Happy Friday, my dears!
This is sort of an odd recipe to be throwing at you during the Summer buuuuut I just discovered chai tea earlier this year (I know, where have I been? What is wrong with me?) and I've been dying to try and make my own.
I love that this has a little caffeine boost but not as intense as the cold brew I usually reach for. Google told me black tea has about half the caffeine per fluid ounce as a Starbucks cold brew so.. explains why I don't get the shakes with this one!
Reasons to make this from scratch...
- If you've never had chai tea before, it's basically like a baby polar bear climbed into your heart and is giving you the warmest hug from the inside out.
- Your house will smell I N C R E D I B L E. And sort of like Christmas. Which I'm down for any time of the year. I'm thinking of busting out the Christmas records... too soon? NEVER.
- Making your own guarantees it will be your perfect balance of spice, sweet and cream, which is hard to find from Starbucks, grocery store cartons and other places that usually load on the sugar. This recipe has all the warmth spice but no harsh bite to it, it's so toasty!
For the cardamom, make sure you get whole green pods and not cardamom seeds. I found mine in the Indian section of the International aisles where the bags of spices are.
For the black tea, head to the bulk bins at your grocery to save on loose leaf tea. I was able to find a great selection of black teas at Wegmans, and bought loose leaf Organic English Black Tea for $1.50 for less than an ounce. I have some left over to use for other teas and definitely saved using the bulk bins instead of buying a packaged jar of loose leaf tea for $7-8 buckaroos.
When it comes to the milk, we always have whole milk on hand here so that's what I used, but any dairy or non-dairy option will work. I made a batch with coconut milk as well but it was too sweet for me. I enjoyed the whole milk much more.
There are a ton of ways to froth milk, as the Pioneer Woman can show you, and I went with the electric mixer method. It took me about 3 minutes of mixing to get some really frothy bubbles.
Home Brewed Chai Tea Latte
Makes 4 cups of tea
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
6 green cardamom pods, cracked
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
4 cups water
2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea, or 6 bags of tea
1.5 tablespoons sweetener, like brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
2 cups whole milk, to mix and to top
Ground cinnamon, to top
- Put a medium pot on the stove with 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. While waiting for the water to heat, toast the spices in a pan over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan often.
- Once spices are toasted and water is simmering, add the ginger slices and spices to the water. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat, add the tea, cover and steep for 10 minutes. When finished, add sweetener if you'd like. I love the taste of chai so I went light on the sweetener with only 1 and a half tablespoons of brown sugar. If you like sweeter, you can add up to 1/2 cup of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. Taste to see what you think before you add more. Make sure to sweeten the tea while it's still warm.
- Strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
- For the latte action, froth the milk over medium-high heat. I used an electric mixer fitted with a whisk to froth mine (which was a bit messy in a small saucepan!) or you can whisk by hand. Or check out the million other ways to froth milk above.
- Once the bubbles are to your liking, mix in with your tea. Use a spoon to scoop more froth to top and shake on a little ground cinnamon if you'd like.
Take a sip and enjoy that warm, toasty hug from the inside out!!
- Store any extra tea in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Looking for more of a cool down? Let the tea chill and serve over ice for a delicious iced chai tea latte!