Chai Mix Aliases
Every culture riffs on the basic Indian spice mix, and renames it: in India it is called chai masala; in Israel they use it mostly as the Yemenite sweet coffee spice mix, or Hawayedj (as distinct from the pungent curry-like cooking Hawayedj). Although the name literally means tea spice mix, it is equally at home in quite a few drinks, hot or cold, with or without milk: Pumpkin chai latte, matcha latte, turmeric latte, Turkish coffee, even hot cider! Even hot chocolate: Hello! You can even spice your chocolate truffles with the chai mix. And if you spice your apple cake with it, you’ll knock it out of the ball park!
Make Your Own Spice Mix!
Nothing to it! In my opinion, no commercial mix comes close to your homemade spice mix. Make a nice big batch in minutes: it will last you months. You’ll be moments away from your favorite comfort drink in all seasons.
Homemade Latte Drinks are Healthier
There’s another priceless advantage of making your own homemade latte drinks: you have much better control of what you put in. Store bought latte drinks can easily err on the caloric and sugary. Besides, they are most often made with very unexciting and uninspiring mixes: certainly not worth the caloric expense. Read the caloric contents of some latte drinks next time you are in a commercial coffee house: you would faint to find out the amount of sugar they contain!
Chai purists make their own mix from scratch: they grind their own spices, cook them and strain them. But you know what, my mix is fantastic, Super fast and super easy: you will be encouraged to make it chai drinks more often, at the drop of a hat.
My Own Spice Mix
Naughtier, spicier and more complex than pumpkin spice. Play with the amounts i am suggesting, and once you arrive at your favorite combo, take good note of it for future batches.
- 2 tablespoons ground anise
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons cardamom
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in bowl, then transfer to a perfectly clean and dry glass jar. Store with your spices. Makes about 1 cup mix.
For 1 cup chai: Start with about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture per cup of hot tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate, or hot cider) and increase it to your own taste.
For several servings: bring everything to boil in a teapot, and strain. Here’s a great brand tea strainer that will leave your drink pristinely clear and limpid.
Add your favorite milk (I love to use almond milk or coconut milk) and your favorite sweetener to taste (on days I would rather skip sugar, I use erythritol)
Going all out? Top with whipped cream for an occasional splurge.
For Pumpkin Latte
Add 3-4 tablespoons canned or frozen pumpkin purée and blend with the other ingredients.
For Iced Drinks
Blend with a few ice cubes.