BY ALEXA CHERRY
For the UAS Whalesong
The first time I tried a chai latte, I was skeptical. I don’t much care for the flavor of tea by itself, and I was confused by the concept – was it just tea and milk? Was it a chai-flavored latte? Still, it was cold outside, and I’d gone into the Rookery for a hot drink. While I didn’t want coffee, I didn’t want plain tea either, and a chai latte seemed like it would be a good compromise. And it was! Unfortunately, it also cost me six dollars, which is a lot for one drink. Consequently, I resigned myself to the thought that chai lattes would be an infrequent indulgence, and moved on.
So imagine my surprise when one day over summer break, I accidentally made my own chai latte at home! Doors had opened for me. My wallet felt slightly bigger. And I return to you now to share this knowledge, so that you can also save money by making your own chai lattes. Let’s begin.
YOU WILL NEED:
• Hot water
• Chai tea – either a bag or a Keurig cup
• Milk – regular, two percent, soy, etc., whatever works for you
• Cinnamon – this is optional, but helps if you want a spiced chai latte
Once you’ve obtained all your ingredients, it’s time to move on to actually making the drink. I know that seems really obvious, but look, I needed a good transition between the list of ingredients and the list of directions, so just roll with me on this.
• Make (strong) tea. You can either steep chai tea bags in hot water, or you can make it in your Keurig. I prefer the Keurig approach, personally; either way, here are your guidelines. Steep the bags for longer than you normally might – I think it’s 5+ minutes for strong tea. If you’re using a Keurig, just slap the cup in the machine and then choose the smallest cup setting.
• Slosh in some milk. I am the first person to complain about ambiguous directions like “splash” and “slosh” and “a pinch of [redacted]” in recipes, but this measurement is genuinely up to you. I used to make the tea and then fill the cup the rest of the way up with milk, but I hated the taste for some reason, so now I just add a little milk and it’s way better. If you want it to actually be a chai latte, I suggest just a splash of milk. Otherwise, you drown out the taste of the tea and defeat the purpose altogether.
• Add sugar. A lot if you want it to taste like what you can get at Spike’s Café or Starbucks; a little if even the thought of pouring sugar into your beverage makes your teeth hurt. Again, it’s subjective. I’m sorry for being so vague, I promise I can change.
• Once that’s all stirred up, sprinkle cinnamon on top! One shake from a container should do it. Chai tea is already pretty spicy, but I found that I didn’t get the kick of flavor I was used to in the ones I ordered from the downtown Heritage until I added the cinnamon. That’s the secret ingredient, folks. If I go missing, the coffee shop owners took me out for sharing knowledge not meant to be known by common man.
And that’s it! That’s all you need to know in order to make and enjoy your very own spiced chai lattes in the privacy of your own home. You can make small ones to drink in the toasty comfort of your room during rainy days, or you can make big ones that you put in your travel mug and snicker over in class because everyone around you can smell that you have a spiced chai latte and they’re jealous. Nice.