It is days like today that initially got me turned on to brewing my own chai at home.
Outside my window the snow is falling lightly, covering the brown hue of dead winter grass with millions of miniature crystals brilliantly radiating white as they collect on the frozen ground. The temperature is far beyond cold. Stepping out in it for even a brief minute is enough to chill my bones for an hour.
It is times like this that a perfectly crafted cup of homemade chai is my companion as I fall into a cozy wintery bliss.
Responding to my unyielding urge to hold a warm mug of that subtly spicy, perfectly sweet, black tea latte between my palms, I decided to try my hand at crafting my own brew just over a year ago.
I started with a basic recipe a friend clipped from the newspaper and tweaked the ingredients each week until I found the perfect blend.
This new craft quickly became an obsession. Every morning I would wake up to that beautiful cup of chai. My morning elixir was now an integral component of each day's routine.
The beauty of working on my own recipe is that I was able to identify the spices that intrigued my palette the most. Bring up the spice, tone down the sugar, tweak the complexity of flavor. Ahhhh, the perfect cup.
There is a certain feeling that arises when enjoying the work of your own hands. I imagine it might be similar to painting a picture and taking a deep sigh every time you see it hanging on the wall. Or knitting a fantastic winter hat, and as you wear it, feeling the love that went into every stitch. Or quilting a baby blanket for your best friend's firstborn child and experiencing true joy every time you see that baby wrapped up in it, all blissed out.
As if all this good juju wasn't enough — the chai delivers just the right amount of caffeine to help me get my feet a-movin' in the morning, the creaminess to feel like I'm having desert for breakfast, and the medicinal value inherent in many of the ingredients to keep up my vitality during the long days of stay-at-home mommyhood.
And on those mornings when I'm lucky enough to share a cup with a good friend over deep conversation, I might as well be in heaven.
Join with me friends, as I journey through twelve days of homemade chai in pursuit of that perfect cup.