The Great Chai Latte Experiment

Obviously, this is part one of many, seeing as I have no milk-steaming implement, and then I’ve got to get the proportion of tea to milk exactly right.

Yes, chai is tea, and a very tasty tea it is, too. I think the best straight-up chai I’ve ever had was at my local Indian restaurant. It was sweet but not saccharine, smooth but not bland, the perfect complement to the butter chicken. Particularly delightful is the chai latte, especially its vanilla variant. But what’s a girl to do when she’s been craving the stuff and can’t afford to drop three bucks on it every morning?

Well, first she’ll go and ask her friend to make her one, just to satisfy the craving. (I love you, Chibi!) Then she’ll buy some chai-inna-teabag and start brewing.

ATTEMPT ONE

1. Boil water on stove.
2. Pour water into mug until it is 1/4 full; add same amount of milk; steep tea in this for three minutes. Add even more milk.
3. Take out teabag. Taste. Discover the truth of this statement: “Milk that has not been foamed at all tends to taste flat and dull by comparison.” Do not, however, understand yet that it is the foam and the steaming to blame.
4. Pour out some of the tea/milk. Add water. Go back and steep a second teabag for four minutes.
5. Take out teabag. Taste. Recoil in horror.
6. Add cocoa mix, because everything’s better with cocoa mix, right?
7. Drink about a quarter of that mugful of mess before deciding it’s just not worth your while.

Seven easy steps to NO FREAKING WAY.

I really enjoyed the flavor combination of chai and milk, except for the flatness. Ew. I think I may have to ask for a milk-steaming implement for Christmas.

Until then, I may have to try different milk products in my chai to approximate the taste. I’ve seen powdered and condensed milk suggested; could heavy cream do the trick as well? We shall see!

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