So this all began a few years when I lost my job and therefore had no reason to come within close proximity of Pam’s Coffee for my one guilty pleasure: a chai tea latte, 1% milk, no extra cinnamon.
I know, I know, there are chai bag teas. But they are not the same. You and I and everyone knows that no matter how long you boil a chai tea bag in a saucepan of milk, it will never have that infused chai flavour. Right? Right. Of course I'm right. It's a bag, holding in all that flavour goodness.
I needed a powder. An instant tea powder, one that would dissolve into milk, with all the intense spice flavourings I was accustomed to with my latte. In theory, to make it was stupid simple, because you need: milk, seasonings, sugar, and a tea powder. So I set about making my holy grail of winter drinks and came across the sort of hiccup that only an American living in Canada could experience.
Canada doesn't sell unflavoured, unsweetened tea powder.
So... Fair warning: you will have to cross the border for this recipe. But I know a ton of people do this (or know someone else who does this), so it shouldn't be a huge setback for most of us. Just go shopping at the nearest Super Walmart or Target and pick you up a few glass canisters of unsweetened tea powder. Or shop for it online - Amazon.com can ship to most places in Canada. Buy at least three and make the trip worthwhile. It won't go bad :)
I published this recipe ages ago on FoodRetro and it's been a big hit. But I never just rest on my laurels here. One of the only downsides to the original recipe was that I used granulated sugar, and while that doesn't sound like such a big deal in and of itself, the grains were heavier than the rest of the mix, and the sugar would, over time, sink to the bottom of the jar. This would require you to shake or mix it up periodically. I've made this one with powdered sugar, and that one stays blended much better, but it takes up more volume.
P.S. I'm working on a zero-cal one with stevia too, but believe it or not, the stevia overwhelms the flavours of the seasonings - stevia is all I tasted. So that one will probably be a bit of a work in progress requiring a lot of retooling to balance the sweetness and the spice. If you want to try it your own shot with other more neutral-tasting zero calorie sweeteners and have good success, please let me know in the comments!
You'll get a couple of batches out of every cannister, and every batch is approximately 32+ servings, so order extra if you'd like to make some to give away - it's a great alternative to making homemade hot chocolate mix as gifts for teachers and friends.
2 cups slightly rounded instant tea powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger
2 rounded teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 rounded teaspoon ground cloves
1 rounded teaspoon ground cardamom
1 rounded teaspoon nutmeg
1 rounded teaspoon allspice
Mix all of the ingredients and store in a VERY DRY airtight jar. Make sure the jar and its ingredients stay dry, or you will end up with instant tea when you don't want it!
Mix the powder in hot milk (or alternative milk) to taste, approx. 1-2 tablespoons per mug
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