Chai Latte Dry Spice Mix

Why I love it: This chai latte dry spice mix takes only a few minutes to make and doesn’t require any grinding of spices. Because all ingredients are dried the mix can be kept in a jar in the cabinet and is ready for use with a simple tea strainer anytime.

Chai Latte Drink

To license this image please contact me at nicole@thespicetrain.com.

Dry Chai Spice Mix

To license this image please contact me at nicole@thespicetrain.com.

I love a good chai latte. In fact, I never even sit down at my desk in the morning any more without one in my hand; the drink gives me comfort and makes me feel ready to face the day. In case you’re not familiar with it, what we call chai latte here in the U.S. is a hot, slightly sweet drink that consists of milk and black tea flavored with a combination of spices (I use cardamom, clove, black peppercorns, ginger and cinnamon).

It’s very simple to make fresh at home and there are actually a number of different ways to do it. You can make an “instant” version – a powder of ground spices, dried milk and sugar that you stir into hot water or milk. Alternatively you can make a chai concentrate by infusing brewed tea with your mix of spices and keep that in the fridge until you’re ready to use it and then just heat it with milk.

What I do is this: I buy all my chai spices dried (but not powdered), add loose black tea to them and keep that mix in a jar in the cabinet. It keeps for a long time and when I’m ready for a chai latte I steam milk and submerge the spice/tea mix in a tea strainer in it. (If you don’t have a steamer you can certainly heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove top but I personally like the taste of steamed milk in this drink). To sweeten I use honey, it complements the warm flavors wonderfully.

Chai Latte Dry Spice Mix
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Ingredients:
  • 20 whole green cardamom pods
  • 14 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1½ tablespoons dried cracked ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons cinnamon chips
  • 2 tablespoons loose black tea
Instructions:
  1. Add all spices to a mortar and crush very lightly with a pestle.
  2. Mix the crushed spices with the tea.
  3. Store the mix in an airtight container.
  4. To make a chai latte, add about 1 tablespoon of the mix to a tea strainer, then steam* 6 ounces of milk, drop the tea strainer into it and let it steep.
  5. Sweeten to taste with honey.
Notes:
*You can also just heat the milk on the stove top or in the microwave.

Food Photography and Styling: While delicious, this drink is a bit on the boring side as far as looks go. Its only interesting feature is the foam surface and to make that surface look nice and sparkly I lit the drink from the back. I didn’t hold my steam wand perfectly in the milk as I steamed it and that’s how I ended up with these huge bubbles you can see. But the thing is, I thought they added character so I was actually quite happy with them (even though I know a professional barista would probably scoff at them). Since the drink is brownish in color I picked a dark blue surface and dish for contrast and since the recipe is not just for the drink but also for the spice/tea mix I photographed it separately in a tea strainer to properly show the reader what it looks like.

Chai Latte Dry Spice Mix
This entry was posted in Drinks.

12 comments

  1. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    Thanks for your version here Nicole. I often times make a small liquid batch and like you mentioned, keep it in the fridge for quick heat ups in the microwave. I think I like your dry version here for shelf life purposes. :)

  2. Melinda | Sprinkle and a Dash says:

    Oooo! Nicole, I love Chai. I have tried so many Chai brands, some were pretty bad. I have settled on teas that have the ingredients in your dry mix. Usually they have more tea to spice than yours, but I like my chai spicy. I can’t wait to give it a try.
    Thanks!

    • Nicole B. says:

      You’re welcome, Melinda! My mix is definitely high on spices and low on tea and you can always add more tea straight into the tea strainer. I hope you like it! :)

  3. Shinee says:

    Nicole, I love a good chai latte, and I’m obsessed with a packet ones. What a great thing to have a homemade mix. So excited to try this.

    And I just noticed the new look. Love it!!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Ooh, thank you so much, Shinee! I’ve been working to make things more user- (and also google-) friendly! :)

  4. Marissa says:

    This looks wonderful, Nicole and I don’t even want to tell you how much I’ve been paying for this at the store. Definitely making this!

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