Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Perfect (and healthier) Chai Latte

The chai latte, the coffee's well-traveled, cool, urban and exotic best friend  No, actually this has nothing to do with coffee. Let's leave coffee out of it entirely. Because a lot of people seem to mistake the chai latte for a spicy, cinnamon syrup-infused coffee, but it's not. It's the non-coffee-drinker's solution to having to order a hot chocolate!

As a hater of coffee, and also not being a tea drinker (apart from camomile and some fruit teas), it can be a bit of a pain when asked "Do you want to go for a coffee?" or at the start of a meeting when everyone is asked "Would anyone like any teas or coffees?" - my answer is always "I don't drink tea or coffee... What else have you got?" Why do we naturally assume in this country that everyone drinks at least one of these beverages? I'm not that unusual, am I? Then again, I suppose we all assume that everyone drinks alcohol when we ask "Do you want to go for a drink?".

I forget where I had my first chai latte, but I'm sure it was a mighty pleasurable experience. They're commonly available now in most coffee shops, made with the flavoured syrups found on the shelves above the big coffee machines - you know the stuff. I believe it's made with pure cane sugar.

Unless you're indulge in one of these rather special sugary bottles, the home alternative is chai latte powder - the equivalent of hot chocolate powder. There aren't many of these readily available in our supermarkets currently, although I have found Drink Me Spiced Chai Latte in a large Sainsburys store. I actually asked for it as a Christmas present, as I knew how tricky it can be to find! This stuff is gorgeous, and is similar to Whittard's expensive version, which I treated myself to last Christmas. As with hot chocolate, it recommends that we make it with full fat milk, and certainly tastes like an indulgent drink. There can't be much goodness in that milk powder concoction after all!

So when my last tub ran out, I thought that was it for a while - until I fancied being a bit indulgent again. The tub had sat on my desk for only a few weeks - after a few cups, all the powder was gone, and I was back to herbal teas.

How wrong I was. Invented by my agency's Head of New Business, the chai latte made with a chai spiced black tea bag has revolutionised my work drinking habits. I introduce to you Tazo Organic Chai. Lucky for me, my work place provides an array of Tazo tea bags for free on reception, but even so they are definitely a cheaper and healthier alternative to the syrups and powders. It is also slightly spicier in its flavour.

This is how I make the perfect and healthier chai latte with a Tazo's tea bag:

1) Put tea bag into cup and fill up 1/4 boiling water. Let it brew for 10-20 seconds.

2) Fill the rest up with hot milk (frothy is best of course).

3) Add 2-3 sweeteners as required, and stir.

4) A sprinkle of chocolate powder on top and job's a good 'un. (I like to leave the tea bag in for maximum flavour.)

Personally, I find this tastes so good but less naughty than a hot chocolate - so the perfect mid-afternoon treat to get you through the day! :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mags...more than happy to be credited with being the inventor! Jennifer x


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