Friday, November 18, 2011

barista banter- the wonderful world of chai

Easy Chai Tea As we looked at the spicy Pumpkin Spice Latte last month I wanted to keep with the theme and explore a non coffee option that is equally as synonymous with the holiday season and the spices all we love.

Yep- you guessed it: CHAI!

The best part about Chai is that, like espresso, it really does make a good base drink to platform dive into all sorts of yummy warm drinks!

My sister a couple years ago tried a Chai with Mocha which is delicious. A Caramel Soy Chai (made with the vanilla soy) has the perfect balance of sweet and spice. Now that holidays are in full swing, I have a lot of people ordering Chai Eggnog Lattes (I have to be completely honest here and say this one is not my favorite but only because I could never get past the thick texture of eggnog so all Nog drinks have been nixed for me!) But I know some people who wait all season for these treats! Combine the nutmeg of eggnog with the nutmeg of Chai and people go nuts..haha get it...NUTmeg..NUTS....oh never mind..

Back to Chai and it's versatility.

Today I will be showing you how to make a real homemade chai with all the spices that are in it. I remember a few years back, ok, really it's been about 6 years now, but our sister Jordan had come home from the middle east for the holiday season and with her she brought the recipe for true chai that some friends she had made in the beautiful country of Oman had shown her.

Now the real unfortunate part of this is, in true Keje fashion, I have lost the recipe and had to go on a search for a replacement :) Now the great part, and partly why I shared, is because going into my search I had already had a really good recipe so my bar was set really high! I knew what a good homemade chai could taste like and didn't want to settle for anything mediocre. SO without further ado- with much research and trial and error, here is the best recipe I found for Homemade Chai. This recipe is taken from Real Simple website.

Makes 4 cupsHands-On Time: 05m Total Time: 20m


  • cardamom seeds
  • cloves
  • black peppercorns
  • cinnamon sticks
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • bags black tea (such as Darjeeling)
  • 8 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste


  1. Place the cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet.
  2. Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste.
One of the reasons I chose this recipe was because of the pure simplicity of it! I forgot to add my own step though. Step Four: Start a fire (preferably in a fireplace- I don't want the countries firemen upset with me), grab a good book, and ENJOY! 

*Your Barista in Residence (aka- Kedron)

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