I bought a pound of Assam tea in bulk through my food co-op (it comes in a mylar--plastic--bag, but not sure how else to get bulk tea) and took a good amount of it to work in a tin recycled from a previous tea purchase. I also took in a spoon-sized tea strainer and a small tea bag thingie to hold the dripy wet strainer. For milkiness and flavor, I made the following chai mix:
Place in a 1-quart mason jar:
1 cup powdered instant milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 t cardamom*
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t black pepper
Screw on lid and shake until well blended.
I add 2 (heaping) teaspoons of this mix to a large cup of strong black tea. True, it adds more sugar than I might otherwise drink (and encourages me to drink more tea than I otherwise would). But it is yummy.
I'm thinking of making small batches of this mix for Christmas gifts. Maybe pair them with a tea strainer and some tea.
*When buying cardamom, be sure to purchase organic. I just read this article about endosulfan use on the cardamom fields of India (also in cashew plantations and other crops), which is infusing my holiday baking with much guilt. The small amounts of cardamom we use probably don't pose much risk, but for the people who live and work where the pesticides are sprayed, it's tragic.