Back in 2014, I reviewed a copy of Joy the Baker's second cookbook. One of the first recipes I made from it is one that I am finally going to share with you today! At the time, I wasn't sure if I was "supposed" to, but enough time has passed that I'm SURE Joy would love for you to have the recipe even if you haven't bought the book.
Chai is something that has gained a lot of ground in the culinary world. We put it in cakes and cookies. We love the flavors so much that we try to find places for them in all kinds of baked and brewed treats.
My sister and I have a thing for chai just like so many other people do! When we have the opportunity to try out a new coffee shop, we'll give them the chai test. We'll order one (or two) and see how their version measures up against Joy's and the one at the coffee shop that we both used to work at. How well they do can determine whether or not we'll be back.
Since moving to this city, we've actually made it our goal to visit all of the shops JUST to try their chai. It's been a fun tradition and I think we'll keep it up wherever we go. It's less about the test and more about the time with my sister for me at this point, but it is still a lot of fun.
On the best days, I'll head to the kitchen and make us a batch of Joy's to remind us what a GOOD one tastes like. Our friend Aubry has joined in on the craze now. I may or may not have sent some with her "to-go" on a few occasions.
There is a secret to this recipe that MAKES this the best. I can pretty much promise you that you'll enjoy it more than any coffee shop version you've ever had.
The secret is simply this: you brew your tea in milk. Of course, having a really good tea helps too. Our favorite is "India Spice Chai" by Celestial Seasonings.
Joy's version calls for quite a bit of sugar. And coffee. I like the coffee, but my sister doesn't, so I cut the sugar way back (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) and only add the coffee to mine (about 1/3 cup). I'm putting our version of Joy's recipe below and I want you to feel just as free as I did to adjust it to YOUR tastes.
To achieve the frothy coffee house style foam, simply twirl a whisk by rubbing your hands together (like a boy scout trying to start a fire). You'll want to do this during the reheat section of the recipe, just before you pour it into your mugs.
adapted from "Homemade Decadence" by Joy Wilson
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 chai tea bags
3/4 cup hot coffee
Heat milk and sugar over medium high heat, stirring constantly until very warm. This will take about 4 minutes.
Turn off heat, add the tea bags, and cover. Let steep for 15 minutes.
Remove tea bags from milk and reheat this milk tea mixture if necessary.
Split the coffee between two mugs and top each mug off with the milk tea.
You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or a mixture of the two.
My favorite tea to use is "India Spice Chai" by Celestial Seasonings.
If you choose to omit the all of the coffee, simply add an extra 3/4 cup milk and reduce sugar to 1 1/2 Tbsp.
I know it's been a long time since I've shared a recipe around here. I hope you enjoy this one! If you decide to make it, I'd love to hear about it. It's perfect for rainy days, winter days, and any day you've got some time with the ones you love!
Do you take your chai with or without coffee?
What's your go-to drink to "judge" a coffee shop by?