Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coconut Spiced Chai Tea

I absolutely love chai tea! When the weather begins to turn, I can’t wait to get my hands on a glass. Namaste restaurant on Hennepin has a Chai Coconut Crème that is delicious and after a little working, I think I have a variation that is just as good. 

Homemade Coconut Spiced Chai
4 cups water
4 Tbsp loose-leaf black tea, or loose black-based blend
3 cups 2% milk
14oz can coconut milk (full fat because you want the cream)
3/4 tsp masala tea spice (* see below)
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chai Masala
Ethnic grocers would be the place to look for chai masala spice mix. Read the ingredients to be sure that it doesn’t have any milk powder or sweetener added. This would be absolutely amazing with freshly ground spices—I don’t have the patience nor the tools, but if you do…
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch each of ground nutmeg, clove and cardamom

In a large sauce pan bring the 4 cups of water to boil. Add the loose leaf tea and cook for 6-8 minutes. It will be very dark and flavorful!

Remove from heat and pour in the 2% milk, star anise, cinnamon stick and spice mix. Stir and return to low heat. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Avoid letting the milk boil, a small bubble is ok.

Add vanilla and the sugar and stir until dissolved. Taste and add more sweetener if desired. Strain the tea.

Shake the coconut milk can vigorously to incorporate the cream and milk that may have separated while on the shelf. In a glass mug pour ¼ cup coconut milk. Pour in 1 cup of the strained tea. Stir and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy this sweet and spicy treat!