Saturday, January 10, 2009

Searching for Turkish Chai Recipe

ACK! I'm trying to do some research on Turkish Chai online and becoming slightly frazzled by it.
My dad lived in Turkey for a year while he was in the Air Force in the late 70's. He says he loved the Turks' chai tea, but he's never been able to find anything like it in the states.

A friend of mine gave me a recipe for homemade chai concentrate last night and I was wondering if my dad would like it if I made it for him. I remember him saying that the chai he had in Turkey was spicy, and I think having black pepper and ginger would make it taste pretty spicy. But researching online to try and find something about Turkish chai, I keep finding people saying different things. I found this thread on LiveJournal...the person asking the original question sounds exactly like my dillema, but all the comments she got in response are conflicting. Lots of people say that "chai" just means "tea" in the languages in Asia and the Middle East...and that Turkish chai is just a really strong tea. I hear "spiced" I hear "not spiced". I hear that "The whole notion of chai being a spice tea from Asia is a marketing ploy in North America." and that "Chai is just tea." then I hear the opposite, that "Chai is a stardard tea from India, meaning a spiced tea with milk, since India is in Asia, the notion is not simply a marketing tool." I guess I'll just make this recipe for Dad and let him decide if it tastes like what he remembers.

"Chai Concentrate Recipe:
Crush together:
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. fresh ginger root
6 pods of cardomon
10 inches of cinammon stick
3 tsp. cloves

Add to 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook on medium for 10 minutes. Add 8 tsp. of tea. I use Darjeeling (OP. Steep for 8 minutes or so. Stain out the spices and tea. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and 3 tsp. of honey.) This can be refrigerated for weeks. Heat up as needed and add an equal amount of steamed milk. Top with cinnamon.

NOTE:For a mocha chai, use chocolate milk instead of white.For herbal chai, replace the Darjeeling with 1 tsp. each of chamomile, fennel seed and peppermint."


mamachat said...

Sounds good, but I think the Turkish Chai is just Tea from Turkey. Teavana has teas from all over ...he like the Golden Monkey tea I bought there and brought home. But I would like to try your new tea recipe.

Anonymous said...

My friend at work who is from that area and has lived here for years said the he purchases tea from this company. It is the closest he can get to home.


Anonymous said...

Java's (Gibbs St) serves two very good Chai teas-- one is called Kashmiri and the other is Tra Que (Vietnamese). I prefer the Kashmiri, because the Tra Que is a little too "spicy" for me-- sounds like it might taste like your recipe because of the black pepper, not sure about the ginger though. You might want to stop in and buy one and if you ask nicely they might tell you what they are using to brew it. (FYI I know it is not a concentrate because I watch them make it and they leave one of those tea balls steeping in it for 5 min)

Anonymous said...

Hello.Turkish Tea is plain black tea grown in Turkey itself so it has a slightly different taste than other black teas.It is brewed in a double teapot called a caydanlik.Water is boiled in the lower pot and when it starts to rapidly boil,the smaller pot is filled with tea and then boiling water is added.The main thing is that only half the amount of water is added per each cup.For example you are making 2 cups of tea,you add 2 teaspoons of tea and ONE cup of water in the smaller pot.The main objective is to brew a strong tea concentrate in the smaller pot and dilute it with water from the bigger pot.It is kinda confusing at first but after the first time it is simple.Just google Turkish Tea recipe and you will find the same basic instructions although there are a few differences.A turkish teapot by the way is a simpler version of device called a Samovar which is used in Turkey as well as in Iran,Russia and many Eastern countries.Turkish tea usually has no additional flavorings but you can add lemon as well as sugar and you can add mint or sage while the tea brews.Hope I helped.