Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Homemade chai latte and caramel latte

Until last week, I didn't realise it was so easy to make cafe-esque hot drinks at home. I suspect I'm behind the times and everyone else has been chai latteing and caramel latteing in their kitchen for years. I don't have a coffee maker, but it turns out you don't need one to turn a cup of tea or coffee into something special.

I actually gave up milk in my coffee a few months ago, finding that I quite liked it black and very much liked the convenience of not needing specialist milk at work. Recently, though, autumn weather has made all hot drinks appealing and the (non dairy) milk varieties have drawn me back in.

Home made chai latte


If you have never made a chai latte at home, I hope this post can inspire you to do so. It is so simple. As shown above, I favour a teapot approach, with a 1:2 ratio of warm milk and hot water added to chai tea leaves or a tea bag. If you prefer your milk drinks milky, you might like a 1:1 ratio of milk to water instead.

I have been using sweetened hazelnut milk in my drinks, which I find works particularly well. However, any milk variety could be used. If you like flavoured types, vanilla almond or vanilla soy would be a nice touch. Angela's homemade caramel vanilla bean hazelnut milk would be amazing. If you do use an unsweetened option, simply sweeten the chai latte to taste.

Once your chai tea has brewed, pour a cup, add an extra sprinkle of cinnamon if you desire, and enjoy. If you're like me, you won't miss the excess sweetener and artificial chai flavours that commercial cafes sometimes use.

Coffee comfort in a cup

As for the caramel latte, that does involve some artificial flavours, but far fewer than you'll get at your local chain coffee store. I found caramel essence at the supermarket recently (in the same section that you buy vanilla extract and other baking supplies), and bought it on a whim. I then didn't know what to do with it. It turns out that a few drops in coffee will bring cafe culture home. My versions have been as simple as you can possibly get: instant coffee (yes, I admit it...) in about 1/3 cup warm milk and 2/3 cup hot water, with the caramel essence stirred in at the end.



One of these drinks plus a book...I tell you, it is perfection.

What sorts of drinks do you favour during the cooler months?

15 comments:

  1. Hazelnut milk sounds like the perfect pairing for chai! I've been drooling over that hazelnut milk from Angela ever since she posted it, actually.. I wonder if the dates in it could add to the caramel flavor of the latte, too.

    I'm pretty lazy with my beverages so usually I just drink black coffee all winter, but I should take some inspiration from you and enjoy some slightly fancier (but still easy!) drinks.

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    1. I imagine Angela's milk would be a great caramel addition for the latte! And I promise that these are only slightly, very slightly, harder than plain black coffee :-)

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  2. These look perfect for sipping on cool winter nights (not happening here at the moment though). I love the idea of caramel essence - I wonder if I could find it here. It sounds delicious!

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    1. I hope you can! It was a 'special edition' flavour here, but sometimes those special edition flavours seemlessly move into standard always available flavours.

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  3. I have never been into milky hot drinks but was very pleased to discover a local cafe does turkish apple tea which is my idea of a delicious hot drink. (Silly I haven't looked for it before given we live in a middle eastern part of melb) I could imagine E enjoying the caramel latte - he does appreciate instant coffee! We don't have any fancy coffee makers here either.

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    1. Turkish apple tea sound fantastic. And thank goodness I'm not alone with my lowly coffee habits ;)

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  4. I have never made a latte at home, of any variety. But I am definitely going to start now that I know how easy it is!

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    1. It really is incredibly simple! Cheaper than cafe stops too :-)

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  5. We're definitely moving into warm drink weather now! Chai brewed on the stove with fresh ginger and a mix of dried spices is one of my favourite winter warmers. It's amazing how quickly it warms you up from the inside out. Your addition of hazelnut milk to chai sounds lush! I'll definitely have to give it a try xx

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    1. Thanks Sharon - I love the idea of fresh ginger added to the mix too!

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  6. I have never tried to make either of these at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I hope you enjoy them if you get to them!

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  7. My favourite version of latte is made of one spoon of peanut butter + some carob powder + warm water. Delicious! Thanks for sharing your delights, I am going to try the instant coffee one!

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    1. I love your version! I shall have to give that a try :)

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  8. I gave up coffee last July, but have been a fan of chai tea recently :-) Not quite as comforting but still a nice drink to sit down to with a good book that's for sure!

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