If you haven’t tried Chai tea yet , you are depriving yourself of one of life’s great pleasures and taking advantage of the benefits of this ancient infusion.
Although it was taken in India no less than 4,000 years ago, it reached the West several centuries ago, the diffusion it has had in the last 15 years has been impressive. Everyone drinks Chai tea, starting with the celebrities who invade social networks showing their cup with the characteristic milk bubbles.
In large American cities, coffee shops offer various chai tea recipes, some universally known and others created by famous franchises such as Starbucks, which installed its Chai Tea Latte in such a way that many people believe it is an invention of the firm.
Also the espresso version of Chai Tea is famous in cafeterias and in homes that have a coffee machine. It is said to have been created by mistake in a Covent Garden (England) bar in 1990 when a barista mistakenly served chai tea with creamed machine milk. The North American client liked it so much that she decided to import the style to her country.
Chai tea ingredients are as varied as its recipes, but the basic ingredients that are present in all of them are:
*Sugar or natural sweetener (Stevia)
Many recipes also include vanilla and pepper. The original Chai tea or Masala Chai that is drunk in Hindu families is much more spicy and spicy than the one we drink in the West and contains less milk.
Preparing the best version of this Indian drink at home is now very easy, as Sweetea offers you Chai Tea sweetened with Stevia prepared with a blend of high-quality teas from Malawi and India. By adding a third of a cup of hot whipped or frothed whole milk, you’ll be on the same level as the best coffee shops in the world.
But if you want to discover more exotic flavors in Chai tea, the trend is to replace cow’s milk with vegetable milk. In addition, it is ideal if you are vegan, lactose or gluten intolerant.
Learn about the properties and flavors of vegetable milks that are currently available in most supermarkets or health stores.
The best plant milks for chai tea
1- Almond milk
It is preferred by many of our tealovers . Although there are several commercial brands, you can prepare it at home:
– 1 glass of raw almonds, with skin and everything, soaked for 2 hours.
– 750 ml of water
– Vanilla or cinnamon (optional)
You just have to place the ingredients in the blender and blend until you have a paste. Filter with a fine mesh, it can be a cheesecloth, moving with a spoon to speed up the process. You will get approximately 1 liter of almond milk. You can store it up to 3 days in the fridge.
Now that you have your homemade milk (or have already bought one) you can prepare your chai tea. Our favorite recipe is the cold Te Chai Smoothie or prepare a very simple Almond Sweetea Chai Latte like the one we do in this video:
Almond milk is the most widely used plant-based alternative in the world and has a sweet, nutty flavor that blends wonderfully with the spices of Chai tea.
As you know, vegetable milks have different proteins than cow’s milk. These are responsible for achieving the foam, so in vegetables you will achieve the typical foam that crowns your tea at a lower temperature than the boil of animal milk. In general, commercially available vegetable milks have stabilizers, so they foam faster than homemade milks.
Although almond milk is not the easiest to foam, a good foam is achieved if you shake vigorously while heating, providing a very mild flavor to the exquisite Chai tea.
2- Coconut milk:
This is the vegetable milk preferred by baristas because it achieves a very stable foam that allows latte art to unleash .
It is the vegetable milk that contains more fat, sugar and protein and its texture is very pleasant to the palate.
It is also easily available in supermarkets, but you can make it at home, with a coconut or using a good brand of unsweetened shredded coconut that you can buy at health food stores. Preparing this milk will not take you more than 10 minutes.
Place 1 cup of grated coconut in the blender and add 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water. Process until you obtain a homogeneous paste and filter through gauze or a coffee filter. You will see that by mixing hot you will get foam very easily.
Prepare your favorite Chai tea recipe or our quick Golden Chai Latte Tea recipe that is a complete success.
3- Cashew milk:
This non-dairy milk is becoming very popular but it is still not easy to find in supermarkets, but there are several brands available in vegan or diet stores.
It has a very mild flavor and is the one that provides the least protein, but its proteins allow it to froth very easily, giving your cup of Chai tea a more voluminous appearance.
To prepare your cashew milk you need to soak a handful of them in water for 3 hours. After discarding the liquid, take the wet chestnuts to the blender and process together with 2 cups of water. You can also add dates and vanilla extract as in our Golden Chai Tea recipe .
After filtering the mixture you can store it up to 5 days in the refrigerator or heat it to enjoy a delicious Sweetea Chai Tea.
4- Soy Milk:
It is one of the best-known vegetable milks and has been marketed for several decades. Currently it even comes flavored with apple, vanilla or chocolate. Although it is not the combination that goes best with chai tea, it is an option if you do not have the previous milks on hand.
For a Sweetea Chai Tea with soy milk, boil the milk first so that you get the highest possible level of foam.