A month or two ago (who am I kidding I know exactly how long it’s been), I gave up coffee. After that, I kind of fell into this experimentation phase. I made lots and lots of herbal teas. I’m in love with Rooibos tea. I made blends myself and I also tasted a lot of store-bought blends and it was all nice and well but it didn’t really give me the satisfaction of drinking a coffee…
Also because I gave up sugar and other sweeteners there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room to get a great flavor. Oh yeah, that’s the sugar addict talking because I never ever liked honey in my tea (and pretty much all cool recipes call for honey in the tea, yuck!).
I didn’t really know that they existed but I accidentally stumbled upon them: caffeine-free lattes. I looked into latte alternatives and let me tell you I’m impressed. I guess the correct phrase would be chai-latte but I just call it latte because… well, I just do.
So, if you are like me and want to go and experiment with your lattes let me give you a few things to look out for.
Ok so let’s look at the anatomy of a chai-latte. You have steamed or frothed milk, then there is some kind of tea/coffee/ alternative and yes, spices.
Milk, because I’m omitting dairy I needed to find a good substitute, I guess the best for me turned out to be coconut. If you feel aversion to it, try almond and don’t write of almond milk before making your own. It’s really easy just soak the almonds the night before making your milk, rinse them and put in a blender try using almond and water one to one ratio. If it’s too thick add more water just little by little until you are satisfied with the consistency and the taste. I’m yet to find a good store-bought almond milk, I find them all way too watery.
Most chai lattes are made with black tea. Because I don’t do caffeine I’m omitting black tea… What is good and what’s bad? Let me tell you no matter how good they say it, matcha is just bad… If you are a fan go ahead and replace your black tea with matcha in any kind of chai-latte recipe. But it’s not for me I tried to, believe me, no… just, no…
So boohoo, if you don’t use matcha (I’m boohoo-ing me too because I just hate the taste). The ones I loved are ginger-tea or just raw ginger, peppermint tea and green tea with some kind of flavor.
For spices, I use ginger, vanilla, but I also read that cloves and cardamom are good.
Start by buying the tea and milk (or milk alternatives) of your own preference. At home put the kettle on or boil your water in any device of your choice. Steep the tea and warm up the milk. I find that coconut milk is quite rich, so I just pour some boiling water in it and that way I have warm milk. Then froth up the milk or if you have a fancier device you can steam it. And then pour the tea of your choice into the milk.
For spices you have two options you can either put them in your milk before you steep of froth it or you can put it with your tea before you let it steep.
Also, try lavender it could be weird at first but I really enjoyed it the second time I tried it.
And that’s pretty much it. Go now make your own alternative latte and curl up with a blanket on the sofa watching Netflix or reading. I’m definitely off to read a good book.
Happy Fall everyone!