chai latte

Make this just for the aroma…even if you never take the first drink of the chai latte.

 But…look what you will miss if you never taste!!!

  • Tazo Earl Grey tea
  • Market Spice Tea – Cinnamon Orange
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • vanilla bean
  • fresh ginger
  • cardamom fancy white pods
  • Indonesia cinnamon sticks (cassia) {saving the real cinnamon for Baklava!}
  • Chinese star anise
  • Ceylon whole cloves
  • black peppercorns
    • honey
    • water
    • raw sugar
    • whole milk

Individually, some of the spices may be on your ‘I don’t really like that’ list; however, combined they each contribute to the wonderful flavor of the whole.

simmering (this s m e l l s  so  good…)

20 minutes later and strained
The post-simmered spices maintain their beauty.

equal parts warm frothed milk and chai concentrate
dusted with ground cinnamon
oh…and, use that left over cinnamon stick!
D E L I C I O U S!

Chai Concentrate
(adapted from here)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags (black tea)
  • 4 cinnamon orange tea bags (or use total of 8 bags of black tea)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3″ section of raw ginger (I didn’t peel mine)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (I didn’t use this; cinnamon orange tea is very orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • whole milk
  1. Bring water and sugar to boil, dissolving sugar
  2. Add tea bags, all spices, vanilla bean, and zest
  3. Simmer 20 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and strain into container 
  5. Stir in honey; allow to cool; store in refrigerator for a week
Chai Latte
  1. Heat whole milk to simmer
  2. Froth milk (I used my hand mixer)
  3. Add equal parts chai concentrate and frothed milk to your mug
  4. Dust top with cinnamon
  5. Stir with left over cinnamon stick
  6. Enjoy
cliche, but ‘good to the last drop’
Update:  Don’t!! throw the spices away after straining them from the liquid.  My spices have been sitting on the counter for a week; they add a whiff of fragrance to the fall air.
Update/Update:  My chai concentrate did get cloudy after a day; I have read that the cloudiness is due to oil extractions from quality tea leaves.  Adding boiling water will reduce the cloudiness.  Equal parts chai concentrate and boiling water yields an enjoyable spicy hot tea.


Grey Goose and vanilla beans

(repost from April 4, 2009)

“even the plastic bags smell de-vine”

I couldn’t throw away the plastic storage bags in which the vanilla beans were shipped. They smelled sooooo goood. I kept them in the utility room for a week, enjoying the lingering aroma.

I split about 15 Vanilla Beans (Planifolia) [purchased from] & about 5 tahitian vanilla beans. Then I added a bottle of double strength Nielsen-Massey vanilla, and filled the quart fruit jar with Grey Goose Vodka. NOW, THAT’S A RECIPE!

The jar of vanilla is brewing in the back of my cabinet. Every day or so, I take it out, shake it a little, wonder what is happening on the inside, and return it to it’s aging place in the cabinet. This project began March 7. I’ll open it on May 7th to see what I have created.

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fast-forward six months:

I need to buy more Grey Goose! The vanilla beans need alcohol to continue to produce this liquor (the liquid from which a substance has been extracted – from Apple dictionary widget)

I have about $60 invested in this quart of vanilla liquor/extract.

Nielsen-Massey is about $19 per 8 fl. oz. at Williams Sonoma. Though there is a little savings in money, it’s not as much about the money as about the experience of watching this process unfold.