Please ignore how late this is.
I tried out several different recipes for chai. Despite all the possible possible spice combinations, the part that made the most difference for me is milk. I took seriously the recommendation that one of the recipes had to use half-and -half milk. After some research on what is meant by half-and-half I decided to use coffee cream (10% here). 3/4 glass of coffee cream and 1 1/4 glass of water and long heating time work nicely for me. I have discovered that this is the reason I have failed in my previous experiments - a little bit of milk in a cup of tea is just too watery. Using whole milk has been nice too.
I tried several recipes which mainly vary the amount of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. Tried one with orange peals in it. That was... interesting. On one hand the orange taste was good on the other hand it felt a bit weird. Star anise one stood out as well, but I'm thinking of decreasing the amount of anise used.
For premade mixes I used teabags by Premier's . The brand is not bad, I should try it without milk. Just adding milk to it didn't work for me - too watery, adding sugar made it better, but then it was too sweet. Condensed milk was better, but still too sweet. Boiling the teabag in milk gave better results, but the taste came out too mild.
The problem with using green tea was that I couldn't figure out if there is any tea in it or not, it didn't even give colour. The taste was good, but it might have been just warm milk with sugar and cardamom in it. I only tried it once.
The first time I read the recipe with bay leaves and fennel in it, was a bit taken aback. I should not have been worried.
The proportion in which to use the spices? I still don't know. A lot more experimenting would be needed.
Entirely random, but this is my experiences in chai in almost two weeks.
From what I read there is no universal recipe, so I guess there is no universal proportions for the spices as well? It all depends on personal tastes IMO. I like the ones where there is more cardamom XD
I didn't mind having my chai with milk. I'm afraid I'd burn something if I tried to use cream =_=
Haven't tried finding universal yet, can't even figure out what I like myself :( . I had one without cardamom and that was okay too. 3,5% milk was okay, 2,5% not so much, especially if there was much less milk than water. The burning did give me a lot of trouble, but I managed to minimalize it with constant stirring.
The recipe I used
Green cardamom chai
2 1/4 cup water
2 cardamom pods. cut in half
3/4 cup milk
6 tsp sugar
2 tsp green tea
Let the milk and water almost boil. Add cardamom and soak for 3 minutes lidless. Drain and enjoy.
I usually reduce the amount of sugar by half, but that's just me.
I kept doing all those experiments and still felt that I'm not getting anywhere.