to add to a chai, and it's just diced apple. Um, you could also buy apple rings and cut them up. Or you can buy apple chips and just break them apart. But I like thes apple pieces because they grew up evenly when you throw them in with other tea ingredients, and they're just gonna be really great at adding some natural sweetness to the trying. I also have here some reasons thes air golden reasons, and these will add on almost honey light taste to the brew. You could also use the darker raisins, which will add a little bit hint of a molasses like taste. These will plump up in the brew and then also make it a little thicker. Um, if you happen to like a child, then these are a great option. I now have some banana chips, and you could just break these in half or throw them in a hole to a blend the's air. Really wonderful. Say, for instance, for a summer chai. You could do a green tea chai instead of black tea and add maybe coconut shavings and some of this banana in for a tropical taste. So these a really fun to play around with. I also have some nuts here, and my favorite not to add to any tea is actually almond almond. We'll add a nice, buttery note. Duty, um, slightly rich, but it won't be actually heavy. You could also add walnuts like I have here or pecans also worked well for home. If Oakland the's would be really great, say like a maple child, found still have some hazelnuts here he's Let's er for me, they're more of a core mating type of ingredients, so I actually like to add these along with some chocolate and create a hazelnut chocolate child blend so you can just chop them up and throw them in with the drive ICS. And now I have my extras, which is the fund category here. Some chocolate chips, these air, many chocolate chips. You could also use dark chocolate chips or milk. Chocolate or white chocolate works well, too. This is really great if you're trying to create a desert trying with the a rich base under it. These like the reasons we'll add a thickness to the T. So it'll almost be like a swap out for having regular dessert. No, I have some vanilla being, which is super fragrant and just really wonderful in many, many different flavors of child. So what I do is I take a one inch segment, and I also cut it vertically like this, so that exposed the inside seeds, which are super tiny but very flavorful. If you can't happen to find the vanilla bean, then you can also use vanilla extract and add some of that after brewing the tea. But I like that this is a dry form and that you can throw it in with the rest of the dry chai ingredients. Finally, I have some Sprinkles here, and these are just really fun for adding to, say, birthday chai or ah chai blend that you're mixing up for kids to enjoy. There's just so many different types of Sprinkles you could find. But I also really love these little gold Baldridge A's that you can add to any mix, and it'll just make the child really festive. You could do that for holiday time Christmas time, and that's a really nice touch. So these are just some of the options for ingredients that you can add to a chai to personalize it to your own taste. The point here is to be creative and have fun with the ingredients and just create something that you really enjoy and have fun experimenting. 5. Milk & Sweeteners: These are some ideas on how to add milk to your child. I typically like to enjoy my chai just playing brewed with water. But if I do add milk, I like to add it in a 1 to 1 ratio. And what that means is for every one cup of water, I'll use one cup of milk on that goes for any of these milk types. So I personally prefer whole milk. And that's just because after it's diluted with water, it creates, Ah, nice canvas for the flavors of the spices to really pop out and shine. If I'm pulling for a lighter chai or the chai itself is lighter, say it's a green tea blend set of black tea. I like to use a carton, coconut milk or almond milk, or maybe even soy milk. I really love this car kitten coconut milk just because it's really, um, neutral tasting and lighter and calories. So if you use this, just make sure not to confuse it with the can type of coconut milk, which is much richer and much thicker, so you wanna definitely find the coconut milk in the carton. I also have some instant non fat, dry milk here, and I like to package it up in these little spice jars so that when the person receiving the gift of Chai as opening it up, they can brew it at a moments notice without having to go to the market to buy more milk. So it's just a thoughtful little gift. Eso These are just some ideas on how to add milk to your child. So these are some ideas on a sweetener, so you can add to your child to give it another layer of flavor. You're gonna want to choose the sweetener you use, depending on the flavor profile of that particular T. So I would say that most the time honey is gonna work. Really well, You want a neutral tasting, honey, that isn't too strong. Um, I really love honey, because you can use much less than you would sugar. So if you were to use a teaspoon of regular sugar, you can just use half a teaspoon of honey, and it will go a long way. Ah, gave a or maple syrup also worked really well. Maple syrup is gonna have a strong taste, so you'll want to use it with special plans, maybe fall blends, um, American or North American inspired blends that's gonna go really well with any of those. Vanilla sugar is a real treat. It's a little more expensive, but it basically has vanilla seeds all floating throughout it. It has the most wonderful sense. So again, if you're gifting and you're sending your blend out to somebody to enjoy, this might be nice to include, and I also have here just some raw turbinado sugar again. It's packaged into a little spice container so that it's easy to use and portable and can be enjoyed easily and brewed up with the chai when it's received as a gift. So these are just some ideas on sweeteners you can use. 6. Apple Pie Chai Recipe: Now I'm gonna share with you my recipe for Apple Pie Chai. And this is the spice portion, and I'll show you the tea later. What I'd like for you to first notice are these four spices that we covered in the earlier segment on the spices that are typically included in a chai. And that's the cardamom, the ginger thesis in German and the clove. I have three pods of cardamom, one tablespoon of crystallized ginger. I have to say long cinnamon sticks that happened, broke in into one inch pieces and sort of flaked apart. And then I have three whole cloves to these four main spices. I've added two extra spices, and that's 10 peppercorns, black peppercorns and an eighth of a teaspoon of grated nutmeg. I also have some fruit here, and this is 1/3 of a cup of dehydrated apple pieces. I have 1/2 slice of orange and 1/2 slice of lemon, both dehydrated and cut into small pieces. And then finally, I have a one inch segment of vanilla bean that's been cut lengthwise to expose the seeds. So at this point, we're just gonna take this little mortar set and What I'll do is I'll actually take the hard spices and give him a like fresh. This is just important so that we can expose a lot of their flavor into the tea. Since they are really hard, they just need a little a little help. So just give him a little help like this and give him a light crush. I just want to open the cardamom pods little bit and just sort of crushed the pepper light . You don't have to have a fine powder, but you just want a light crack on each of these places. Okay, so that's done. So at this point, this is, um, sort of lightly exposed. And what we're point to do is actually put this back into the mix, and I'm just gonna take my hands. And this is the fun part. Just mix everything together. So this is our dry T mix now, and this portion of the spices and fruit is going to get Simard first and then I'll show you how to Abati after that. So this is ready to go. This is the T portion of my apple pie chai recipe, and the blend is going to be added to the fruit and spices after those ingredients have a chance to mingle with the liquids first, so it's sort of like a part two. So I like Teoh, make my apple pie chai tea blend Ah, mix of the Assam and sail on in equal proportions. And that's pretty typical for H I. I also like to add some Roy bus, which is, Ah, South African red herb. And it's great because it's caffeine free and a nice option if you happen to not like using regular tea in your child. So I just use equal proportions of the sale own and Assam. I'm gonna do a teaspoon and half of each of these. So that's a teaspoon and 1/2. I do sort of rounded teaspoons just because I like a stronger blend. But, um, totally up to you how much you played and again a tea spoon you have. Then I'm just gonna add one teaspoon of the Roy bus, and I like that Roy was kind of gives an almost crust like essence to the blend and also has a really pretty color. So I'm just gonna mix this up a little bit and That's it. This is the T portion of my apple pie chai recipe. So now we're going to brew up my apple Pie Chai recipe and we're going to start off by adding a cup and 1/2 of water into a little pot. Do that. We're gonna add our dry spice mix, the mixed with cinnamon and the apples and all of those essential chai spices. Now that we have those into the pot, we're going to turn everything onto high heat and we're going to keep a good eye out on this. And once it reaches, the boil will be going to the next step. My spices have just come to a boil. So at this point, I'm going to give them a good stir. And I'm going to go ahead and add my milk edition. Now, if I weren't adding any milk, I would just put the complete amount of water, which, for my recipe is three cups in with the spices at the beginning of the boiling process. But for this I'm gonna use half water, half milk, so I'm gonna add my milk now and preferably this is room temperature milk and right after I add the milk. I'm going to reduce the heat to just a simmer, and at this point I'm going to give it a good stir again and let this sit on the stove with the top on for five minutes. It's been five minutes, so I want to turn off the heat and unlit this. And by now, your house should be smelling really, really great. You can see there's a little bit of curdling here, but that's gonna be okay because we're going to strain everything out at the end. Go ahead and add rt no, and this is going too steep for five minutes. Just mix it in. Make sure the leaves hit the liquid and they make contact. Can I will cover this and let its deep for five minutes. So it's been five minutes and that he has had a chance to brew up. I went ahead and strained away the solids away from the liquid. So this is our apple pie Chai ready to drink, and I've also taken the back of a spoon and sort of pressed against some of the leftover plumped up fruit that we had just to get every last drop of tea out of the, um, mixture. And now it's just time to serve up the team. So but this lid on the kettle and so this is my recipe for apple pie Chai. This is a really warm blend for the fall. And if you love fruit and spices with a hint of sweetness, even before adding any sugar, this is gonna be a great blend for you, so I hope you can try it. 7. Gifting Your Chai: So now that you know how to blend your own chai, it's time to share it with friends and family. These are just some ideas on ways that you can share. Ah, gift of Chuy, and this is one of my favorites. This is really great for people who love to experiment in the kitchen or play around with different flavors. So when you open this Indian spice box, you're just going to get a hit of the most amazing chai spices. And again we have the cardamom, the ginger, the cinnamon and the clove. And I've also included some other spices here just so that the person can experiment and come up with a flavor that's original and one that they love. I've also included a packet of really good quality Assam tea here, and this is just great for creative people. And maybe the person you give to two will end up making a child to give back to you. Homey. Chuy's always looks so inviting and homey that I love to show off their pretty texture in these clear jam jars or Mason jars, and these are really great because they're stackable. So what I like to do is I like Teoh stuck these up and this is the spice, some tea, some vanilla sugar, and I just put them one on top of another. And actually, you can get those long y ing bags at the wine store and just put this tower into the bag. Or you could also tie a ribbon on this and write a cute little note and it's ready to go and just really handsome, uh, as a way to present your child. Here's another way to share your homemade chai, and this makes a great favor or a desktop gift for a coworker. I have a mug here, and I'd like to get these really brilliant, festive, colorful Indian fabrics. Uh, this is the napkin size, and I like to just put that into the mug, and it sets the tone for a enjoying a nice Indian child. And I also have some honey here honey sticks and I also have a sugar stick here in case the person doesn't like honey. I also have a single serving or individualized serving of thes spices for the tea, and finally, I have a repurposed mini jam jar that has the tea in it so you could just tie this up in a cellophane bag with a big ribbon on. It just makes for a nice little personalized gift. This is an idea on how you can package up your homemade chai, and what I have here is a wooden box, and I like that it's pretty durable and relatively light. And wait, This is actually a pie box that I got at a craft store. You can also get these types of boxes at a wine store, where they will be slightly different in dimension, but they'll work equally well for sending out chai. What I have here is a recipe card for my apple pie chai and I like that the person can receive the chai and doesn't have to print anything out so that they can get brewing. I also have a mug here, some honey and then the spices and a good quality Indian black tea and just in apple for a festive touch. Since it fits my child thing, I have some paper filler here, which you'll fill all the way to the top if you're planning on sending this out. And here's the top of the box, which just easily slides on. Now this box has us stenciling on it, and for my recipe, it fits. But for yours it might not, and they have other boxes that don't have any stenciling. And what you'll do is you'll just take this box and put it into a larger cardboard box that also has filler in it and just send that out. So when it comes to packaging up your child, just get creative and have fun with it, and you can't go wrong. 8. Final Thoughts: thanks for following along on this child tutorial today, I hope, given you some good information on how to blend and brew up your own personalized chai recipe, don't forget to use your palate as your guy. So a little bit less of this little bit extra that and you're gonna come up with the one of a kind blend that your friends and family will really enjoy. So I love to see some of the recipes making some of the gifts that you send out or even some of the secret ingredients that you use. So don't forget to upload those to the class gallery and in the meantime, happy blending and brewing. And I hope you get to enjoy a home. A cup of chai sometimes. Thanks for following.