Sunday, January 5, 2014

Instant Chai Tea Mix - just add water!

A cup of hot chai.
Perfect for a cold winter day!
Anyone that knows me knows that I drink iced tea.  Morning, noon and night, that is pretty much all I drink...until recently.  I've always liked chai (and I do have a brewed version that I make into iced tea) but I very rarely drink ANYTHING hot.  No real reason other than a personal preference for cold drinks.

A couple of weeks ago we were at our local farmer's market (Coventry Regional Farmer's Market - if you're close enough to attend, I HIGHLY recommend it).  About once a month they have a "swap". Anyone can do it - you simply bring something homemade (it can be edible or a craft item) and people swap items they've brought with items from someone else. We love doing this and try to attend them whenever we can.  At the last swap, someone brought an instant chai tea mix. We ended up getting it in a swap and brought it home.  I hadn't thought much about it until we had a party last weekend and several people tried it and absolutely loved it.

That was enough for me - I had to figure out how to make it. I visited a number of sites that had their own version and came up with one that I liked. It's a bit different than some of the others that I've seen out there but the great thing about it is that you can quite easily tailor it to your own tastes.  If you don't care for cloves, leave them out. Want some allspice or nutmeg? Put in a pinch (or more).  There are no hard and fast rules - put in what you like, leave out what you don't until you get a combination that you want to stick with. I know people that even like a small bit of ground white pepper in their chai. Likewise with the milk powder - if you want something a bit "creamier", add a bit more of the milk powder.  If you want more of a tea taste, add more of the instant tea. 

You get the idea - make it yours!

Just add a spoonful (or two) and you're good to go!


* If you don't have vanilla sugar, simply use 1 cup of French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer along with 2 1/2 cups of regular sugar instead.  If you do this, you can also cut the amount of dry milk powder down to 1 cup instead of 1 1/2 cups.  The important part here is simply getting the vanilla flavor into the mix in a dry format as opposed to liquid vanilla extract.


The final result should be a very fine powder like this.
  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla sugar (or flavored creamer), and instant tea. 
  2. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and allspice and mix well. 
  3. In a food processor (or blender), blend 1-2 cups at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder (you can skip this step, but it will dissolve better if you take the time to do it).

To serve: Stir 1-2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture (depending upon taste) into a mug of hot water. If you prefer an even creamier consistency, you can add hot milk instead of water.

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