I had chai for the first time in India, where it is served English style, in pretty tea cups.

About a year ago, I posted links to recipes for homemade chai. You can find those links here. Although all of the recipes are easy and produce much better results than anything you can buy in a market, supermarket or cafe, they do require that you have several spices on hand. If you don’t regularly cook with these spices, it can be overwhelming to buy them all, especially if you don’t make chai all that often.

Now, Kimberley Cook of Cook’s Spices has put together a blend of spices for making chai. She did this at my suggestion and I was astonished at how quickly she came up with a great blend. A week after I mentioned it, she showed me the blend. I brought it home, made chai and enjoyed it thoroughly.

All you need to provide is the milk, tea, sugar and water.

Traditional chai is made with black tea and a selection of spices, including black pepper, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and more. It is so easy to make at home that it makes no sense to buy pre-make packaged or bottled versions.

Here’s how I used Cook’s Spices chai blend:

I poured two cups Clover Organic Whole Milk into a saucepan, added 2 cups of water and about 3 tablespoons of sugar. I then stirred in a tablespoon each of Assam and Keemun teas and a tablespoon of the chai mixture. I set the saucepan over medium high heat, watched it closely and as soon as it began to simmer, I covered the pan and moved it from the heat. After steeping it for 30 minutes, strained the chai into a container, cleaned the saucepan, poured the tea back in and heated it.

Yum!

I had just a single cup that first time and stored the rest in a pitcher in the frig. Each afternoon, I warmed another cup. The next time I made it–probably later today–I’ll double the amount.

Cook’s Spices will be at two farmers markets this weekend, on Saturday at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and on Sunday in Sebastopol (10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).