Spiced Chai

4 tsp black tea
1/4″ slice fresh ginger, peeled
4 cinnamon sticks, broken up
8 green cardamom seeds, cracked/open
12 whole cloves
2 cups each whole milk and water
(optional: 3-4 saffron threads, 1 tsp vanilla)

Boil all ingredients together until liquid is a dark caramel color and milk forms a skin. Strain into cups and sweeten to taste.

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Cimmanon Iced Tea

I’m a Southern girl, when I want to admit it. I was born in Illinois but raised in Florida, and I spent more time with my mom’s Southern family than my dad’s Minnesotan one. I love them both, but I’m a product of my environment, which was predominantly Southern. (That said… I HATE country music with the exception of a small handful of songs and artists, and I only develop the Southern Accent when I’m angry.)

Anywho. Here, iced tea is not iced tea unless it is sweet. While I like plain sweet tea, sometimes I want to play with the flavors. This recipe makes one quart; scale up or down as needed.

Note: It can be tough to distinguish true cinnamon from cassia, which is often sold as cinnamon. Here’s a helpful link for telling the two apart. 

3 Ceylon cinnamon sticks (looks like this), broken into pieces
1 cup water
4 tsp loose black tea or 4 one-cup black tea bags
sugar to taste
 

Cook the cinnamon in the water on low heat until boiling.
Remove from heat and add tea and sugar. Steep according to package directions – about 3 minutes.
Strain into a 1-qt container. Add 3 cups cold water and refrigerate until cold.