Chai Lattes... ahhh. Spiced and sweet. Frothy and foamy and delicious. A perfect pairing of Assam tea, earthy and aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves... all topped with steamed milk (or milk alternative).
When you order a chai latte at a coffee shop, your beverage usually consists of a sweetened chai concentrate (we will talk more about this on a later blog!) combined with milk. Both are then steamed, which simultaneously heats up and foams the beverage. While this often tastes delicious, in our (humble) opinion, this isn't a real chai latte.
For us, a proper chai latte involves brewing up spices on the stove and then adding sweetener, milk and tea. When we are brewing up a batch of chai that we know will be made into chai lattes later, we add some extra sugar, since foaming the milk will add volume and therefore decrease the sweetness in each sip. Once chai is brewed up in the traditional way, it can be cooled off and then stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When you want a chai latte, you can pour 6-8 ounces of chai into a stainless steel milk frothing pitcher, and using a steam wand on an espresso machine, bring it up to the temperature and level of foam you like.
How to Make a Real Chai Latte • Using Shanti Chai & Co's "Original Chai Blend"
You will need: a teaspoon, small pot, strainer; 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon of Original Chai Blend spices and 1 teaspoon of Original Chai Blend Assam tea, 2-4 teaspoons of sugar (or other sweetener) and 1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute).
Step 1: Add water and spices to pot and bring to boil on the stove.
Step 2: Add sugar and milk, bring to gentle second boil while stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Turn heat to low and add tea. Steep 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Strain and allow to cool slightly. Then go to Step 5 (unless you want to make your chai latte later, in which case allow to fully cool and then store in air tight container in fridge for 1-3 days).
Step 5: Pour 6-8 ounces of chai into a stainless steel frothing pitcher, and using a steaming wand on espresso maker, steam until outside of pitcher is almost hot to the touch and foam is the consistency you like for your latte.
Step 6: Pour into your favourite mug. Top with a cinnamon stick or light sprinkle of ground nutmeg or vanilla powder (optional) and enjoy!
Above: For an extra festive chai latte enjoy in a pretty cup and make sure to top with your favourite toppings! We like cinnamon in all it's forms!
Below: Star anise pods, one of the key flavours in our Original Chai Blend. When you make your chai latte, you get just an ever so slight hint of these aromatic beauties on your palate.