I fell in love with the idea of chai through the boxes of this liquor mix from the supermarket.
The milky sweetness along with the astringent black tea drew me inside, but the warm spices that remained between the sips kept me drinking.
This chai latte gives you complete control over your chai latte experience, from the tea and herbs to the sweetener and the type of milk.
The result is a creamy cup of black tea, delicately spiced and fragrant with cinnamon, black pepper and ginger, and just the right amount of sweetness, so perfect that you skip the coffee shop chai (or the box) and come home for a pot of it to make during tea time.
What is a Chai Latte?
A chai latte incorporates the flavors associated with masala chai, a regular spiced tea drink that is present in most households throughout India (and now most of the world), and amplifiers increase their milkiness with a frothy technique steamed milk that is borrowed from homemade lattes .
Fortunately for us, masala chai is almost always made with milk and is brewed with milkiness in mind, but before we froth the milk, we have to brew a heavily spiced load of black tea and sweeten it slightly.
Looking for a recipe for masala chai? Here are two of our favorites.
In most cases, one masala chai typically what we are looking for when ordering a "chai tea latte" - although we have to drop the "tea", because chai literally means tea. In these recipes the milk is heated rather than steamed and contain both directions to make it at the head.
The best tea for Chai Latte
Loose-leaf black tea is best for brewing chai for lattes.
Ideally it is made with an Assam or Ceylon tea, but English breakfast or other black tea mixtures also work wonderfully.
Loose-leaf tea is generally of better quality than bags, with large pieces and less dust, which can lead to bitter or tannic tea.
Since we have to squeeze the herbs before we make our chai latte, bags of tea would not save time.
That being said, as a bag of black tea is all you have on hand or is one that you particularly love, then in all possible ways, use it! You want six bags for each batch of chai.
More information: Is Loose-Leaf tea really better than tea bags?
Select herbs for Chai Latte
Spices make masala chai the beverage we love. When it comes to which herbs are essential, very few people can agree and I would say that it is indeed very good. The herbs you choose will make a chai that fits your taste perfectly.
Sheela spent New Year's Eve in India drinking masala chai and reported: "In India, masala chai is certainly not as heavily seasoned as here, I would almost every day have one of the inns we stayed in or small cafes and they were often seasoned with only cardamom, only ginger, or maybe a bit of both, it changed my opinion about masala chai for good, because I loved that you could really taste the tea and the herb instead of the dozens of herbs that are thrown to overwhelm everything. "
These are the five herbs that are essential for making a warming chai latte.
- Green cardamom: cardamom is one of the most rounded herbs we know. It is almost floral in smell, with a warming bite that is smoky and earthy. This is the only herb that you can not skip when making chai at home. Buy whole pods instead of seed and cut them gently before you let them pull.
- Clove: Some might consider cloves as an option, but they work so well with the other spices, while they play the sweetness of cinnamon and the black pepper spice while perfuming the whole pot of tea.
- Cinnamon stick: cinnamon is one of the sweeter spices used for flavoring chai. Use sticks in the pot, but feel free to garnish the latte with a hint of ground cinnamon for a nice and fragrant aftertaste.
- Fresh ginger: I assumed that in Chai you could also use whole dried ginger, but it is usually harder to find. Besides, fresh ginger adds a nice, fresh spiciness.
- Black peppercorns: this daily herb can not be skipped when making chai; it gives the brew the heat that blooms on the back of our throat and keeps the sweetness of the chai in balance.
The bulk storage bin is your best friend for regular chai-lattes, because you can easily find whole herbs that are fresher and less expensive than those on the shelf.
More chai spices: the 5 spices that you need for homemade Chai (ok, maybe 8)
Chai Lattes sweeten
I have a terrible sweet tooth, but notice that a too sweet chai latte masks the spices. You can use granulated sugar to sweeten, but I recommend brown sugar or even maple syrup, because their caramel tones accentuate Chai's spices instead of hiding them. Add your sweetener to the hot tea base after weeks, but before pressing.
You have brewed your tea, seasoned and sweetened, and now you have to froth your milk - unless you prefer a classic cup of chai instead of a chai latte.
The problem? You do not own an espresso machine or a foaming rod.
Fortunately, there are three clever ways in which you can foam your milk for lattes.
Beat it: you can strongly beat your milk while you heat it on the hob, which we have written in the instructions below. This method works best with 2% milk and coconut milk.
Mix it: You can also froth the milk with a hand blender before you heat the milk in a pan on the hob. This method is best for non-dairy milk, such as soya or almond milk, but also works with coconut milk, whole milk or 2%.
To shake : the other method is to shake the milk in a jar and then heat the milk after foaming. This method works especially well with whole milk and nut milk.
Serve Chai Lattes
The best thing about making chai lattes at home is that you can scale up the tea base recipe and make a large batch that lasts all week. Heat and foam 3 / 4 cup milk whenever you need it. It will not last as long as those cardboard boxes, about five days in the fridge, but it will be the perfect afternoon pick-up.
How to make a Chai Latte
Makes 4 portions
What you need
cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
whole black peppercorns
green cardamom pods, cracked
(2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
loose black tea or 6 black tea bags
sweetener, such as brown sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional)
cold whole milk, coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
Measure cups and spoons
Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
Finely meshed sieve
Pitcher or teapot
Roast the herbs: Place the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom in a small saucepan over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
Brew the tea: add ginger and water and let simmer. Let the 5 simmer for minutes.
Insert the tea: remove from the heat and add the tea or tea bags. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
The tea sweeten : while the tea is still hot, add the sweetener and stir until everything is combined or dissolved.
Strain the tea: sieve the tea through a fine mesh sieve in a jug or teapot. Discard the spices and tea leaves. Store in the refrigerator for future use, or keep it warm while you froth the milk.
Foam the milk: Foam for whole milk, milk by shaking him in a pot or by knocking him vigorously on medium heat. For non-dairy milk, use a hand blender to warm up before heating.
Heat the milk: Heat the frothed milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it is warm.
Serve: pour 3 / 4 cup of the hot tea base into each mug. Add 1 / 2 cup of warmed milk and stir to combine. Top with a full spoon of milk foam.
Foresight: the tea base can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm gently for frothing the milk.