Tea is one of the staples for our home, as it is for many arab cultured homes and countries. The preparation of tea seems simple, it can be. There are different shades of tea by country, different types of tea as well. Many flavors and aromas. Simple and also not so simple. Our favorite is a cardamom flavored tea. I can honestly say, we never go a night without drinking it after dinner….it is a must have. Iraqis love tea with a lotttt of sugar LOL, I can’t get over that, and depending on where in Iraq, the tea is dark…We like ours just a bit lighter then that.
The best advice I can give you about making your chai (tea) is to boil the water with cardamom pods for a bit….2 of those 16 oz bottles of water for 1/4 c of loose tea leaves. The water should be at a rolling boil, dump the leaves in, count to 10 and take it off the heat. Swoosh it around a little bit and put it in a thermos or leave it in the pot, up to you. I prefer a thermos…serve it really hot.
Also, most Iraqis like their stikanah-not sure i spelled that right but it is a small glass special for drinking tea….and they even refer to is as Stikana Chai….LOL I love it.