I'm not a big fan of tea---it comes across as sort of bland and non-committal, but I like a Chai Tea Latte once in a while. I have gotten a few emails asking if I could make them in the crockpot, so yesterday I did. I ended up combining a few recipes because many of the ones on the Internet ask for "chai spices" or some sort of "chai concentrate" that I didn't want to buy (and it sort of seemed like cheating). I did have to buy cardamom pods, and was surprised at how expensive they were (they're less expensive than the ground, but oh my, this must be a luxury-spice or something.) I'm going to head over to Lydia's later to figure out what to do with my leftover cardamom.
--4 cups milk
--4 black tea bags
--1/4 tsp ground cloves
--1/2 tsp ginger
--4 sticks cinnamon (or 2 tsp ground)
--4 cardamom pods
--1 tsp vanilla extract
--1 T sugar (I like the Baker's because it dissolves nicely)
This will serve 2-4 adults, dependent on how much they like tea.
Put everything into your crockpot. I used a 4 quart. Anything over a 2 quart will work just fine. Float the cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods, and tea bags on top.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until heated through. I cooked ours on low for 2 hours and another hour on high.
Press the tea bags against the side of the crockpot with a spoon to release the last bit of tea-goodness and ladle into mugs.
Out of the different hot beverages I've made this year, this was our least favorite, but it's because we just aren't fans of tea. Adam and I joked that a shot of espresso would really liven it up. But! If you like tea, and are spending $4 for a grande Chai Tea Latte a few times a week, you should give this a try. I put it on before we left for the town's tree lighting ceremony, and the house smelled marvelous when we returned.
next on my list to try is a gingerbread latte. mmm.
AH! added 2.5 minutes after posting: Lydia does indeed rock. Here's a beautifully written explanation of cardamom pods. I have a new-found respect for them.
other coffee-bar type drinks you might enjoy:
pumpkin spice lattes
peppermint mochas/peppermint hot chocolate