Monday, September 15, 2008

Masala Tea

A few months ago, my wife and I ate dinner at an Indian restaurant called The Jewel of India. Upon sitting down at our table, I ordered a tea...being that I'm obsessed with drinks and all. After waiting a few moments, and listening to some wonderful Bhangra music, a tan milky substance arrived. Seeing as I'm not that picky, and I'm always happy when i see new liquids, I gave it a sip...and that was the night I fell in love with Tea Masala.

Being a guy, and not wanting to appear too eager, I waited a few months before calling on Tea Masala. Today, I finally worked up enough nerve to Google the love of my life, and the result was an Indian recipe site called

Upon reading the recipe, I fell in love again...13 sticks of cinnamon...13 sticks. Not even Horchata has 13 sticks of cinnamon. Tea Masala, you had me at 13 i made a date for tonight.

I immediately got to work compiling all the needed ingredients...cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, loose leaf tea, sugar, water, and milk (Yeah, that was an oxford comma...I give a F***).

Here's the recipe:

6 Cups Cold Water
1/3 Cup Milk
13 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Green Cardamom Pods
4 Whole Cloves
12 Black Peppercorns
12 Teaspoons Sugar
6 Heaping Teaspoons Loose Leaf Tea

The first step is to combine the milk and water, then bring it to a boil.

After the mixture reaches a boil, you add the sugar and spices...and everything nices...sorry, I just couldn't resist. You stir everything around a bit, and take the pot off the heat.

You then cover the pot, and let everything marinate around for about diez minutos...or ten minutes for you folks north of the border.

After the ten minutes has passed, you add the loose leaf tea, and bring the mixture to a second boil.

Once you've got it boiling again, you reduce the heat to a mere simmer for five minutes. Then remove pot from heat.

When it comes time to serve this nectar of the gods, all you need to do is pour it through a mesh strainer....and enjoy.


I seem to be color blind, and used regular cardamom in stead of green cardamom. The taste came out quite smokey...but not all that bad. However, next time around, I'll use the green.

The cinnamon flavor was quite powerful in my initial brewing. Next brewing, I will be using 10 sticks instead of 13.

The clove flavor was standard. Being that I love the taste of cloves, I'll be upping the ante from 4 cloves to 5 on the next brewing.


Anonymous said...

13 cinnamon sticks in that is simply insane: Misprint, oddity, or someone is pulling your leg. For that much liquid you'd use at most 1 full size stick.. They undoubtedly meant "one three-inch cinnamon stick".

It's even odd that cinnamon would be the predominant flavor, rather cardamom/ginger.

Also for masala chai, to each his own and there is certainly variation, but you should use more milk than that. 1:1 (milk:water) is good, and well precedented.

Try it that way: It will be more along the lines of what you're expecting.

Michael Melton said...

The reason you use so many cinnamon sticks is because you aren't grinding is merely passively flavouring your brew.

But as for the water... I definitely agree. The creamier the better when it comes to bringing out the spicing.