Tuesday, February 05, 2008

deluxe hot chai mix

This is an unbelievably delicious recipe for instant spiced chai. I made two big batches of it for Christmas presents this year, and everyone who tried it absolutely LOVED it. Forget the supermarket and get yourself down the nearest Asian grocer, unless you like paying through the nose for those silly little jars of Schwartz spices.

This was my deluxe version of the recipe. For everyday consumption, I would probably reduce the sugar by half a cup or more, and maybe substitute half of the coffee whitener for more milk powder. Here we go.

You will need:

2 cups caster sugar (vanilla sugar is best)
1 cup Typhoo QT instant white tea
2 cups coffee whitener
1 cup dried skimmed milk powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon white pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Process the mixture in a blender or food processor, 1 cup at a time, and store in airtight jars.

To serve, put 2 tablespoons in a mug, top up with boiling water and wait a few minutes before drinking to allow the spices to settle at the bottom. Now drink up! Your life will never be the same again.


  1. ooh, I'm going to have to try this for sure- I'm addicted to chai!!!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    - Julie

  2. I bought heaps of spices a few months ago with the intent of making chai. One failed attempt and they were put away in the cupboard until now. I'm going to get me some coffee whitener and give this a try.
    Thanks :)

  3. Anything you could recommend to make this recipe vegan?

  4. oh my gosh this looks amazing - and something different from the usual hot chocolate mixes!

    Where do you find the Typoo instant white tea, though? I'm a Londoner but I've never seen it in the supermarket... do you get it online somewhere?

  5. denise: sorry, this recipe isn't at all vegan friendly - I did look into vegan alternatives at the time, but couldn't find anything remotely resembling freeze dried soya milk and you can't buy instant black tea in the UK :(

    melissa: both QT and Typhoo make instant white tea, my local Tesco Metro stocks both. Try Tesco online perhaps?

  6. Coffee whitener......is that instant coffee creamer? Like plain Coffee Mate?

    This sounds like a wonderful gift for a some friends. I really want to try this. May have to order the instant white tea online.

  7. Anyone in the USA know where to find instant tea? I really want to make this for holiday gifts! Looks yummy.

  8. shanti, if you can find instant black tea then use that and add an extra half cup or so of coffee whitener or milk powder. i only used instant white tea because it's all i could get in the UK. :-)

  9. Shanti, your local grocery store will have instant tea. It's in the aisle as the teabags. Nestea and Lipton are two of the more readily available name brands, but there might also be store brands, too.

  10. Denise, you could make the mix vegan by leaving out the dairy products from the mix and adding whatever type of milk you like directly to your cup instead.

  11. Has anyone found the right kind of instant tea in Canada? I don't recall seeing (though I've never looked for) instant tea made for hot tea and would rather not have to drive all over town all day and possibly not find any, if someone does know.

    My dh is British and loves Chai! I am looking forward to making him this! Thank you!!!!

    Oh, and caster sugar for North Americans would be Fine Sugar sugar of some kind but not powdered sugar. Sorry if that's already been mentioned.

  12. Okay, Superstore and Walmart don't have instant tea (except for iced tea). I finally bought some leaf tea with the idea of grinding it into a powder in lieu of instant. Has anyone tried that? Hannah, do you think that would work, and if so do you have any thoughts about how the measurements would compare?

    I also will have to whiz the sugar finer as the above stores don't have fine sugar either, though my "giftee" will probably be happy to add the sugar himself to the cup.

    Also, I can't find the Latte Creations. Can you tell me how this is different from regular creamer/whitener?

    I am trying to figure out how to add the vanilla flavour without vanilla sugar, vanilla creamer, etc, while keeping the mix dry. I have heard of vanilla powder but didn't see any.

  13. hey natalia

    I'm pretty sure leaf tea wouldn't work; whatever tea you use needs to be water soluble, and even fine leaf tea would leave a lot of sediment. If you feel like trying it, grind a small amount and add 1 teaspoon to a cup of hot water to see how it performs.

    I looked high & low for instant black tea in the UK and came up with nothing, not even by mail order. Sorry I can't be of any more help in this area.

    don't worry if you can't find Latte Creations - I only used it as it has a foaming agent that gives a creamier 'head'. just substitute the same amount of regular creamer.

    I found vanilla powder in an Asian grocers, if that helps at all. you could totally use vanilla creamer if you can get the powder; we don't get that in the UK either.

    Best of luck tracking down the ingredients :)

  14. Thank you for your reply, Hannah!

    I think I found you some instant tea in the UK! Go to britsuperstore.com and search "instant tea" (this comments box won't let me paste the URL) and you will get 6 results, 3 of which are black tea. There are two with whitener (Typhoo) and one plain (Tetley). Change the search to "PG Tips granules" and you'll see another kind! I hope one of these works for you! I wonder if the amounts needed for the recipe would be different for powder vs. granules.

    Also, in my searches, I found this product: teaworld.co.uk and search "instant". This product is not the right one for this recipe and is not available anyway, but reading the blurb tells me that powdered leaves would work but leave a little sediment. I would rather find the powder though! I still have one or two more places to look.

    As far as the vanilla goes, I will check my Asian grocery. Also, I found this in the Hot Chai Mix on allrecipes: "You may choose to omit the vanilla-flavoured creamer...mix 2 tsp vanilla extract into the sugar, let it dry, and break it into lumps. " This would then be processed as usual. I'll just use this tip with YOUR recipe ;)

    Thank you again...

  15. To Natalia & anyone else who can't find the instant tea: I'm from Montreal, QC here in Canada, and I made this modified recipe for Christmas last year to great success.

    I searched high and low for instant tea, even going to specialty shops, and had zero luck. I finally resorted to finely grinding black tea in a coffee grinder, and it worked perfectly. I did have to bump up the quantity of 'powders' a bit: I ended up splitting it equally between the skim milk powder, whitener and some brand of vanilla latte mix I can't remember.

    Yes, you do get a little bit of sediment at the bottom of the mug, but even a mug of really good homemade hot chocolate is going to do that, so no one really seemed to care. I just made a point of mentioning it on the 'how to' cards I supplied with the mix.

    Hope this helps!