When I was at the Cooking for Solutions gala at the
At some point, about 45 minutes into the evening, we passed a table with Zhena's Gypsy Tea, and I let go of my son's hand when I spotted sachets of coconut chai right there on the table. Now I'm not a bad mother, but you know how I feel about coconut. And anyway, Colin was nearby and Alex just transferred one parental hand-grab for another as I stopped to get myself a little cup of tea. Of course, once I had it, I lost my family, and soon realized that carrying a boiling hot cup of tea is pretty much the stupidest thing anyone could do in a room packed with nattily-clad folks sipping all-you-can-drink-wine. I was pressed and jostled, risking 3rd degree burns as I went to find the boys, which I eventually did.
(I'm waiting for someone to make fun of me for drinking tea at an event with all-you-can-drink wine.)
So as I sipped my tea and nibbled my seafood, I realized, you know, I love this tea, but as good as it is, I'm not going to drive all around town to find it once I get back to San Jose. I'll just make my own version.
And so I did.
Recipe for Coconut Chai Tea
It's important to point out that my method below is NOT authentic. I am not Indian, nor are my ancestors Indian, but I do know that making chai is a time-honored process that involves boiling milk along with water and steeping spices and loose tea leaves for a Long Time. This is my quick and dirty version. My apologies to true chai aficionados.
Makes 1 cup
1/3 cup 2% milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tea bag (I use Trader Joe's decaffeinated black, but use what you like)
Large pinch UNsweetened toasted coconut shreds
3 to 4 whole cardamom pods, smashed gently with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or some such
Sugar, to taste
Place the milk in your favorite large mug and microwave for 30 seconds until hot.
Place some cold water in a kettle (as much as you'd normally use for tea) and bring to a boil. Place the tea bag, coconut, cloves, and cardamom pods in a glass (Pyrex) measuring cup. Just as the water comes to a boil, pour about 1-1/4 cups of it over the tea and spices. Let steep for about 4 minutes, depending on the type of tea you use and your preferred strength. Place a small strainer over your mug and strain the tea into the mug. Add sugar to taste, and stir.