Iced Chai to go!

Steep good black tea, I used Tetley, with spices for refreshing chaiThere is nothing better than a nice, icy coffee or tea to beat the heat and feel like a treat. If you are like many of my dear friends and colleagues, you may love nothing more than an iced chai latte. Darlings, did you know each serving has from 150 to 260 calories – maybe more — depending on where you buy them and what 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 anywhere from $3 to $4 a pop. Now, I’d never advocate giving up the pleasures of lingering at a good café with a friend. But why squander your money for a fattening, pricey scoop-and-run beverage. You can make your own; it is snap. My friend Malti makes the best chai anywhere. She should. It comes from India as she does — not Seattle!
Here is a simple recipe:
Boil a small pot of water with:
2-3 slices of fresh ginger root
4-5 whole pepper corns
4-5 coriander pods
2-3 while cinnamon sticks
2-3 whole cloves
Boil for five minutes and then infuse 2 tea bags and steep.
You can also add the spices to the top of an ice tea machine and steep.
Sweeten to taste with any sweetener desired.
Try Stevia Extract for a natural no-calorie option.
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!
If you use hot steamed milk, pour it straight down into the tea for a pretty effect.
Brew the tea to be very strong, as milk will dilute it. 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 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 for $5 to $7. I encourage you to learn to drink them without the syrup, if it is a daily indulgence. After all, I really do like it best icy cold and unsweetened. Give it a try!
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.
Make a big pot and enjoy it hot or cold all day. Fill your thermos and go!