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My husband got me into a guilty habit. You see, I wasn't a caffeine drinker at all until he had me try a chai latte sweetened with real Vermont Maple syrup. I was hooked. And though I don't drink one every day, when the fall weather rolls around and I crave a warm drinking to start a cool morning, this is now my go-to beverage.
By definition, a chai latte is made with warm winter spices - think cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger - and frothed milk. Most store-bought chai tea bags will include black tea but you can also get decaffeinated versions or make it with black peppercorns and skip the black tea all together.
On a quick weekday morning, we use a store-bought chai tea bag, like Tazo's Classic Chai Tea or this one from Celestial Tea House. That said, I'd also really love to make a homemade chai tea mix like this one from The Kitchn (hmmm...sounds like a good Christmas present!).
We also invested in a simple milk frother at home. The $30 up front cost is more than made up for since we use it 2-3 times a week and have had it for three years and counting. There are also some methods for frothing milk without a frother, which is fine for this purpose but you will want your milk warmed up.
Speaking of savings - by making your latte at home you're also saving cash in ingredients and keeping one less paper cup and plastic cover out of the landfill!
Here's our simple recipe, with a few options for variation, that gets us through a crispy fall or winter morning, and also saves us big bucks over buying it at a coffee shop!
Recipe: Homemade Maple Chai Latte
One Chai Tea Bag (or your own loose leaf chai tea)
3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1-2 teaspoons real maple syrup (depending on your desired sweetness)
1-2 drops real vanilla (just gently splash a tiny bit in your mug)
Cinnamon for sprinkling on top (optional)
Bring a tea kettle to a boil, then place your tea bag, maple syrup, and vanilla in your mug and pour 1-2 inches of hot water over it (just enough to cover the bag). Let the tea brew for 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, froth your milk using a milk frother or an alternative frothing method (but make sure you warm it too).
Once your milk is warm and your tea has brewed for a bit, add the milk to your teacup. Sprinkle cinnamon on top as desired, and enjoy!
- You can use a variety of types of milk for this tea - from regular cow's milk to almond, rice, or soy. We prefer almond milk and like to balance it with the regular milk we drink during the day.
- You can substitute honey for maple syrup in this recipe for an equally delicious option!
- For a decadent chocolate chai latte, add 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder with your boiling water, maple syrup, and vanilla!