There was a lovely article a few weeks ago in the SF Chronicla about a tea shop in Half Moon Bay that makes its own REAL chai masala. That would mean that it is made from tea and spices not from a syrup dispensed from a box on the counter at Starbucks.
Simple Chai Masala
I was inspired to make my own since I have a nice hand burr grinder that I reserve for spices – mostly Indian spices. So I ground up an inch piece of cinammon stick, a teaspoon of decorticated cardamom seed, six cloves, a black peppercorn and a quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds. Brewed a nice cup of tea along with about half a teaspoon of the spice mixture and a teaspoon of honey and let it steep for five minutes and then added a little milk – absolutely lovely! For a really top-notch experience I’d do it the way my old friend Shaheen would do it, boiling loose leaf tea and spices in milk for a few minutes.