1-1/2 cups water

1 inch stick of cinnamon

6-8 cardamom pods

6-8 whole cloves

2/3 cup milk grated or ground ginger (to taste)

6 tsp. sugar (or to taste), honey may be substituted

3 teaspoons loose black tea (Darjeeling works well)

Put water in a saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and bring to a boil.

Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or longer. Add the milk, ginger and sugar and bring to a simmer again.

Throw in the tea. Cover, and turn off the heat.

After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately.

If you want, you can chill the mixture in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold, too.

Once you have the basics down, try adding some of the spices below to really chai one one:

Allspice Black pepper

Coriander seed

Mace

Nutmeg

Star anise

Fennel

Bay leaf