- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (about 3 tea bags) chai tea leaves
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Granulated sugar, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the side of a 9-inch springform pan with a strip of parchment paper.
- Combine crust ingredients and press evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
- In a small bowl, combine all spices and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and sugar until just smooth. Then add sour cream, vanilla bean paste, spices, and then mix. Add one egg at a time and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the filling over the crust, spread evenly, and tap the tray gently on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Wrap the bottom half with foil and place on a deep baking tray or roasting pan. Transfer to the preheated oven and carefully pour enough hot water to reach 1 inch up the side of the pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the filling is mostly set and the center is a little jiggly.
- Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open to let it cool inside for 1 hour.
- Chill in the fridge overnight or until it feels more firm.
- Before serving, sprinkle an even layer of sugar on top of the cheesecake.
- Use a torch to caramelize the sugar until crisp. If using a broiler, freeze the cheesecake for at least 2 hours before adding sugar and broiling. Allow the sugar to harden.