Okay, I found this last night will catching up on my blog-reading and it is seriously AMAZING. I modified, slightly, but it was seriously all Lucy and her fabulous illustrations! Seriously, check her out.
Time Commitment: 30-45 minutes. I know, but it’s worth it.
Servings: Depends. This recipe reduces to 1 cup (8 oz) of syrupy concentrate; for reference, I use roughly a tablespoon of the concentrate per 8 oz of milk.
Black Tea (either 3 bags or three tablespoons and an appropriately large tea ball)
3 cups of [filtered] water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon EACH clove, ginger and cardamom*
1 bay leaf
Honey to taste (Lucy recommends 5 tablespoons; I would start with 2 or 3 and see how you like it)
3 tablespoons vanilla extract / 1 vanilla bean
1 quart saucepan
Storage container (Mason jar, tupperware, etc)
The Creative/Potentially Dangerous Part
In the saucepan, bring water to a boil. Toss in the three tea bags/tea ball and reduce it to simmer.
After the tea has steeped for a few minutes (perhaps 4-5), add the cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf (and if you chose the pretentious vanilla bean option, add it now too) and whisk to combine.
Add honey to taste and stir with spoon until your arm wants to fall off. By this I mean ‘stir almost constantly for 30ish minutes’ or until it has reduced by two-thirds and has thickened.
Remove from heat and fish out (I mean, carefully remove) bay leaf, tea bags (and vanilla bean pod). Add vanilla extract (for the non-pretentious folks) and stir well to combine.
Allow to cool, then pour into suitable container to store in the fridge until later. Can be kept up to 4 days; do not freeze, please. Also, be sure to shake well before use… the spices tend to collect at the bottom.
*I realize that the store-bought jars of cardamom are heinously expensive, you CAN leave it out. HOWEVER it might become radioactive and turn you green! (okay, not really, but it won’t taste the same). Realistically, you can buy it from some grocery stores (QFC, Whole Foods for sure) in the bulk spices section and, as you only need a small amount, it is super cheap. The other alternative is to go to an ethnic market or spice store – like World Spice Merchants in Seattle who are so fabulous they will SHIP TO YOU! YES!