Iced chai or green tea latte to go
The weather has turned warm and lovely and there is nothing better than a nice icy coffee or tea. If you are like many of my dear friends and colleagues, you love may love nothing more than an iced chai latte or iced green tea latte. Darlings, did you know that they range in calories from 150 to 260, depending on where you buy them and the size you order. And do you ever buy a small eight-ounce iced drink? I do not. But, then again I drink my tea black with lemon or nothing but ice.
And the price can break you if you drink them regularly at any where from $3 to $4 a pop. Now darlings, far be it from me to advocate giving up the pleasures of lingering at a good café with a friend. No, I am talking about squandering money regularly for a fattening, pricey-scoop-and-run beverage. You can make your own, it is snap. After all, my friend Malti makes the best chai anywhere. She should, it comes form India as she does, too — not Seattle!
You can be a purist and heat or steam your milk before you add it to the drink or just add cold milk. Try it both ways and see what you prefer. If you heat 1 cup milk for 3 minutes in a microwave in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, covered with plastic wrap or a wet paper towel, you can quickly and easily achieve a close substitute to steamed milk. Be very careful not burn yourself! This is the perfect time to use the steamer on your espresso machine too!
If you use hot steamed milk pour it straight down into the tea for a pretty effect.
Palanquin Spiced Tea is sold in India to make Marsala, or what we call chai here. It is available in most Indian shops and is very inexpensive. There are many brands of chai tea in most markets now. I really like this one. It is inexpensive and spicy. In India, Marsala or spiced tea is brewed in hot milk. I use water and suggest you do too, and then add milk. Sweeten the hot brewed tea to taste, using sugar or the sweetener of your choice. Splenda, honey, or Stevia all taste fine. I like it unsweetened. I find the spice makes the sweetener unnecessary. Whichever you choose be sure to dissolve it in the hot tea.
Brew the tea to be very strong as it will be diluted by milk. I use two bags and steep it for 4 minutes, but no longer as it will get bitter. Add hot steamed milk or cold milk and pour over ice. Enjoy! This a lovely cold drink to carry in a thermos bottle or large refillable coffee cup. It’s refreshing all day long.
You can control the calories by the sweetener you choose and the amount you use. You can also choose the type of milk: no-fat, low fat, soy or almond. Check the calorie count. If you really miss the flavoured syrups that are often added to these drinks and can afford the calories, you can buy a whole quart or liter bottle of the best quality at gourmet grocery of $5 to $7. I encourage you to learn to drink them without it, if it is a daily indulgence.
It is interesting to note that “chai” simply means tea from Russia to China. In India “chai’ or Marsala tea, as it is properly known, is black tea flavoured with cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black pepper, and clove.