Instant Chai Latte mix questions

Discussion in 'Food & Spirit Recipes' started by navigator9, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Dec 20, 2017 #1

    navigator9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,700
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Location:
    New England
    A couple of questions here. Let me start by saying that I love a warm mug of chai latte, especially in the cold winter months. Cocoa is usually too sweet for me, but a spicy, warm chai latte is juuust right. I know it's not the best, but I love the convenience of the instant chai latte powders. The one I get from the Indian grocery isn't too bad. But...I keep seeing recipes for making a homemade mix, and I thought it would make a nice Christmas present. And of course, how nice to make it special by grinding my own spices. Yes, I know, I've waited til the last minute again, but here I am, after having visited the Indian grocery today, and sitting here sniffing the glorious aroma of a plastic shopping bag full of cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves and the rest. I wish you could smell it, it's amazing! So here are the two questions I have.

    The first is about the cardamom pods. When I cook with them, I just throw the whole thing in, and fish them out as I'm eating. But I realized that I've never ground my own before, and when I googled whether to grind the whole thing, or just the seeds inside, there seems to be a difference of opinion. One side of the argument says to remove the seeds and grind them seperately, while the other side says just chuck the whole thing in and grind it altogether. Maybe sift out any fibrous bits that may remain. Do any of you have experience with this, what do you do?

    The second question. Most of the instant mixes include powdered milk, plain non dairy creamer, and vanilla non dairy creamer, so that you can just add the mix to hot water. I like the idea, since I don't always keep milk in the house any more. I don't mind using powdered milk, but I'd rather leave out the non dairy creamers with all the artificial stuff they contain. I was just wondering if any of you may have made this with powdered milk only, and if so, how was it?

    I'm going to see if I can mix up a tiny amount, enough for one cup, to see what I think, but I figured someone may have already tried it, and might offer some feedback. I think the freshly ground spices alone will make it yummy. And I found instant tea with no other ingredients. I know, it's not like brewing it fresh, but when I come in from snow blowing the driveway, and I'm chilled to the bone, I want it FAST! And for me, it's as much about the aroma as it is the taste, so I'm thinking if it tastes even half as good as that bag of spices smells, I'll be happy. Any help you can offer will be appreciated.
     
    Millie likes this.
  2. Dec 20, 2017 #2

    Millie

    Millie

    Millie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    537
    I want in!
     
  3. Dec 20, 2017 #3

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    9,159
    Likes Received:
    12,143
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    I can't find the thread where Irish Lass posted this or I'd give the link to the thread. Since I can't, here's her recipe for chai tea mix:

    Irish Lass's Chai Tea Blend

    The spice base (makes enough for 4 servings). By the way, I weigh everything so it's consistent each time, using my ultra-sensitive lotion scale for the lightest weights, but I've also included the volume amount just for the kicks:

    -12g whole green cardamom pods (roughly 50 pods)
    -1.01g whole cloves, weighed on my lotion scale (roughly 12 whole cloves)
    -1.29g whole peppercorns, weighed on my lotion scale (roughly 20 whole peppercorns)
    -4g whole fennel seeds (roughly 2 teaspoons)
    -3.85g ground Vietnamese cinnamon, weighed on my lotion scale (roughly 2 teaspoons)***
    -4.21g ground ginger, weighed on my lotion scale (roughly 2 teaspoons)***

    Basically, I take all of the above (except for the ground cinnamon and ginger, that is), put them in my coffee grinder and give them a whir until all is broken up. It doesn't have to be finely powdered or anything like that, but just as long as things are all broken up, all is good.
    ***Alternatively, you can use the whole, dried forms of these particular 2 spices (bruise them up good in a mortar and pestle): use 2.835g of whole cinnamon and 28.35g of whole dried ginger.
    [My recipe in percentages (in case you want to re-size the amount up or down): 45.524% Cardamom pods; 3.832% whole cloves; 4.894% whole peppercorns; 15.175% whole fennel seeds; 14.605% ground cinnamon; 15.971% ground ginger.]
    After grinding, I then add all the spices together in a bowl to mix.
    Next, all the spices then get transferred into an extra-large sized tea filter made by Finum: http://www.amazon.com/Finum-60-Filte...ge+tea+filters
    I fold the top over and seal with a staple. Make sure to leave as much top-space in the bag as possible because the spices will swell considerably when heated later.


    To make the chai (I'm not so persnickety with the following measurements. I just go by volume):
    3 cups water
    1.5 cups milk
    4 regular-size teabags (or 4 teaspoons of loose) black tea or Darjeeling tea or orange pekoe (or whatever favorite tea of your choice)
    1/3 cup honey, or whatever sweetener of choice to taste
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional- if you want to make a vanilla chai)
    1) Bring the water to a boil in a 2 qt. pot and add in the large bag of spices. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and let the spice bag heat and steep for at least 20 to 30 minutes, or to preferred strength (swirl the bag around every now and then when you think of it).
    2) When done heating/steeping, uncover pot, add the black tea (or whatever tea of your choice), then re-cover and let steep 5 more minutes (or to your own preferred strength).
    3) Remove bags and carefully squeeze the excess liquid out of them into the pot.
    4) Add the milk and honey (and vanilla if using) and heat through before serving

    End IL's recipe

    DeeAnna here -- I make a killer hot cocoa blend. It uses powdered milk (I use the instant dissolving Carnation stuff) but no powdered creamer (which I hate). The sweetener is powdered sugar. The corn starch in the powdered sugar keeps it from clumping but it als thickens the hot cocoa a tiny amount to make it seem creamier. So a bit of corn starch might be useful as an alternative to that nasty creamer stuff. ;)
     
    Millie likes this.
  4. Dec 20, 2017 #4

    navigator9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,700
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Location:
    New England
    LOL, here's one of the recipes that I'm working from. This one sounds way too sweet for my liking, so I'm going to have to make adjustments as I go. https://foodretro.com/instant-chai-tea-latte-powder-an-epic-adventure-story/

    Wow, I love the idea of making tea bags, I never thought of that. It would definitely be nice to use actual tea instead of instant, and with IL's method, it would be practically instant, since the spices would be ready to go. :) Thanks for this idea, and for the tip about cornstarch, I never thought of that. And with IL's method I also wouldn't have to worry about removing those pesky seeds from the cardamom pods, either. I think I will make this batch as planned, since I already have the instant tea and the powdered milk, but I will get some tea bags and definitely look forward to some steaming mugs of even better chai to come! Thanks for your help. :thumbup:
     
    DeeAnna likes this.
  5. Dec 20, 2017 #5

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    2,235
    This might be what you're looking for DeeAnna

    http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=62243


    You can also use a smidgen of cream to make it creamier. I won't use all that milk because of the carbs, and certainly not cornstarch, but about 1 teaspoon of cream per 8oz of tea is nice. Don't add too much because it will start to detract from the spice and I like it spicy!

    Just gave one of my boys our traditional molasses crinkle recipe where spice is measured by the Tablespoon instead of teaspoon and half of the molasses is blackstrap!!
    He took a triple batch to his work party and they went faster than the chocolate and candy covered/filled/coated types of new fangled cookies.
     
  6. Dec 20, 2017 #6

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    Staff Member Admin  

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    13,269
    Likes Received:
    7,538
    Location:
    Right here, silly!
    Alternatively, you can also make a liquid concentrate out of the spices and tea that keeps for weeks in the fridge. I make a half-gallon of the concentrate up at a time, and whenever I feel like having a cup of chai, I just pour out 2 ounces of the concentrate and top it off with 6 oz. of hot milk and some honey....or hot chocolate....or cold milk if I feel like having it iced. It's wonderful for spicing up egg nog, too. For gift-giving, it's not as practical as my tea bag method, but it's great for taking to get-togethers. It's become a big hit with my family on Christmas Eve.

    Here's my post from last January where I give the recipe amounts and directions for making it in the liquid concentrated form: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=628570&postcount=5


    IrishLass :)
     
    shunt2011 and Millie like this.
  7. Dec 20, 2017 #7

    navigator9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,700
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Location:
    New England
    Thanks for that link, lenarenee. I also make my molasses crinkle cookies with double the amount of spice called for. LOVE them dunked in coffee! I like to keep a baggie of the dough rolled into balls in the freezer. Sometimes I bake them two at a time, just so I can enjoy them with a cup of coffee. :)

    How did I miss this post too? The idea of a concentrate reminds me of the Tazo teas I get at Target. What a great idea to make your own! It's funny, I've never been a tea drinker, I'm a coffee lover since childhood, but when I'm sick, my body rejects the idea of coffee, and I can drink only tea. It's the only time I drink straight tea. But chai just makes me smile at the thought of it. The bouquet of the spice combo is just heavenly to me. I don't know why it took me so long to think of grinding my own spices for it, and making my own blend. Thanks for all the help!
     
    shunt2011 and IrishLass like this.
  8. Dec 20, 2017 #8

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    9,159
    Likes Received:
    12,143
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    I searched for chai and I searched with short phrases from IL's recipe. Nada. I have no idea why her post didn't pop up for me -- thanks for providing the link, Lenarenee.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2018 #9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    navigator9

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,700
    Likes Received:
    3,036
    Location:
    New England
    A quick thanks to DeeAnna and IrishLass for your guidance in making my my chai mixture. I can't tell you how much I've been enjoying it. It was 3 degrees outside when I woke up this morning, and after my usual coffee, I was still cold. So I've just finished a big mug of chai, and it's so nice to have it tweaked just to my liking. I've also discovered that it's the perfect disguise for tumeric paste. I add honey and cinnamon to the tumeric paste, but that bitterness is still there. I usually eat it off the spoon, or add it to soup, but in the chai, it disappears almost completely. A tasty start to the New Year, thanks again!
     
    IrishLass, Misschief and DeeAnna like this.

Share This Page