Remember when I gave you all advice on how to conquer the coffee shop? Consider this an extension of that advice. Making everything from scratch is way more fun anyway. So before I go any further into this blog post, I want to give some credit to another food blog, Yeah...Immaeatthat. I saw her post on creating a Chai Tea Latte from scratch and realized the idea was brilliant. Not only can you save a whopping $4 or $5 dollars per cup, but you have complete creative license over the entire recipe. I like being in charge. Starbucks doesn't let me pick my sugar and spices.
So spices are expensive. I don't like expensive. Hopefully your grocery store is as cool as my grocery store, because I actually bought exactly what I needed by weighing out my spices in the bulk section and spent way less than buying the whole jar (some of which cost 10-12 per jar!). Leaving the store was super fun because my car smelled like 100 chai tea lattes. I wasn't complaining. If you are unfamiliar with some of these spices, don't worry, I was too. I didn't realize star anise was super licoricey. I'm not a licorice fan so I don't use a lot. But, I am a spicy fan. I put extra ginger and peppercorns in my chai tea concentrate. You can do what you like best. On a side note, I REALLY like the smell of cloves. It's in many ways what I consider the essence of all things Chai Tea Latte to be.
Without further ado, here is a general recipe you can follow to make your own Chai Tea Latte. Experiment like I did and find the blend you like best. See, you're already becoming a number 1 barista. Look at you.
Recipe disclaimer: fancy people would typically use a cheesecloth or some fancy device to hold the spices together in the boiling water to avoid straining the mixture later. I am not fancy and thus, will not be using fancy equipment. Feel free to invest if that's your thing!
Homemade Chai Tea Latte
5 cinnamon sticks
20 total peppercorns (I like a combo of black, white and pink for the different flavors they all bring)
1 star anise
1 vanilla bean - split lengthwise
15 whole cloves
12 cardamon pods (gently crushed to release seeds)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup brown sugar (makes a slightly sweet concentrate)
6 cups water
5 black tea bags
(note- nutrition info is for chai concentrate only)
Calories: 47, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 12g, Sugars: 11.7g
In a pot, bring all spices and water to a boil. Set tea bags aside. After the water comes to a boil, immediately reduce to a simmer, and allow spices and brown sugar to steep in the simmering water for 30-45 minutes.
Next, add the tea bags to the water and allow them to soak in the simmering mixture for about 5 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea).
Next, remove from heat. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a mixing bowl and then allow to cool.
TO MAKE THE LATTE:
I like a 2 to 1 ratio of chai to milk. Mix 2/3 cup chai concentrate with 1/3 cup milk. Using soy milk, this latte will run you around 67 calories. That's more than half the calories in a tall chai latte from Starbucks!