Homemade Chai Tea

by katie of:
Makes One Quart (4 cups)
2 c. water
6 whole cloves
2-3 sticks cinnamon
4-5 cardamom pods (cracked)
6 black peppercorns
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger cut in 4 pieces ( no need to peel but washed)
4 teabags (black tea) or 3 T. looseleaf black tea
2 c. milk (whole)
3-4 T. brown sugar or honey (if making sweetened)
Bring all ingredients EXCEPT tea bags and milk to a boil, let stand for 20 minutes to steep.  Then add tea bags.  Let steep 5 minutes, remove tea bags and add milk, sugar or honey, if desired.Heat up until steaming not boiling  Stir well.  Strain into teapot or pot.  If skin forms pull out with large spoon and discard.