Chai is an ancient Indian drink consisting of brewed black tea sweetened with sugar and mellowed with milk. When using a strong tea like Darjeeling, Assam, and Ceylon, use about 2 teaspoons for every 3 cups of liquid (water and milk). For weaker black teas, such as Orange Pekoe, use up to 3 teaspoons.
Bring the water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add the tea, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and bay leaves and simmer for 4 minutes.
Add the milk and simmer until the milk begins to froth (about one additional minute). Stir in the honey.
Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for three minutes. Strain. (If the tea leaves are left in for too long, it becomes bitter.)
Serve warm, or for chilled chai, place in the refrigerator until chilled.