Hello! Sorry I've been so bad about updating the blog lately...I've been trying to get things going with my thesis research and get in some more hours at work (if these visits to Michaels continue at this rate I'm going to need to start making more monies...!). Here is a project I've done before as little presents for friends. Homemade chai is one of my favorite things ever and its actually really easy to make from scratch if you have all of the spices on hand. This home-made gift also includes a pretty container that can be used for other things once the tea is gone...handy, huh?
You will need an empty tea canister or other container (you can get tin and cardboard containers in different shapes and sizes at Michaels and Joanns)--just make sure its big enough to fit all the ingredients. You will also need craft supplies to decorate the container, such as pretty paper, washi tape, ribbons, lace, double-sided tape, glue, etc. The rest of the supplies are optional--I used paper shopping bags and heart paper fasteners to make little bags for the ingredients, but you could also buy little bags or use plastic sandwich bags.
For the chai you will need these ingredients:
-4 whole cloves
-2 cardamom pods (crush them a little)
-1 cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces
-1 small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped up (about the size of a small grape)
-1/8 tsp ground black peppercorns
-2 tablespoons black tea (preferably Assam, but I usually use whatever we have on hand and it always tastes fine)
First, decorate your container. For one I used washi tape to cover the whole canister and then used double sided tape to attach lace trim to the top. For the other container I cut up different patterned origami papers and glued them to the top, then tied on a matching ribbon.
Next put the ingredients into your baggies. You should put the tea leaves in a separate bag since they need to be put in separately from the spices. In one of my containers I was able to fit two bags of ingredients so two rounds of tea can be made (I just put all of the tea leaves needed for both into one baggie).
Make sure you write these directions out and put them in the container (you could glue them to the bottom of your container or roll them up and fasten them with some washi tape or a ribbon):
1) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
2) Add spices and boil for 5-10 minutes
3) Add 2 tablespoons of sugar
4) Remove from heat
5) Add 2 tablespoons black tea leaves and let steep for 3-10 minutes (until desired strength)
6) Strain out spices/tea leaves
7) Add 2 cups hot milk and enjoy!
That's it! Oh, and you should probably make a little chai for yourself to drink while you admire your work... (PS a quick diy for those little paper baggies will be up soon!)