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Friday, January 14, 2011

Vanilla Chai Tea

Without a doubt the greatest "treat" that I can buy myself, would be a cup of hot Chai tea. I love it! I have never had another drink that comes close to comparing to it. I could be having a horrible day, or have had an argument with my husband, or just plain feeling bad, and this tea warms me up. It's magic. Now it can't be just any cup of Chai tea, it has to be made just right. The only place I've found that sells this perfect cup is, Classic Bean, one of our local coffee shops. I enjoy the tea at Starbucks and I like PT's okay, but the one from Classic Bean just sends warm fuzzy feelings all the way down to my toes. And I just can't help myself, after every sip I take, I sigh with pleasure. That might sound a bit weird, or crazy, but I love it. It was God's gift to me.

This Christmas I received one of the greatest gifts ever. A friend of mine gave me a tin of Chai tea, made from a recipe she found online. You know how I love a good cup of it; well I expected this to be good, but not GREAT. I really do like all Chai teas that I taste; I just have preference to this one. And I'm certain the recipe has to be almost identical to the one they are serving at Classic Bean. It's full of the wonderful, good smelling spices that make my tea so great. I think that adds a lot to the taste, the smell. In every sip I take, I can smell the cinnamon, nutmeg and other delicious spices.

When I mixed up my first cup of Chai tea on Christmas evening, I was playing a game with my family over at my parent's house. We were all having a hilariously good time gathering around the table playing, Boxers or Briefs. As soon as I took my first taste, I couldn't help myself, I said, "ohhh ... wow... this is good." I then repeated it without realizing for every sip after. I was just overwhelmed that someone I knew had the recipe for my favorite drink in the world! I was no longer going to have to pay $4 a cup; I might be able to drink it in the privacy of my own home, whenever I wanted!

Needless to say, I got the recipe a few days later from my friend, and I wanted to share it with you here. It makes a TON of Chai tea, so if you're not sure if you'd like it, cut the recipe in half, or do a quarter of it. Or if you're really not sure, I might give you a small bag from mine, if you ask nicely.

vanilla chai tea mix recipe
1 cup dry milk
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea (regular or decaf)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional - I couldn't find it at the store)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional - I also couldn't find this at the store)

vanilla chai tea mix recipe
The kids and I put together our Chai tea mix during one of their snow days. They really enjoyed helping out, measuring ingredients and just holding the lid down on the blender!

1) I used a blender to make my Chai tea. You can only blend about 2-3 cups of ingredients at a time. Start with the dry milk and non-dairy creamer. Blend until it is a powdery consistency.

Zechariah enjoyed pushing the Blend button for us!

2) Pour mixture into the bowl.

3) Blend the white sugar until powdery and add to the large bowl.

4) Blend the unsweetened instant tea along with the spices. Pour this mixture into the bowl. (This one was VERY messy and I had to scrape out my blender with a spatula!)

My kids loved holding the lid down. I think they thought it might explode!

5) Carefully stir the ingredients until they are completely incorporated.

6) Pour vanilla Chai tea mix into an airtight container and store at room temperature.

7) To make the Chai tea, I use 2 heaping spoonfuls with 8-10oz. of water.

See how much it makes!! TONS! I love it, but really with my family we'll go through it really quickly. My kids have been asking for a cup of it each day. We all love hot drinks.

It's recommended if you don't like all the extra spices in your drink you can place your Chai tea mix in a strainer and then hold the strainer over a mug and pour hot water through the strainer into the mug. Or if that sounds like a lot of work, you can just not drink the last few sips where the spices have settled. I personally like that part of the drink.

vanilla chai tea mix recipe It makes a wonderful treat for the end of the day, or just anytime you need to get a moment for yourself. I love to sit down on the couch, do absolutely nothing, and sip my tea curled up under a cozy blanket. Life is all about the little things. This is one of my favorite little blessings from God. Tea is meant to be enjoyed, sipped slowly, and sometimes shared with a few good friends.

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