Chai literally means tea in Hindi but is much more than that. It’s tea flavored with the most heartwarming spices for a drink that’s much more than a refreshment; it makes you smile! And don’t get me started about that delicious smell.
Not all chai is created equal, though. Actually, I bet there are hundreds of different recipes out there. When it comes to using spices, we all how our favorites.
Today we’re checking out my vanilla chai tea recipe, a balanced, spicy and pretty tasty version of the classic chai. It all starts with the milk and spices.
For vanilla chai tea, we’ll need some dairy. The best chai is always beautifully creamy! Whole milk is the obvious choice, but skim milk or any milk alternative works fine. I like making mine with oat milk or almond milk but choose your favorite.
There’s lots of room for creativity when choosing spices. Black peppercorns, pink peppercorns, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Everything goes, and the best way of making chai tea fast and easy is preparing a spice mix.
Start blending the spices in equal proportions and taste from there. Add a bit more of the spices you like the most and reduce the amount of the overpowering ones. I’m using equal parts for the recipe below, but the fun part about chai tea is making it your own through experimentation.
We’ll need black tea, too. This is chai, after all, so a tea bag of your favorite black tea will work nicely. I use Earl Grey because I like the citrusy feel it adds to the chai.
Last but not least, we’ll need vanilla, and for that, look for authentic vanilla extract. Vanilla essences are not as intense or tasty as the real thing, and they’re completely artificial, so spend a bit more and get a small jar of natural vanilla essence.
Let’s put our vanilla chai tea together!
For the chai spice blend:
For the vanilla chai tea:
Combine the chai spice blend beforehand.
Brew the black tea and heat the milk in the microwave.
In a cocktail shaker or any container with a lid, add the tea, milk and incorporate the vanilla extract, sugar and chai spice blend. Shake until combined and frothy and pour into a cup. Enjoy!
Alternatively, instead of shaking the mixture, you can blend it or incorporate it with a hand mixer.