Snuggle up with homemade chai tea latte

7 Nov

By Sara Mallicoat

Fall is my favorite time of year because we get to slow down again! Summer with two boys under the age of three is exhausting – now that it gets darker earlier, they go to bed on time and I get some much-needed “me” time. Lately, I’ve been using the fireplace and snuggling with my husband for a mini date night in the comfort of our home. After working all day, caring for the kids and putting a healthy and delicious meal on the table, I like to over-achieve and treat us both with chai lattes.

homemade-chai-tea

A customized cup of heaven
In many parts of the world, chai is the word for tea. In India it’s a spiced milk tea. It is becoming increasingly popular around the world and is generally made with black tea, milk, spices and a sweetener. To me it provides a warming, soothing and wonderful sense of well-being sensation – a cup of heaven!

Chai drinks are easy to find in many local coffee shops, but I’m not about to splurge for a cup of something that now tastes sub-par to my own version. I also feel the coffee shops have overly sweet chai. Chai should be a little sweet to help complement the robustness of the spices, but I do not want to drink a cup of sugar.  So, I resorted to making a concentrate to enjoy tea at home. This way, I control what goes in my cup. I know what flavors I like, so I go heavy on cardamom – the beauty of making my own.

Most of the ingredients are readily available at your local co-op or natural grocery store in bulk, where you are able to buy just a pinch of this and pinch of that. The beauty of chai is if you don’t have an ingredient you can omit it and it might taste different, but it will still taste delicious.

Making the chai tea concentrate is easy – you throw it in the pot, bring to boil stirring occasionally, and then give it time to steep. Simply remove it from the heat, cover it with a lid and walk away! This leaves me time to bathe my children or tuck them in bed, then come back, strain the pot and enjoy cups of chai with my husband!

Cost breakdown
This concentrate is enough for approximately 16 chai lattes, assuming you use 4 ounces of concentrate and 4 ounces of milk per latte. Buying the ingredients in bulk and organic, the concentrate costs under $12 (even less if you omit the vanilla bean). When you factor in 4 ounces of organic cow’s milk per latte, your total cost per drink is approximately $1. Plus, it makes your house smell amazing!

Sara’s Heavenly Chai Latte Concentrate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 8 cups chai concentrate

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. With a knife, halve the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into saucepan. Add the vanilla pods, milk, agave nectar and spices to pan. Let the mixture get hot, almost boiling, then add the tea leaves.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and let boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and let mixture steep for approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Strain spices and tea leaves from steeped mixture by pouring through a sieve. Let the concentrate cool. Store the concentrate in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  5. To serve a chai latte, combine chai concentrate and milk in a 1:1 ratio. For an extra indulgence, add a dollop of homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

How do you make your chai? I am always open to new ideas!

Sara-MallicoatAbout the author: Sara works in Research & Development at Frontier, which means she works with many internal departments to find innovative ways of meeting customer demands.  Outside of work, she enjoys turning leftovers into something new, stretching food boundaries with her family, camping and, of course, spending time with her sweet little boys!

7 Responses to “Snuggle up with homemade chai tea latte”

  1. Pam Sparks November 8, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    have you tried making it without black pepper or can you recommend something to use in place of black pepper? Thank you! We don’t eat black pepper.

    • Cayenne Room November 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Hi Pam, the beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it to fit your tastes — if you don’t want to include black pepper, you can simply omit it. Enjoy!

  2. Rick Stewart November 9, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    I found it interesting you used milk to make the concentrate itself. When I was in India (long before you were born) I am positive the ‘concentrate’ they used did not contain milk, only water. Unfortunately I have never been satisfied with any of my attempts to replicate the best of the recipes (chai in India varied greatly, so once we identified good chai shops we patronized them exclusively).

    Presumably the fat in the milk extracts something from the spices that water alone can not, so your recipe has inspired me to go back and try again.

    • Sara Mallicoat November 14, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Hopefully, it will satisfy your desire for the Indian version! I have tried this with water, but prefer the milk version. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  3. Sara Mallicoat November 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Pam,
    I would suggest whole all spice instead of the black pepper. It has a similar heat level to the black pepper and will pair well with the rest of the spices. Or as suggested you can omit it.

    Or a more exotic option might be Grains of Paradise. Just experiment until you figure out what you enjoy!

    Thanks,
    Sara Mallicoat

  4. Patricia Kretzschmar November 14, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    For 40 years, since college, my recipe: in a large soup pot full of water add fresh ginger and simmer for an hour; add cinnamon stick, crushed cardamon pods, coriander seeds, pepper corns, whole cloves and simmer for another 30 minutes minimum; black tea bags steeped 10 minutes; remove tea bags; add organic cows milk and honey; (recently I’ve begun splitting the honey with stevia). This is strong medicine that tastes good too. Dilute if you want. Serve.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vanilla Chai Latte | Dinner of Herbs - April 21, 2014

    […] interest in making homemade chai tea.  So, my parents caved, and we got the ingredients.  I cut this recipe in half, and we got a’brewin’.  We used vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans and […]

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