Chai is a tea beverage that has been growing in popularity over the last several years. Though "chai" simply means "tea" in most South Asian countries, we use the term to describe what is actually "masala chai" or "tea with spices".
What we call chai is typically a strong brewed black tea, combined with spices, sweetener and milk. Intended to be served as a hot drink, iced chai drinks are quickly becoming popular. I personally love Bolthouse Farms' Vanilla Chai Tea (though I cringe at the pleonasm of "chai tea"), but it's fairly pricey. Most coffeeshops offer various forms of chai, but again, the price is expensive. Luckily, it's really easy to make your own vanilla chai mix - this recipe yield over 6 cups of mix, and only a few Tbsp are needed to enjoy your very own cup of vanilla chai.
Vanilla Chai Mix
adapted from eHow
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French Vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process into a fine powder. Store mixture in an airtight container at room temperature. I usually store my mix in mason jars or an old coffee canister.
To make vanilla chai, place 3-4 Tbsp of the mix in a fine mesh strainer or tea ball. Pour 8oz hot water or hot milk through the strainer and into a mug. The powder is actually fine enough to dissolve almost completely in the hot liquid without the strainer, but you may have a fine sediment at the bottom of your cup,
For iced vanilla chai, simply pour the hot mixture over ice. I'd recommend brewing the vanilla chai a little stronger, maybe with 4-5 Tbsp, since the ice will dilute the tea a good bit.
I make mine with water, but using milk instead gives the tea a creamier flavor.
This mix also makes a cheap and EASY gift - just print the brewing instructions on a nice card, and throw in a tea strainer (they're cheap).