I love coffee shops. I love their vibe, I love the smell, I love how they’re the best place to meet up with friends for a chat. I also love their sweetened, expensive chai lattes. It’s not like I don’t make tea at home. I do… I just like the coffee shop stuff better. It’s sweet and the milk to tea ratio is just right, and I don’t have to spend a lot of time making it.
But I don’t really have the money to hit the coffee shop every day, and I would rather sweeten my chai a little less than the baristas do.
This is a good time to mention a secret I have: when I’m cooking, rather than baking, I rarely have to test and retest recipes. I make something once, and if it’s good, I write the recipe and share it with y’all. But I wanted this to be absolutely perfect.
The first attempt was good. I drank the whole thing through my metal straw and enjoyed myself thoroughly. But there were some problems. First, I hadn’t brewed my tea strong enough. I think for some people it may have been enough, but I like a strong, bold flavor. Second, I wanted more cinnamon. I always want more cinnamon.
Try number two was better: more cinnamon, and I brewed the tea extra long for a stronger flavor. But as soon as I did that, I realized it wasn’t sweet enough.
Third time’s the charm, I guess, because the more date nectar I added, the better it got.
The final recipe is intense, with lots of tea, lots of cinnamon and lots of date nectar. It’s not quite as sweet as the chai you might get at Starbucks, but it’s pretty damn close.
- 1 ½ cups chai filterbag tea, brewed strong and chilled
- ½ cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons date nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds.
Pour over ice into a 16 ounce glass and enjoy.
Note: I used Equal Exchange chai because I like the flavor profile. Choose whichever chai mix is your favorite!