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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Experimenting on myself...

Chai Latte-esque


Lately, I’ve been drinking some chai latte drinks. (For those who need a translation, “chai” is just the latest faddish way to say “tea”—yeh, I know all the linguistic gobbledegook. It’s still just a faddish way to say “tea”). And “latte” is the la-di-da way to say “milk”.

But the chai lattee drinks I’ve been introduced to by Lovely Daughter are a tad more complex than the old milk-in-tea (or cream-in-tea) I used to drink. Kind of a “la-di-da” version of my mom’s old spiced tea recipe with a few twists.

But the mixes and pre-mixed liquids all seemed just a little too “not me,” if you will . So, I’m sipping my first effort at approximating a chai latte drink from scratch.


  • 6 individual serving bags of green tea

  • 12 cloves of, well, cloves

  • 6 cardamom pods

  • 1 stick of cinnamon, ground finely (about a tablespoon or a little less)

  • milk

  • honey

  • water (12 “coffee cups” or 12X 6-oz~ Just 2 quarts and an 8-oz measuring cup)

Doing the deed

  • Opened the bags and dumped the tea into the filter basket of our drip coffee maker. Added the ground cinnamon on top.

  • Crushed the cardamom pods to release the seeds; crushed the cloves.

  • Tied (well, stapled) the cloves and cardamom in some of the emptied paper tea bags and dropped them into my coffee carafe.

  • Brewed as for coffee.

  • When the brewing was done, I let the cardamom/clove bags steep a bit (5 minutes?) and removed them.

  • Nuked about 4-oz of milk in a mug for 30 seconds

  • Added a tablespoonful of coffee creamer (I like the texture of CoffeeMate, and its no-fat version is as smooth as the regular, so… )

  • Topped off with spiced tea from the carafe, sweetened to tste with honey.

Not bad. Needs something citrus, though.  Maybe dried lemon peel or dried orange peel. Maybe a tad more or less on the spices. It’ll be fun experimenting.

As it is, though, good enough for a warmer-upper on a fall day/evening. It’s not coffee, but it’s… nice.

Update: Second cup tried no milk, just creamer. Hmmm, a tad better. Maybe I should try it with cream sometime. Still needs some dried lemon or orange peel, I think. Update #2: Oops. Forgot. Added just a pinch of nutmeg to the top of the tea leaves before brewing. Nutmeg just seems to enhance the high notes the cardamom adds.