Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The perfect start to a long day...

Recently, I learned how to make the perfect chai tea latte. My friend, A, turned me on to Chai about a year ago with it's spicy sweet aroma and creamy texture. Starbucks did it pretty well, Brew HaHa even better, and a local spot- Eeffocs - was fantastic. Unfortunately, at $4+ a drink, I had to temper my cravings and decide if I "earned" it or not.

Upon getting a Keurig from the boy last Christmas, I significantly cut back on my "grande non fat hazelnut vanilla latte" kick and started making coffee every morning at home. Why couldn't I do the same with my chai latte obsession?? If only it were so easy...

I started by trying out the chai pods for the Keurig. Meh. Watery, not creamy. And a weak sweetness, lacking the spice.

I moved on to Tazo tea Chai Teabags. I brewed 2 bags for a concentrated spice, topped off with a little hot water and lots of skim milk. Again- watery...and it tasted like watery skim milk :(

Next, Tazo tea Chai Tea concentrate. It's what they use at Starbucks! It has to be perfect! But without the foamed milk, it fell short.

Finally, I stumbled across Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate on Melissa's blog,
Stay Forever Sunday. The way she described the lattes she created made my mouth water! Of course, she's from NC. There's no way it will be around here (but I'll check Trader Joe's next time I wander through). Lo and behold, a week later I found the concentrate on a bottom shelf at Target! I immediately scooped up a box and hustled home...

So- how do you make the perfect chai tea latte at home? You'll need:

6oz The Original Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
6oz Organic Skim Milk (I prefer Horizon Organics)

1 Tazo Chai Teabag for an extra dose of flavor

Blend the milk and concentrate in a mug or large measuring cup. For a hot latte- microwave for 2 minutes and add the tea bag. For an iced latte- pour over ice and add the tea bag (maybe 2 if you want a stronger flavor over the ice).

Easy, right?! Well, it gets better. Here's the breakdown:

The homemade latte sets you back 207 calories for 12oz, comparable to store bought counterparts.
Since a box of concentrate makes around 5 lattes, it costs me only 65 cents per latte!* That's a vice I can handle :)

*Assuming I have milk in the house. Get technical, it costs 95 cents.
Oregon Chai Concentrate can be found at Trader Joe's, Giant Food, and Target (at least in the Delaware area)

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