Method for blending
For Cinnamon zeylanicum/Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka or India), cut each stick with kitchen shears in to 3mm wide pieces. The pieces will break up a bit smaller in some cases and this does require elbow grease but works better for this type of cinnamon than the mallet method (the mallet method for this type of cinnamon produces long pieces of cinnamon that affect the ability to blend the chai mix and measure it out properly for each serve).
For Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum loureirri or Cinnamomum burmanii (these are variously from China, Indonesia or Vietnam), put the cinnamon in a zip lock bag with the measured cardamom pods, close tightly, place on a wooden board (or similar) and break up the sticks with a mallet until they are smaller. Give the cardamom pods some hits as well, this helps to extract as much flavour from those as possible.Then move to Step 3.
Put the cardamom pods in a ziplock bag, close tightly placed on a wooden board (or similar) and give each one a whack to try to open - this gives more flavour. Not all will open, that's OK.
Measure out the remaining ingredients and place in either a large glass jar or a ziplock bag to thoroughly blend. Your mix is now ready to enjoy! You can store in the glass jar or the ziplock bag (will probably stay fresher in the glass jar).
To prepare the tea
There are two ways to prepare the chai. One gives more depth of flavour and requires some forward planning and the second works for when you just want that chai tea sooner.
Pre-prepared Chai. Shake the chai mixture and then measure out 1 tablespoon chai blend. Place in a saucepan over high heat with 2 cups of water (water will evaporate so there will be about 1 cup of water left when ready to serve). Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and set aside to leave for few hours or overnight.When ready to serve (eg.the next morning), heat on high until boiling, let boil for a few minutes, add 2-3tbsp milk (coconut for example) and honey, bring to the boil again and remove from the heat. Strain into a mug and serve immediately. If you prefer a creamier chai, then either evaporate more water before adding the milk or add a bit less water in the first part of the preparation.
For Chai-right-now. Place 2 cups of water in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of the chai blend and bring to a boil. Remove the lid but keep the temperature the same for 20 minutes while it brews. Add some milk (e. 1-3 tablespoons) and honey, put the lid on to bring to a boil again, then remove from the heat straight away once it starts boiling. Strain the mixture in to a mug or teacup and serve immediately. If you prefer a creamier chai, then either evaporate more water before adding the milk or add a bit less water in the first part of the preparation.
Iced Chai To make iced chai: Prepare the chai using one of the above methods, then either chill in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) or put in the freezer for ½ hour. Don't use an insulated mug or thermos to do this or it will take forever to cool.