chai tea latte

Chai Tea Latte from Scratch

While the connoisseurs of chai tea latte may argue about what constitutes a perfect blend, and how to properly title this popular beverage, I don’t plunge into semantics of the redundant use of the word ‘tea’ in the name (you guessed it, ‘chai’ means ‘tea’ in Hindi, and actually my native Russian as well). Neither do I demand authenticity or adherence to imaginary rules.

I love a certain spice profile, and pick my ingredient ratios based on my personal preference. For example, I am overwhelmingly obsessed with cardamom and can spend a road trip chewing on cardamom pods as if it’s gum. But I don’t think star anise goes really well with cardamom so I chose to skip it all together. A heavy load of flavor with modest amount of spicy kick and just a touch of sweetness is what rocks my chai tea latte world. So if you are on the opposite side of the chai universe (very sweet + belly burning heat) adjust your spices and sugar accordingly, so you can be in charge of your own culinary experience.

WHAT IS CHAI TEA LATTE

Chai tea is a popular hot drink that originated in India. It is made by simmering spices and black tea to extract flavor, then adding sugar and hot milk. Spices include cardamon, cinnamon, peppercorns, ginger, cloves, fennel, anise and some others, depending on preference. Chai tea latte is different only because the milk is foamy, which gives it a fun consistency and (in my personal opinion) a better flavor.

CHAI TEA IS VERY HEALTHY

All the spices traditionally used in chai have shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in multiple studies. These spices have strong antioxidant and anticancer effect (source). When combined with plant milk, or fresh (never ultra-pasteurized!) dairy milk and a minimum amount of sugar, it is a very enjoyable way to reap the health benefits of the ingredients.

chai tea latte

HOW TO MAKE CHAI TEA LATTE

Ingredients
5-7 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
5 whole black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
1 whole star anise (optional)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
2 cups water
1 bag black tea
2 teaspoons sugar (I use sucanat or jaggery) – 2 tablespoons would make it taste like coffee shop chai tea
1 cup milk (dairy, coconut or almond)

Instructions
Combine spices, ginger and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil, turn to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add sugar and black tea bag; turn off heat, and steep for 3-5 minutes.
Remove spices, ginger and tea bag with a slotted spoon, or strain into a serving vessel.
Heat milk on medium until it just simmer, remove from heat. Whisk until frothy (or you can use a milk frother, which is awesome!)
Add foamy milk to the tea, stir to combine.
Serve right away.
Makes 2 modest servings or 1 very generous mug.

Notes:
The amount of sweetener is very subjective, I suggest to add it to your cup right before serving. The amount I use in this recipe makes chai tea latte just a little sweet.
If whisking hot milk seems too complicated, just add hot milk to the tea mixture and enjoy it that way.

Chai Tea Latte from scratch
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chai tea latte is a fragrant hot drink made with nourishing spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and peppercorns to warm up body and soul on a chilly day.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 5-7 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 whole star anise (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bag black tea
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (I use sucanat or jaggery) - 2 tablespoons would make it taste like coffee shop chai tea
  • 1 cup milk (dairy, coconut or almond)
Instructions
  1. Combine spices, ginger and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil, turn to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add sugar and black tea bag; turn off heat, and steep for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove spices, ginger and tea bag with a slotted spoon, or strain into a serving vessel.
  4. Heat milk on medium until it just simmer, remove from heat. Whisk until frothy (or you can use a milk frother, which is awesome!)
  5. Add foamy milk to the tea, stir to combine.
  6. Serve right away.
  7. Makes 2 modest servings or 1 very generous mug.
Notes
The amount of sweetener is very subjective, I suggest to add it to your cup right before serving. The amount I use in this recipe makes chai tea latte just a little sweet.
If whisking hot milk seems too complicated, just add hot milk to the tea mixture and enjoy it that way.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. this tastes way better than store bought chai. thanks for the recipe. i prefer it withou the star anise.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*