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Hello Underdogs! As many of you know, I love coffee but I also love teas! One of my favorite treats is drinking Chai Tea. Traditionally,this drink comes from several regions around the world including India and Africa. In the past decade, it has become more popular in Europe and the United States. It can be purchased in a concentrated form, which is what you get from coffee shops, in tea bags, powders, or you can actually make it yourself. Most of the time Chai Tea is made from tea leaves, honey, cinnamon, cloves, water, and milk. Sometimes there is an extra amount of spice added which is either pepper or all spice. People use this tea in all sorts of drinks and even some cooking as well. I haven’t tried that yet, but I am sure one day I will try Chai Tea cookies! Here is a few suggestions to make some homemade Chai Tea options that is cheaper that a coffee shop, and can be good in both hot and cold weather. For these samples, I used the concentrate version of Chai Tea only.
1.Iced Caramel Chai Tea
This is my all time favorite way to drink Chai tea. Many people do the vanilla Chai, but Caramel is my favorite. It adds another layer of flavor that you just don’t get with vanilla. For this you need: Tazo Chai Tea Classic Latte concentrate, Caramel Syrup, milk, ice, and a cup. For this recipe, I suggest a skim or 1% milk choice. The reason for this is much higher than that, the taste is altered and you loose something in the higher milk content. If you can’t drink milk, soy works in this as well. Do not start off with ice in the cup. You want to leave room for your ice to be added later, otherwise you won’t get a proper mix. This calls for one part Chai tea, to one part milk. Mix those together well, then add the Caramel Syrup. This is to taste, but I would put at least one spoonful. Mix together before slowly adding your ice. You can top this off in several ways. If you are a fan of dirty Chai, add one shot of espresso. If you like cinnamon, add this to the top, or just drink as is! While this seems like a summer and spring drink, I enjoy it all year around!
2.Hot Chai Tea:
This is a very simple way to enjoy this tea. Again, the directions are one part Chai, and one part milk. Many people use the one part Chai, to 1/2 part milk, and half part water. I am not a fan of the half milk and half water approach, but other people enjoy this drink. If you go to places like Starbucks, this is mainly how they serve their Chai I find that using water takes away from the taste of the tea. However, it is too much for others and they need it to be watered down a bit. This is a personal choice so I suggest trying it both ways to see what is your favorite. All you do is add both the Chai and the milk (or milk/water mix) to a sauce pan and simmer for a few minutes until it’s at a drinking temperature that you would enjoy. Pour into a cup and add your toppings of choice, or it is ready to drink as soon as it cool. You also have the options of adding in flavors after you have simmered the tea on the stove. You don’t want to add this prior to the stove or you will risk burning and a pretty awful flavor and smell.
3.Frozen Chai Latte:
Who doesn’t love a good blended drink, especially on warmer days? I actually like frozen drinks all year around! Chai latte makes a great frozen drink and it is pretty simple to make. You will need the 1 part Chai concentrate, and your choice of one part water, or one part milk. This is where you decide if you want a plain, or a flavored frozen Chai Latte.For example, you can add a spoon full of a cinnamon and sugar mixture along with a splash of vanilla extract. Or, you can use coconut milk for a different flavor! After you decide if you want to add anything, this is when you add your ice cubes. This will depend on the size of drink you are making, and your blender, but you should have at least 1 1/2 cup of ice cubes for this drink. Blend together and serve!
Chai tea is a lot of fun since you can do so much with the flavor. You can have it mild, or make it a bit spicy depending on your taste. This is the perfect base for you to try all sorts of different ways to create a drink that will be your signature. This is worth purchasing the concentrate, because it is good for about a month. You are able to do a lot with what you are given, or you can make the base yourself! Try this out and post your ideas in the comment section!