Happy first day of spring! When I realized that today was the official first day of spring and I was doing a post on hot tea, I thought about quickly trying to throw together a more spring-ish post…but I only need to glance out my window at the snowflakes coming down and know a cup of chai is exactly what’s still needed around here! We have weeks left before we can even begin to hope that maybe we’re done with snow and winter-like weather.
I can still remember the first time I ever tried masala chai. I was about 15 and I was in a pop-up camper at a music festival. My friend’s mom made some for us in a pan on the little camper stove and I thought it was so delicious. Now, every night my Michael makes me a cup of spiced chai. And even though I definitely prefer coffee over tea, lately I just can’t seem to get enough chai lattes. I’ve been scheming up ways to stop by a local cafe that serves one of my favorite chai lattes. I’ve also been wanting to try to make my own masala chai, but after pricing cardamom ($13 a bottle!), I thought I’d wait till I can make a trip to a store not too far from here where I can buy spices in bulk for pretty cheap. So, in the meantime, Mike came up with a quick and easy (and cheap!) way for me to get my chai latte fix right at home! This version is not super sweet, like the chai lattes I get at coffee shops, but you can definitely make it sweeter by adding more sugar. And I think it would be good with a little dash of vanilla creamer mixed in to make it a vanilla chai latte. You also need a milk frother or steamer for this (or try this method for getting milk foam without a machine).
Easy Chai Tea Latte
(makes one mug of tea)
1 chai tea bag (I use Bigelow Spiced Chai Black Tea)
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons half & half*
1 tsp. sugar (more or less to taste)
milk frother (we use this one)
Boil water. Place tea bag in mug. Pour hot water over tea bag, filling about 2/3 full. Let steep for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, place milk and half & half in microwavable glass, add sugar. Heat 30-60 seconds in the microwave (or until hot). Use frother to froth milk. Remove tea bag from mug, add milk. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon if desired.
*Try using vanilla creamer in place of the half & half for a vanilla chai latte…
Here’s to still more evenings spent with a pile of cozy blankets and a mug of tea, hoping spring might come eventually…