I am all about saving money. And I’m all about making things myself, because then I can control what goes in it. Yesterday I experimented with a recipe for my own iced chai latte, and what I came up with was pretty darn close to the yummy beverages from Starbucks, but with less sugar and for much less money.
First, you make your chai tea concentrate. Now, you could get all fancy and make your own chai. You could buy star anise and cardamom pods, steep them with black tea, and then strain the whole thing. You know, if you wanted to. OR you could just use the ready-made chai tea in your kitchen cabinet. Which is what I did, and which is what makes this recipe easy.
4 1/2 cups water
10 Tazo chai tea bags
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
Bring the water to a boil, and remove from heat. Add tea bags and let steep for 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you want your concentrate. (Note: I forgot about my tea, and left the bags in for 35 minutes, and I actually quite liked the results. You don’t want a weak concentrate.) Remove the tea bags, and squeeze out the excess water so none of that yummy chai goodness goes to waste. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp honey, and 1 tsp vanilla.
I recommend making a half batch to begin with so you can play around with the sugar amount and not have a whole batch that might potentially be too sweet for your taste. I put in the full amount the first time and it was too sweet for me, but tasted pretty much exactly like the original version. However, the point being to consume less sugar, I will put less in next time, and maybe add a few whole cloves to spice it up even more.
Refrigerate the concentrate till completely chilled, if you want the iced version. Add one part concentrate to one part milk, pour over ice. The concentrate might be strong enough that you can add more milk. I did, because I don’t like milk unless it has something in it, so I need to drink more of it whenever I can.
There you have it! Super easy chai concentrate recipe…and really, the possibilities are endless. I might try to make some ice cream next!
ADDENDUM: Make sure the chai tea you use is really good chai. I bought some the other day and made this recipe again, and it was not the same. I’m sure that there are other brands besides Tazo that have delish chai tea bags, but the ones I found were not. And it makes a big difference. Be warned!