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Happy Monday. From searing hot genmai cha to jasmine and masala chai, tea makes my world run smoothly. A few of my Tweeps have asked for my chai recipe, so below is the super-duper secret recipe.

First, you need tunes. Tea is brewed best with loud music, the vibrations make the spices happier. Or maybe it’s just me. Whatever. I highly recommend Puccini or Bizet, maybe some Marc Broussard or Keb Mo. Friends who visit our home know it as Girl HQ.

Tunes for today’s’ house blend:

Girl HQ Chai:
20 cardamom seeds in pods
15 cloves
2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoons nutmeg
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon roasted chicory
1 teaspoon roasted carob
2 teaspoons dried ginger
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

Black tea:
Darjeeling or English breakfast, loose tea. Use to your caffeine-capacity.

1/2 cup to 1 cup of Demerara sugar

Milk or Half & Half to taste

Directions: Crush cardamom seeds, pepper and cloves. In a small bowl mix all spices together. This mixture can be stored for up to one year in a tea jar. To make the whole batch, boil 8 cups of water in a non-reactive pot, add spices and Black tea to taste. Strain, add to tea pot. Add Demerara sugar, stir until melted. In each serving, one part milk or half & half to three parts chai is perfect! For decaf chai, especially yummy with dessert, brew the spices without Black Tea.

Enjoy!

—Media Lizzy

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