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Vanilla Chai Latte

I loooooooove Daylight Savings Time in the fall. ¬†That extra hour? ¬†Amazing. ¬†Waking up to go to school/class/work/gym and it’s light out? ¬†Love it. ¬†In fact, there’s not much I don’t love about it, until I want to make something for dinner and it has already been pitch black since 4:30.

Kinda makes it hard to take appetizing pictures.

It also makes it hard for me to not hibernate. ¬†I feel like I should have gone to bed about three hours ago, and it’s only 9:13.

But the extra hour this morning was lovely. ¬†Fritz and I woke up at 8:00 because I woke up, looked at the clock (which said nine), and recalculated in my sleep-addled head that it somehow and magically reset itself already and that it was actually ten o’clock according to non-DST. ¬†That would mean we had slept for way too long, so I leapt out of bed and opened all the shades, starting making tea, and was genuinely shocked when Fritz came out and reset the living room clock for 8:00.

Oh.  Only my cell phone resets automatically.  Duh.

We used the extra time to clean out a bunch of our closets, donate a lot of things we never use (my old backpack, shoes, DVD player, belts), do a little Christmas shopping, and go to the gym (I made it to a yoga class I usually miss).  All this before noon!  Then later, when it started to get dark, I got an intense craving for a warm chai tea latte.  Spicy, milky, and with a touch of vanilla.

Vanilla Chai Latte (2-4 servings)

  • 1 T loose black tea (or 2 tea bags)
  • 1 1/2 C milk (we use 1%)
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 t black peppercorns
  • 1/4 t coriander seeds
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • sugar (optional–I like it without any sweetener)

Combine the milk, spices, and vanilla into a small saucepan and heat over medium, letting the spices steep and infuse the milk for at least 5 minutes. ¬†Meanwhile, boil the water and steep the tea for the same amount of time. ¬†I used a Kenyan black tea that my¬†bestie¬†Jenny gave me–and all the proceeds go to orphan education, which is nice.

I like to drink my tea and feel good about it, too.  Thanks, Jenny!

Strain the milk into a mug, a little less than halfway. ¬†I like to use a handheld little mess strainer that fits nicely over the top of the cup. ¬†Pour the milk right through it, then pour the tea through it next–when using loose tea, little pieces sometimes make it through the tea ball, and I don’t particularly enjoy eating them.

Stir it up, add sugar if you like, and savor that flavor.

This is a nice spicy tea, and you can adjust the spices as you like.  I probably added a few extra peppercorns, and I left one cinnamon stick in the mug as I drank it.

Fritz does not like chai flavors, and this tea was no exception.  I thought he might die from a small sip.  I, however, strongly endorse this.  Definitely try it if you like a little spice in your life.

Plus, isn’t my tea spoon adorable?

What did you do with your extra hour today? ¬†Henry spent all his extra time doing what he does best–sleeping:

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  1. Karen Keltner

    Love your recipes Lauren!
    I am a fellow IIN student and have been thoroughly enjoying your recipes!
    Especially tonight the vanilla chai latte was great for slowing down my day- I taught 3 yoga classes today and was ready to snuggle up under the covers and keep warm and to relax while sipping tea!

    Thanks always!
    Karen in CA

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      glad it helped make for an enjoyable evening!

  2. Hannah

    I just pictured you sitting next to Henry’s box waiting for him to do something for about an hour. Good thing he got bored first :) I also heard from the news Sun morning that Daylight Saving time actually ended – so we are on real time now. Other interesting facts: Hawaii and Arizona don’t do it (except for the Navaho Indians that live in Arizona- must be a pain to schedule things). How weird is that? Also, it is supposed to be Daylight Saving not “savings” although most of us add the extra “s”. The whole scheme was thought up by Benjamin Franklin to have extra time at night during the summer.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      hahaha basically except he does stuff right away :) daylight saving time (no S) makes so much more sense! duuuh

  3. Heidi

    The small town we live in actually doesn’t do Daylight Saving(s? :D) time. It’s kind of strange seeing everyone else talking about it, although I do remember having to change the clocks when I was younger. It’s so awesome to have an extra hour :D
    I looooove chai tea. I’m crazy about tea in general, but chai is my favorite. I’ve tried it from scratch like this and it’s delicious but I’ve never made it myself. I’m curious to try :)

  4. lexy

    This looks very tasty, i’m going to have to try it, instead of giong to David’s Tea and re-stocking my cupboard with one of their really tasty Chai teas.

  5. julia { see you in the morning }

    oh i do love that spoon!
    i want it. aND this chai latte in my cup

  6. Wangeci

    This sounds great. Im kenyan and i know how good Kenyan tea is especially compared to some of the things out there. You might want to add some cardamom next time, tastes great. Wish there was a way i could get you some ready mixed Kenyan Tea Masala you would love it. Whats your address?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I appreciate the offer but I don’t give out my address! Thanks so much–I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some Kenyan tea when I am in South Africa :)

  7. Ginger

    Have you ever tried this with soy milk? If not, any idea how it would taste (good or bad)?

  8. Margie

    So addicted! I don’t drink milk, so switched out the milk for an unsweeted almond milk. Tasted awesome! In response to the question about soy milk, I imagine it would work well. However, plain soy milk is naturally a little sweeter than other milk substitutes, so it would depend on preference. :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks for the tips :) Might need to make this again tomorrow!