OOOOOOO-KAAAYYYY…. I’m seriously kicking myself for not having made this sooner. This DIY Chai Spice Mix is so freakin’ easy to make, and it’s delicious. But here’s a disclaimer: I do not like weak chai. I prefer me a good spice-y chai. Do you know what i’m talking about? None of this super sugary, way-too-vanilla-y stuff. I want a good strong, friendly-smack-ya-in-the-face kind of chai. Disclaimer numero dos: chai spice isn’t a one-size-fits-all. So play around with this, and make it your own; add more of the spices you like and less of the ones that just play a supporting role.
To me, a delish chai drink is just one of those things that is good year round. If it’s hot outside, i’ll have it iced. If it’s cold outside, i’ll have it hot. Is there really a wrong time to have chai-flavored things? Chai don’t think so.
You can use this mix in teas, coffee drinks, smoothies, baked goods, and desserts. Hot beverages, cold ones…the room temp variety because you’ve been chasing after the babies all morning. Good for all temp drinks ;). Ah, as I was writing this, I was totally taken back to when I was in grad school. There was a coffee shop on campus where I would study or get work done, and I would get a chai bomb (chai latte with a shot of espresso) AKA dirty chai. So good.
Dangit all. It’s almost midnight as i’m writing this up, and now I want a chai latte. Probably not the best idea. Guess it’ll have to wait until morning. Anyway, here’s how you can get your own Simple DIY Chai Spice Mix!:
2 teaspoons whole allspice
2-3 teaspoons Tellicherry peppercorns
7 teaspoons ground Saigon cinnamon
5 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cloves
I like using whole spices when I have them since they pack a bigger punch. So since I had them on hand, I used whole all spice as well as peppercorns. I toss those into an old coffee grinder, and whiz away. Once those are ground, I throw all the spices together in my mini food processor to get everything nice and mixed up. Then your spice mix is ready to go! Depending on how chai-y you like things, you can again tweak this to tickle your fancy. Store in an air-tight container, and enjoy!
Tips & Notes on Using this Magical Powder
In tea or coffee, there will most likely be sediment that ends up on the bottom of your cup since it’s finely ground up spices (I personally don’t mind it). For tea: steep it with your tea bag in a fine mesh tea strainer or strain everything once you’ve warmed everything up in a saucepan before drinking as is or icing it. For coffee: mix the spice mix with your coffee grounds as you’re brewing/or percolating.
For smoothies, I’d just throw the spice in with the rest of the ingredients and call it a day.
(For drinks mentioned above, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon (add more later if you want an extra kick) of this mix for a fairly strong chai flavor. But to test out the waters, start with 1/2 teaspoon, taste, and see how you’d want to tweak from there.)
For baked goods and desserts, I’d use this like I would a pumpkin spice mix…more or less depending on your taste buds.
What chai flavored things do you like? Do share. No seriously, please share because I want to try it all :).