Recipe: Masala Chai

The first thing we’ll discussed about the recipe is name. Chai is the Indian word for tea – so when you ask for a “chai tea latte”, you’re really asking for a tea tea latte. Masala is the word for a blend of spices, or spiced. So when I say Masala Chai, I’m preferring to a spiced tea. Traditionally, a masala chai is made with black tea and there are so many varieties of spices that can be used in your masala chai – so here’s just one tea enthusiast’s take at making a Masala Chai at home. This recipe makes enough for you – one for you & one for someone special!

Masala Chai – Serves 2

2 cups water
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs Chai Spice Mix
2 tbs looseleaf black tea¹
1 cup milk²

Chai Spice Mix³
2 tbs ground cardamom
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs ground nutmeg
½-1 tbs ground ginger
½ tbs ground black pepper

¹ There’s no hard or fast rule to what type of black tea to use. I generally opt for a straight/traditional black tea, and I’ll give you internet bonus points for choosing a tea that’s from the Darjeeling or Assam regions of India.

² This isn’t a vegan/vegetarian recipe, but it’s pretty easy to make it into one. Simply opt for a dairy-free milk option. I go with an unsweetened organic soy milk option for my regular day-to-day life.

³ Ground spices are a lot easier for me, personally. I do substitute in green cardamom pods (just crush them before using). You can also opt for a cinnamon stick (half should do it). I always recommend freshly ground ginger if you can get your hands on it. And I always buy peppercorns and have them in a grinder to do it myself. The spice mixture is fairly similar to the one in my Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies, but I find lowering the amount of ground ginger makes it a bit more palatable for more people.

Prepare Chai Spiced Mix
Mix all dry ingredients together.
Store in an air-tight glass jar.
If using fresh ingredients, mix a small amount into a bowl.

Making the Masala Chai
In a small saucepan, heat your water and brown sugar together.
Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved, and allow it to come to a boil.
Add in Chai Spice Mix and black tea, allow to simmer.
Add milk, stir, and allow it to come to a second boil.
Remove from heat, strain when pouring into cups or teapot.

If you make Masala Chai for yourself (and a friend), I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

Recipe: Matcha White Hot Chocolate

Some people argue that white chocolate isn’t real chocolate, because it doesn’t actually contain cocao solids. But then, there are people who call it chamomile tea and peppermint tea – and you don’t see me waving a pitchfork at them for the misuse of the word tea instead of tisane…

It’s been chilly in Canada lately. You might have heard of the three snow storms that British Columbia was subjected to last week, or the State of Emergency called in Newfoundland & Labrador (that’s the east coast for you!)… So what better excuse is there for me than to stay home with a cup of hot chocolate? And since it’s me being me, I had to be a little bit extra and fancy with it… and make it a Matcha White Hot Chocolate.

And I’ve already got the recipe ready to go so you can make two cups! One for you, and one for your equally matcha-obsessed love (or friend).

Matcha White Hot Chocolate – Serves 2

2 cups milk¹
½-⅓ cup white chocolate chips²
2 tbs matcha (sifted)³

Optional Garnish Ideas:
Whipped cream
Candy canes
Sifted matcha
White chocolate shavings
Miniature marshmallows

¹ I used unsweetened soy milk for mine, you can opt to use dairy or dairy-free alternatives.
² If you can’t find white chocolate chips at your local grocery store, a high quality white chocolate bar (chopped!) will work as well. Bonus, you can eat the leftovers. You can also use regular sweetened chocolate chips, but the colour (and flavour) definitely won’t be the same.
³ There are so many types of matcha out there! I would recommend using a traditional matcha (100% matcha, no additives or “drink mixes”). I used Whisk Premium Matcha’s Everyday in making this recipe.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, over medium heat, put in all the ingredients – don’t forget to sift the matcha for some anti-clumping action.
Whisk until chocolate chips are melted and well incorporated.
Do not allow the mixture to boil!
Once everything is heated and well-mixed, pour into mugs.
Top with optional garnish(es).

If you make this Matcha White Hot Chocolate, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

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Recipe: Eggnog Chai Latte

I was first introduced to the Eggnog Chai Latte by a fellow nurse. She literally brought in one for each of us on a night shift and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker last December. I’m constantly a sucker for a good Chai, and the addition of eggnog made it even more seasonally delicious. While the version she brought in came from a popular coffee chain, I’ve opted to develop my own recipe so I can make it at home and have more control over it (plus, I get to be even more fancy with how I create it).

Katie, this recipe is for you.

Eggnog Chai Latte – Serves 1

2-3 teaspoons looseleaf chai¹
⅔ cup hot water (100°C/212°F)
⅔ cup milk
⅔ cup eggnog
Sweetener, if desired.²
Whipped cream³
Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies³

¹ Use your favourite black tea chai blend or 3 tea bags. I used Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai.
² Use the sweetener of your choice, to taste. I opted for local honey.
³ Optional, for garnish purposes.

TEA TIP! You can make this vegetarian or vegan friendly with a few easy swaps. Nut-based milks, vegan eggnog, and coconut whipped cream are all fairly easily accessible these days at all major grocery store chains. I can’t guarantee that it’ll taste quite the same, but you’ll be able to enjoy the seasonal goodness as well!

Directions
Steep chai in hot water according to steeping instructions – or for 5 minutes. I did this in a teapot and then poured into my cup.
In a saucepan on medium heat, heat together milk and eggnog (don’t let it boil!).
Add in sweetener if desired, turn off heat.
Froth with a handheld frother or whisk.
Add milk and eggnog mixture to your cup.
Top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane candy for an extra bit of holiday decadence.

If you make this Eggnog Chai Latte, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!