NMRC's Hacker Chai
by: weasel



  Chai is effectively the result of British occupation of India. The Brits often say that the Indians invented curry and the British perfected it. The opposite is true for tea... well, the Brits didn't invent tea, but you get where I'm coming from.

  Chai is a mix of spices, tea, and in most cases, milk that results in a blend of stimulants that will give you the energy to make it through some of the tougher parts of the day (i.e. that period between when you wake up and when you go to sleep).

  The recipes contained here will have a prep time between 20 and 30 minutes. If you don't have time to make chai from scratch, consider Simple Nomad's Guide to Commercial Chai Purchasing.

  There are literally thousands of chai recipes, just be fucking glad you found this one, because all of the others suck to high hell. If you disagree with me, go fuck yourself. I'm right, get used to it.


  This recipe offers a few options that allow you to customize the chai to suite your needs. We start with a base ingredient list and then some customization options to help you make the right chai for the job. For a description of the ingredients, click


Base Ingredients
1-1/2 Cups   Water     Use tap water, don't be a pussy.
2/3 Cup   Milk     Replace with water if omitting milk.
4 Tbsp.   Sugar     Use pure cane sugar.
6 Pods   Cardamom     Crack the pods for better flavor.
6 Pcs.   Cloves      
1/2 Stick   Cinnamon     Sticks, not ground.
3 tsp.   Ground Darjeeling Tea     Remove from teabags.
3 Tbsp.   Whole Darjeeling Tea     Measure semi-packed, not loose.


Custom Ingredients
   Use only ONE of the following customizations as addatives to the base ingredients:


Standard Brew
2 Pcs.   Cloves     Helps to spice things up.
2 Pods   Cardamom     Balances out the cloves. Make sure to crack the shell.


Morning After
4 Pods   Cardamom     Just what the doctor ordered to put the brakes on that spinning room.


Energy Boost
2 Tbsp.   Sugar     For when caffine and a reasonable amount of sugar just isn't enough.


Hot n' Spicy
1/2 Stick   Cinnamon     The extra cinnamon helps to keep the ginger root from taking over the brew.
1 Slice   Ginger Root     Dice up a slice of root that is between the size of a nickel and a quarter.


  Now that you have your ingredients, follow these steps to prepare:

Add all of the water, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger root(for Hot n' Spicy) to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. This duration will yeild a nice balance between spice and tea flavors. For a spicier flavor, simmer for 15 minutes. DO NOT BOIL THE SPICES!
Add the sugar and milk to the mixture and bring to a simmer. Make sure to stir the brew just enough to disolve the sugar, but not so much as to agitate. If you ommit the sugar, which would be beyond me as to why, still try to use at least a tsp. of sugar. Sugar helps to draw the tea from the grounds/leaves.
Turn off heat, but leave on burner.
Add tea and cover. Let stand for 2 minutes if using ground tea, 4 minutes of using whole leaves. For stronger tea, add a minute or two to this stage.
Slowly strain brew into two mugs and drink HOT.
Commit any crime you wish, and blame it on the chai. Just leave me the fuck out of it.


  Tea: Use Darjeeling black tea. Darjeeling is the Champagne of Indian tea regions. Accept no substitutes. If you can't find whole Darjeeling tea, you can use grounds, just make sure you remove it from the teabag. Avoid perfumed tea, some asshole tea companies will do that kind of shit, if for no better reason than to piss me off.

  Water: Try to use tap water if possible. Tap water is usually more campatible with spices than bottled water. Some bottled waters actually strip flavors when cooking. But if your water tastes like ass, then by all means, get some fucking overpriced bottled water. Unless of course you like the flavor of ass, then by all means brother, go forth...

  Milk: What ever level of milk you can handle, whole, 2%, fat-free, etc... Just remember, if you use one of those fucking coffee creamers, we'll fucking hunt you down and kill you. That shit was invent to cover up the pungent flavor of coffee. This is chai man, show some respect.

  Sugar: Use pure cane sugar only, anything else detracts instead of improving the flavor.

  Cardamom (Elaichi): Known as elaichi or elichi to the Indians, this mild spice has been used for ages by the Indian natives as a nausia remedy and an aid to digestion. This is the soul of chai. To properly prepare the pods, crack them just enough to allow water to get inside during the brewing process. Don't free the seed entirely, otherwise the cardamom flavor will be too strong.

  Cloves (Lavang): A sweet spice that gives chai a good body. It's a foundation spice that helps to anchor the other spices.

  Cinnamon (Dalchini): Use only cinnamon sticks, don't use ground cinnamon, save that for throwing into the eyes of the ninjas that invade your home.

  Ginger Root (Lahsun): Ginger root is very potent, and will add a spicy kick to the chai. Only use it in the "Hot n' Spicy" varient as it can overwhelm the spices that make up the mixtures. Stick to the recommened ammount, too much will ruin the chai. Be sure to dice up the ginger root before throwing it in.


  The tools you will need are:

•A Sauce Pan (1 or 2qt) w/ lid
•Measuring Cup (2-Cup+)
•Measuring Spoons (Tbsp. & tsp.)
•Tea Strainer
•Something to stir with (i.e. a baby's hand)