This is my winter tea indulgence and a regular regiment ceremony of chai brewing in my kitchen. Out comes the saucepan, several empty glass bottles, honey, and (of course!) copious amounts of South Cloud Chai.
Actually, when I was creating this recipe, I had a small but significant dilemma. Do I use a slightly less expensive, but still gorgeous hand-crafted black tea from the Hubei Province and call it "North Lake Chai" (Hubei can be literally translated to "north of the lake") or do I go for the finer, more complex black tea from the Yunnan Province and call it "South Cloud Chai" (you guessed it, Yunnan means "south of the cloud")? In the end, it wasn't a difficult decision, I'm just not into second best.
But back to my ceremonious brewing... I often take a good afternoon to brew, re-brew, over-brew, and then brew again the chai, just to squeeze out every last ounce of flavour possible to bottle up and store in the fridge - my own homemade chai syrup ready to be enjoyed. The house smells a treat for the rest of the evening and my guests drink nothing but my South Cloud brew for the next month (and thereafter turn their noses up at the stock standard chai served at the local cafe, much to my delight).
A little tip? Add a pinch of freshly grated ginger to your chai while brewing.