I Love Chai, Hot or Cold

I Love Chai, Hot or Cold

Most tea aficionados are familiar with the common types of blends available – black, oolong, jasmine, pekoe and green tea. But I'm always surprised at how many haven't discovered one of my favorite blends. I love nothing more than an iced chai when I grave a cold drink, and a hot chai is just the thing to perk me up midafternoon.

Chai is a spiced milk tea that hails from India. It's my go-to drink when I'm in a coffee shop, since I don't drink coffee. I find myself in coffee shops quite often being a resident of the coffee-loving mecca that is Washington State, so I drink a lot of chai!

 

The basic components of a quality chai are:

  • Strong black tea

  • Milk or cream

  • Sweetener, usually sugar but sometimes honey

  • Spices – including cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon. The spices vary in intensity and type.

Most well-stocked groceries carry chai in either bags or as a liquid concentrate. I've found the bagged varieties work best for a hot tea while the concentrate is better for a cold drink. Tazo and Oregon Chai are the two most commonly concentrates available in my area, although Stash has a bagged version of chai that I prefer over all others.

 

A guilty summer pleasure is to add chai concentrate to my ice cream maker when whipping up some fresh homemade French vanilla ice cream. The spices and flavor the chai concentrate really shines and allows me to enjoy one of my favorite teas as a decadent dessert!