This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
There was a time in my life where I found peace and quiet in the early hours of the morning. Book in one hand, warm beverage in the other, cozily tucked under the warmth of a wool blanket. Then three kids happened, and while I love them dearly and wouldn’t change my life for anything, those quiet, dreamy, early morning moments are few and far between. In their place are protests against my breakfast offerings, pleading for candy packed in school lunches (heck no) and arm wrestling over what weather appropriate attire actually means. Needless to say, my mornings just don’t look like they used to.
Yet, in the midst of all of this beautiful chaos, I've found that peace and quiet is more important than ever. I used to be able to rock a cup of black coffee in the afternoon, but let’s face it, I can’t rock anything delicious or caffeinated past noon or I’m up all night. (Age and kids...that combo gets the best of us.) In my desperate attempt to find company in a warm mug I’ve had to switch to tea and I love it! I’m especially a sucker for a good cup of spiced chai, something I thought was reserved for fancy coffee shop outings, but turns out is even better in the comfort of my own home. Some time back I crafted this homemade spiced chai concentrate that can easily be made with decaffeinated black tea. It's my go to drink when I've found a bit of silence, while the older kids are at school and my little one is napping. It's warm spices have become the perfect company while I reset my frazzled brain and carve out some time for reflection. Chai Tea Concentrate
Serves 12 Ingredients:
6 cups water 12 black tea bags 1 cinnamon stick 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon orange zest 10 whole cardamom pods or 60 cardamom seeds 3 whole star anise pods 20 whole cloves 20 whole black peppercorns 1 tablespoon freshly ground nutmeg seed 1 cup brown sugar, adjust to taste 1 vanilla bean, or 2 tablespoons vanilla extract Bring water to a boil. Add tea bags, spices and vanilla bean (if using extract, hold off until the end to add it.) Remove from heat and let steep 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Strain and add the brown sugar and vanilla extract if using. Stir to combine. Mix 1/2 cup concentrate with 1/2 cup any type of milk. Heat on stovetop or microwave. This concentrate will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.