Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mystic Chai Tea

 

These freezing temps sure call for a warm, cozy beverage. When I read my articles just a few weeks back, it’s funny to see myself mocking the cooler temperatures, and then we were back again with highs in the eighties, and now we’re back down to the twenties. I love Texas. What most parts of the country can experience in months, we experience in a single day.

This is why I decided to share my all-time favorite beverage with you. I believe Mystic Chai Tea is actually a brand, but I love saying the name so much, it makes feel so warm, and mysterious -just like a foggy, frigid, brisk morning. What originally sparked my interest was a coffee drink from a small java spot in South Austin years ago, they described it as their secret blend of seven spices, and of course, a shot of espresso. It was so warm, creamy, soothing, frothy, and sweet. With just enough hint of spice to leave you guessing at the end. I spent years googling various recipes for creamy teas, and this is my guess. The best I’ve come at recreating that drink is using this Mystic Chai Tea mix, made with milk, and adding a shot of coffee or espresso. Mainly sans coffee for me lately, it leaves me feeling dehydrated during the day. Plus, I don’t want to be the evil dragon teacher with matching dragon coffee breath. Believe it or not, I had an orthodontist as a teen with dragon coffee breath.

Moving on, this mix makes makes excellent gifts. So many friends have been dying to get their mittened paws on this recipe, I am finally sharing. I even sold jars of this tea at last year’s a Christmas Bazaar. It was a big hit, with samples included! This recipe makes three pint jars, if I remember correctly. While some of the ingredients are rather pricey, it’s worth it. Each jar has about 16 servings; I priced it out. It will cost you less than $1 per cup, way cheaper than Starbucks. Plus, it’s homemade.

Peace, Love, and Winter Wishes Ya’ll.

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Mystic Chai Tea

Yield: 3 pint jars

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:

First, I know how expensive cardamom powder is. Be ready to be shocked. One tip I read was to buy whole beans and grind them in a coffee grinder. A blender doesn't work - I tried it.

So, combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Then blend, a few cups at a time, in a blender or food processor - for longer than you think necessary. About 1-2 minutes should yield a nice, fine texture - you want the consistency of a fine powder. If you like, experiment by adding nutmeg, allspice, or even a pinch of white pepper - I add depending on what I have on hand.

Store in a large ziploc, or transfer to mason jars. When ready to serve, heat one mug of milk or water, about 1 1/2 cups, and add 3 tablespoonfuls of mystic chai tea mix, depending on how sweet or strong you like it. And remember, try adding coffee or espresso for that extra kick!

 

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