Saturday, 30 April 2011

Chai latte.

My last post was started with this topic in mind but then I started ranting about Starbucks' responsibility for all the take away cups that they sell that don't get recycled.  So, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's talk chai lattes!

Chai lattes are really the only lattes I drink any more, and I know that they are almost universally made in North America using a syrup or a concentrate.  So I did some research and found a recipe that had been the subject of some very positive reviews.  The ingredients that I used were the following:

  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into four pieces;
  • three 3" sticks of cinnamon;
  • four cloves;
  • 1/2 tsp crushed cardamom;
  • four black tea bags (I used Orange Pekoe);
  • four cups of water;
  • 2/3 cups of sugar; and
  • 2 tsp vanilla.
I put the water in a large saucepan then put in the ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom and tea bags.  I put them all straight into the water and put the heat on medium.  After the water was fairly hot, I waited five minutes then took out the tea bags (if you leave them in the hot water too long, the tea will become bitter).  I left the other ingredients in the water and reduced it to low to simmer for another five minutes.  I then strained the mixture, using a fine mesh strainer and two pieces of cheesecloth, folded in half (four layers of cheesecloth).  I put the liquid back onto the heat for another half an hour so that it would form more of a concentrate.  In the last five minutes I added the sugar and the vanilla and stirred them well so that the sugar was dissolved.
Once the syrup had cooled somewhat, using a funnel, I poured it into one of my spare glass milk bottles that I seem to use for everything.  Tim helped me use our new-to-us espresso maker to steam some milk and added it to the concentrate at a 1:3 ratio of concentrate to milk.  It was amazing!
If I could do it over, I think I would add less sugar, as it was very sweet.  But I really enjoyed the spice, I think next time I might use more ginger, or might even use ginger root powder.  I like the bite of the ginger in chai.  


  1. That sounds Fantastic! Unfortunately I rarely feel I need Chai bad enough to plan that far in advance, and be willing to do that much work :(.

  2. It really wasn't that much work, honestly! And I will get many, many chai lattes from my efforts! Do you guys have an espresso maker? Since we got ours, I realized just how expensive organic espresso beans are and how few lattes you get from what seems like an awful lot of beans. When you add in the cost of the milk, I am surprised to say that it may actually be more expensive to make them at home (I'm sure it would be more economical to use non-organic beans, though)...

  3. Haha, probably :). We don't have an espresso maker. I actually don't drink coffee, or any coffee drinks. Only Tea. I don't buy the liquid chai though. Too expensive. Have you ever had Good Earth tea? THey don't sell it in Canada. It's fantastic though. I love it.

  4. Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of coffee/espresso either. I haven't had Good Earth tea (that I remember). I was actually thinking about trying my hand at growing and drying and making my own tea, but I think that is definitely one of those things that the reward is not worth the effort. I go through a lot of tea!