I've always had a bit of an obsession with chai. I get these chai lattes at the fancy coffee houses: a delicious blend of cream and spices and tea and sugar. It's heaven in a cup, and the tea still packs quite a caffeine punch (especially if you add some shots of espresso for a “dirty chai”). I was never a coffee-lover until after I had kids, so chai lattes were my go-to for many late-night study sessions all the way through high school and college. I got all my friends hooked on the stuff, and now it's a special treat that I make them when they come over.
When I started drinking coffee, I liked the added caffeine but missed the sweet, slightly spicy tang of my chai lattes. I started getting into coffee additives like fancy creams and toppings, and someone soon pointed out that I could actually marry my love of chai lattes with my love of chai and have the best of both worlds! Now, I make my favorite standby chai latte recipe AND I make an amped-up version to give a nod to my newfound love of the coffee bean. Everybody wins, from the tired moms who need a boost to the anti-coffee pals who just want their tried-and-true chai latte with that comforting flavor.
My obsession with Coffee Mate nearly rivals my obsession with chai, so it's no wonder I've started using Coffee Mate at home in my own secret chai latte recipe. It's a little bit unconventional, mixing tea and espresso in a combination that I initially thought was strange. Until I gave it a try myself. Hold onto your mugs, people…this is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And surprisingly easy. And a whole heck of a lot cheaper than the pricey coffee houses.
My Not-So-Secret-Anymore Chai Latte Recipe
- 6 ounces water
- 2 ounces Hazelnut Coffee Mate
- Spiced chai tea bag
- 1-2 ounces espresso optional
- Whipped cream optional
- Grated nutmeg optional
- Mix water and Coffee Mate and heat in the microwave two minutes.
- Steep the tea bag in the water and Coffee Mate mixture for three to four minutes. Remove tea bag.
- Add one to two ounces espresso, if desired.
- Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg and serve.
Pour water and Coffee Mate in a cup and heat in the microwave. Yes, it must be hazelnut-flavored Coffee Mate…the hazelnut really brings out the flavor of the chai. It's a little tip I picked up from my favorite barista back when I was in high school, and recently started employing in my own at-home chai latte recipe.
Steep the spiced chai in the mixture for several minutes.
Add espresso, if desired. As I already mentioned, I personally love espresso in my chai (this is what they call a “dirty chai”), but some people prefer their tea and espresso separate. Give the chai latte recipe a try my way and see what you think.
Top with whipped cream and grated nutmeg and serve. Then, study the night away! Or just reminisce with some friends.
Have you ever had a chai latte?