We all have our weaknesses.
Chai tea lattes are one of mine. The cravings will ambush me on gray, dreary, lazy days. I’m weak against them… I rarely fight back, against my better judgement. When I snuck into coffee shops to indulge I would always leave with a happy belly, but also calorie regrets and spending guilt.
To appease my guilty mind I searched long and hard for a DIY chai latte mix; one that is healthier than most, but can meet my instant (chai) gratification needs.
Sadly, all the recipes I found included instant tea, powdered non-dairy creamer, and LOTS of white sugar. I’m not a big fan of instant ingredients, so I persevered to put together an (almost) instant chai latte mix made with less of the bad and more of the good. This “almost instant” recipe requires steeping a bag of tea in with each mug of the finished product.
It’s not a health drink by any means, but is healthier than most and crazy tasty!
“Almost Instant” Chai Latte Mix
- 1 ¾ cup organic nonfat dry milk powder (there was no getting around this one for a powdered mix)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (for creaminess – make your own)–you can sub ¼ cup more dry milk powder if you like
- 1 ½ cups organic cane sugar or other natural sweetener, to taste (find unrefined natural sweeteners here)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional–this stuff is expensive!)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper (optional–for a little kick!)
1. Mix vanilla into cane sugar. Let it dry out, then break into small lumps. (You can speed the drying process by spreading vanilla-infused sugar onto a cookie sheet and putting in a 150°-170° oven for 7-10 minutes.)
2. Measure out spices. If you only have whole spices on hand, grind in a coffee grinder, food processor, or high speed blender (like a VitaMix) until they’re a fine powder.
3. In a large bowl, combine spices, cane sugar, powdered sugar, and dry milk.
4. Stir well to combine ingredients.
You’re almost ready for a hot cup of chai!
5. Stir in about 2 Tablespoons of your chai mix to a mug of hot water, drop in a bag of organic black tea, and allow tea bag to steep for a few minutes. Slowly sip and enjoy!
This recipe makes about a quart of dry mix. It fits perfectly in an quart size mason jar, and makes lovely gifts for the chai lover in your life!
Tip: when giving away as gifts consider including a box of black tea and a gorgeous mug as companions to this delicious latte mix.
- To avoid sediment or “floaties” in your finished drink, blend the powdered mixture in a food processor or blender in 1 cup batches until it becomes a fine powder.
- If you want your chai latte mix to be truly instant, add 1 ½ cups of unsweetened instant tea to your dry mixture, and process in a food processor or blender in small batches until the consistency resembles a fine powder. (The tea bag in step 5 is unnecessary now!)
- Feel free to personalize this mix to your tastes, experimenting with different spice mixtures and different varieties of tea!
- If you prefer regular chai to vanilla chai, simply leave out the vanilla extract in the first step.
(For those interested in the origins of the modern chai tea latte, check the reference links below.)