I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but tea, well, that’s a drink I can get behind. Herbal, green, black, white, rooibos – I love it all! And after studying in China this summer, I fell even more in love with all things tea, especially nai chá (or “milk tea,” for those of us not so adept at Mandarin). It’s essentially tea with evaporated or condensed milk, so it’s richer and more satisfying than your average cup, and, take my word for it – it’s so good. As the temperature outside continues to drop, I find myself craving something warm, spicy and comforting, and this variation on the classic Chinese treat is nothing short of perfection. Steeping the sachets in milk and adding flavors of rich vanilla bean, spicy cardamom and sweet honey elevate earl grey tea into something extra special, something meant to be shared with friends on a crisp autumn day. Serve the tea with your favorite biscotti for dipping and you have a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. So, grab your favorite mug and pull on your coziest sweater because, well, you’re in for quite a treat.
2 cups milk (soy or almond milk would work well, too)
2 sachets earl grey tea
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 black cardamom pods
honey, to taste
- Place milk in a stovetop pot.
- Scrape seeds out of vanilla bean and add them, along with the vanilla bean pod and cardamom pods, to the milk.
- Bring milk mixture to a low boil and then turn off the heat.
- Add tea sachets to the pot and let milk steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain out vanilla bean pod and cardamom pods and pour milk tea into 2 glasses.
- Add honey, to taste, and enjoy!