Last summer while I was in Colorado I was drinking a chai in a coffee shop with pictures of Edward Abbey on the wall (“I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth”). I picked up Edible Front Range magazine as I was drinking my spicy, complex and rich treat and read an article about the increasing popularity of chai in Colorado. While I was there I tried chai’s from several different café’s, and with the addition of fresh juiced ginger to my drink I was convinced that this new trend was worth taking part in. I forgot about my summer love of chai until my friend and I stopped by The Hub the other night and I was inspired to create my own this morning for breakfast. I found many different recipe’s online and just incorporated pieces of each. I like my chai spicy so I end up adding extra ginger, if you’re looking for something more mild just adjust the amount. Really, you can and should adjust the amount of just about everything in this recipe in order to find your perfect cup of chai, I like mine less sweet and really aromatic, but there is room for change when you make it at home.
Spicy Chai Latte
1 tpsb Loose leaf black tea, or Darjeeling tea leaves
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks broken in pieces
1 tsp whole cardamom seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
4 allspice berries
1 tsp peppercorns
1 ½ tbsp. fresh pressed ginger juice (or use 2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger)
2 tsp coconut palm sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 ½ cups boiling water
In a mortar and pestle, crush the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries. Combine the milk, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and spices in a saucepan. If you have fresh pressed ginger juice, wait to add it, if you are using pieces of ginger add it to the spice and milk mix. Bring to a gentle rolling boil and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. With the heat on low, add the coconut palm sugar, vanilla, and fresh ginger juice.
Boil the water and steep the tea in the water for a few minutes, this is a concentrated mix of black tea.
Strain the tea leaves out of the water and add the water to the spicy milk mix. To serve, strain the chai through a tea strainer and sprinkle with cinnamon.