I may have mentioned before that I am not a coffee drinker unless it is filled with sugar and flavorings and made by a fancy barista at a fancy coffee shop.
Tea is my drink of choice; it’s my jam.
I enjoy a cup of hot tea in varying flavors of green tea, herbal tea, white tea, red tea, and good ol’ black tea. I guess you could say that I drink every color of the tea rainbow.
I never mess with my teas. No sweeteners or milk, just plain, simple tea.
However, there is one type of tea that I do drink occasionally as a treat. It has added spices, is sweetened, and has milk.
You guessed it, a chai tea latte!
Chai tea lattes are usually what I order at a coffee shop on the rare occasion that I visit one. They are spicy, sweet, and creamy! I am absolutely smitten with them.
My 3 complaints about ordering a chai tea latte from a coffee shop are:
- They cost at least, AT LEAST $4 for some water, tea, spices, and milk. $4 can add up quickly if you drink chai teas a lot.
- You never know what is going into your chai tea. Are they using a syrup with artificial spice flavors? What kind of sweetener do they use? (which brings me to number 3)
- How much sweetener are they putting into my latte? Lately I have found my chai lattes to be far too sweet for my taste.
My mission was to learn to make them at home so that I can put in real spices and sweetener of choice. So that I can control the level of sweetness. And save a few bucks in the process.
A win-win if you ask me!
Just one teensy problem. I had tried to make my own chai tea latte at home by using a pre-mixed bag of chai tea. I would add a little milk and some sugar.
It was never good. The spices were never strong enough; they got drowned out by the milk and black tea.
Finally, I tried boiling whole spices in water then adding the tea bags. Success!
Friends, I am crazy about this recipe! I seriously did a dance around the kitchen the first time I tried a sip, I was that excited!
It is perfectly spiced, sweetened, and creamy. It is warming and comforting in every wintery way.
Give this recipe a try and I guarantee that you won’t want to buy an overpriced chai tea latte from a coffee shop ever again!
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8-10 green cardamom pods, cracked (or 1 ½ teaspoons ground, with varying results).
- 6-10 black peppercorns
- 1 to 2 star anise pods
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional*, see notes below for advice on spices)
- 8 to 10 whole cloves
- 2 to 4 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 to 5 teaspoons honey (sub in agave nectar or maple syrup if vegan)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teabags of strong black tea (such as Irish or English breakfast)
- ½ cup cashew milk (can sub almond milk, or coconut milk for slightly varying results)*
- Combine the water, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, peppercorns, star anise pods, fennel seeds, whole cloves, and fresh ginger in a small sauce pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. (The longer you simmer the stronger the spices will taste in your tea).
- Once the spices have simmered for 20 minutes stir in the honey. I suggest stirring in 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time; you can always stir more honey into your hot mug once you’ve tasted it. But make sure the tea is sweetened enough; otherwise the spices almost taste bitter.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and the tea bags. Allow the teabags to steep for 4 to 5 minutes.
- While the tea is steeping gently heat up your cashew milk in the microwave. Be careful to not overheat it; otherwise the cashew milk thickens into a cream. Set the milk aside.
- Remove the tea bags and cinnamon sticks from the tea. Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer into 1 large mug, or 2 smaller mugs depending on desired serving size. Pour ½ cup of the warmed cashew milk into one mug or ¼ cup into 2 mugs. Stir to combine.
- Serve the tea warm. I like to serve mine with a stir stick or a spoon because the milk tends to separate from the tea.
**I prefer the taste of cashew milk over almond milk for this recipe because the cashew milk is milder in flavor and has a creamier consistency.
You can make the tea mixture up to 48 hours in advance (don’t exceed 48 hours; otherwise the tea begins to ferment). Store in the refrigerator in an airtight glass pitcher or jar. Warm in the microwave and add the milk before serving.
Adapted from: Give Me Some Oven