Art of Kachoo
Chai Tea Latte for 2
I often ask myself, is it really that hard to make Chai tea? From scratch? Is it? I bet you’ve never asked yourself that.
And I’ll tell you, it’s easy.
As long as you have a ridiculously well-stocked spice rack, some milk, and a mortar and pestle, we can do it. Together. Maybe.
The real question is, do you like crushing things? Do you like turning those crushed things into the dust of your enemies? Because we need that energy. Right now.
- 3 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 black cardamom
- A piece of cinnamon bark
- 6 peppercorns
- A dash of ginger powder or
freshly crushed ginger
- A dash of nutmeg
- A dash of honey or
- Enough milk for two mugs
- Art of Kachoo Mug(s)
Makes two mugs
First, get that mortar and pestle out.
Sacrifice 3 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 large black cardamom, a dash of ginger powder (I honestly recommend fresh ginger for this, but if you want to make some to keep for a while, then use the powder), a dash of nutmeg, break off a bit of cinnamon bark about the length of the end of your finger starting at the last knuckle. What? I don’t know a measurement for this. How much do you like cinnamon? Feel that out and when you have attained the aura of cinnamon you mercilessly reap a bit of that cinnamon bark soul and add it to the brew. Add some peppercorns if you have it, if you don’t, whatever. Don’t put pepper powder in there as a substitute, lest you live to see yourself become the villain.
Crush all dry ingredients except honey/sweetner in mortar & pestle. Don't use pepper powder in lieu of peppercorn.
Here’s how you use a mortar and pestle. First, you get a firm grip on the pestle, real firm, and then you bash downwards like the relentless passing of time, small and infinite. Again and again and again. Once you’ve turned a bunch of it into smaller, shattered pieces, much like your sense of self in the limitless nightmare of existence, then you start to do a circular motion. Grind those pieces against the wall of the mortar. Repeat this until all is crushed to dust, as we all will be.
Just let that sleep on the side for now.
Make sure all dry ingredients are now a powder in the mortar and pestle.
If you are good at crushing then, start the next part so the milk is warmed up by the time you’re done, if that gives you rampant anxiety at the thought of racing the clock and the milk frothing over into the monstrosity that is a foaming ocean of milk death and burning, maybe you should crush this first before heating up the milk.
Heat milk until soft boiling, then turn off the heat entirely.
Take that obliterated powder in the mortar and pestle and mercilessly drown it in the hot milk. Stir it so it can’t come back up for air. Keep stirring. Take a break, add a dash of honey to give it hope. One day, maybe, things will be okay. Now stir them down again.
Give that about 5 minutes or longer to steep, however long you feel like, the longer the darker and more flavourful, but don’t wait too long. You don’t want cold milk. Or do you? I don’t know, iced chai is good too. Whatever you want to do with it. It’s yours now.
Add honey or another sweetener if desired. After stirring, let it sit for 5 minutes or more. Add ice for a chilled chai latte
You need to strain this final mix or you will be drinking the dregs of your misdeeds.
Strain out the contents, and pour into mugs