The old fashioned Indian way:
Get Red Label Tea (available from Indian shops incredibly cheap) or any other black tea to your liking. There is one brand in a yellow and green bag that begins with a D that is the cheapest of all, and my favorite by taste. (Really, old India.) Also, I understand that Rooibos (a healthier red noncaffeinated) tea is good.
Mix Homemade Chai Masala. This can include:
Ground Cardamom Seeds
Green Cardamom Pods
Ginger, fresh if possible
Be creative here. The right balance depends on your dosha, the season, your vikruti, many other things, so just try a balance. You can always adjust it later. Fresher spices are better. You don’t need much.
2 (American sized) servings:
Boil 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon tea, and 1/2 teaspoon chai mix for 4 minutes.
Add 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons sugar (preferably sucanat; I even once used raisin juice successfully). Bring to a boil (watch carefully so that it doesn’t spill over), reduce heat and allow to simmer until ready to serve. But really, the boiling points are essential here to give a full body.
A bonus is that with boiling, the tea leaves get saturated and heavy and hence, sink to the bottom of the pot.
Avoid tea bags. To my senses, they just color the water with a dusty pretaste of the potential power of the spices.
Don’t get me started on the mixes used in coffee shops. Yech.
Everybody likes authentic chai and it’s pretty easy.
Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.