Black peppercorns provide the baseline for the kick in my chai. This is one spice I don't crack before adding to the mix. I prefer the flavor to seep out.
Cayenne pepper, on the other hand, is reserved for those of us who like a strong punch with our kick.
Just a small amount for the whole batch usually does the trick. Adding it at the very end of the brewing process ensures that I avoid unwelcome sneezing and irritating coughing all morning long.
Thanks to my friend, the Beekeeper, for demystifying this phenomenon for me. For the longest time I couldn't understand why I sneezed like a madwoman every time I got my brew on. If it wasn't for her I'd still be thinking I was under some obscure chai makers curse.
The Wood Brothers - Spirit