In winter, when I get really cold, I often opt for a cup of tea or even chai to warm up again. Chai Latte is originally an Indian drink made out of Chai tea infuse and hot milk. It also serves beautifully as an alternative to coffee or hot chocolate.
My first encounter with Chai Latte was years ago, in Sweden, when I visited the office there for my old employer’s. I remember it was about -20 degrees Celsius, and there was, give or take, loads of snow. Thankfully, for indoor heating to keep us warm in those temperatures. That trip left me with 2 memories, firstly the one of the snowstorm that kept us grounded for an extra 4 hours and made us miss our connection in Frankfurt which ensured it took us about 19 extra hours to get home , and secondly of spicy, sweet chai latte.
Chai latte is actually the chai tea mix, served as half a cup, and then topped up with hot milk.
You can buy chai latte in a lot of shops and supermarkets, but what I don’t like about these is that they are either full of sugars or very very sweet or really heavily on liquorish and anisette flavours, which are not my favourite. Hence the mission of making my own spice mix, which is quite easy in all honesty. The method takes a bit of measuring and balancing, depending on how sweet you like your chai. The main flavours are often cinnamon, ginger, (green) cardamom, nutmeg and then you can add vanilla, fennel, cloves and all spice as you prefer yourself. (I am not a fan of cloves, and did not add them in for this particular reason)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, either store bought, or grated freshly from sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (I prefer freshly grated over ground from the shops)
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of all spice
- 8 pods of green cardamom, where I removed the seeds from the pods and crushed them
- 15-20 fennel seeds, crushed with the cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon of homemade vanilla sugar (just pop a vanilla pod in a jar of sugar et voila!)
- 2.5 cups of water
- 2 bags of black tea
- extra sugar or honey, to taste
In a pot bring the water to the boil. Add the spices in and stir well. Cover this with a lid and leave off the heat, to infuse for about 5 to 7 minutes. Then return to the heat and bring to the boil again. Boil away for a few minutes, whist stirring. Take again off the heat, and add the tea bags in. I usually let them steep for a good 5 minutes, before fishing them out and squeezing the tea out.
For Chai latte, heat up half a cup of milk and then add the chai tea on. Seeing you had added cardamom pods and fennel seeds in the chai, I usually poor the chai tea through a strainer into the milk, so I keep the goodness of the milk and the chai, without the pods and seeds.
If you like this recipe a little sweeter, you can add more honey or (vanilla) sugar to it.
Have you tried this recipe? Please let me know!