Masala Tea (Chai)

Course : Indian
Serves: 8
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6 cups cold water
1/3 cup milk -- or to taste
1 stick cinnamon -- (3 inch)
6 whole green cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
12 pieces black peppercorn -- optional
12 teaspoons sugar -- or to taste
6 teaspoons leaf tea -- (heaping) -or-
9 teaspoons bags -- (orange pekoe)

Preparation / Directions:

Combine water and milk in a deep pan, and bring to a boil. Add the spices and sugar. Stir to blend, and turn off the heat. Cover the pan and let the spices soak for at least 10 minutes. Add the tea leaves or tea bags and bring the water to a second boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, check the color and taste, and if desired add more milk and sugar. Strain the tea into a warm teapot and serve immediately. Note: This is the way traditional spiced tea is made. You may, however, omit the milk or sugar, or both, in which case reduce the quantity of tea to 2 heaping teaspoons or 3 tea bags.

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