Winter finally arrived and I just want to curl up in a blanket on the couch and wrap my hands around a warm mug of this coconut chai latte.
I complained about the crazy warm weather we were having around Christmas. I want it to be cold and feel like winter at Christmas time and it was not cold at all. Earlier this week the temperatures shifted from the 60s and 70s to the 20s, 30s and 40s, and had me biting my tongue. I did wish for colder weather, I just wasn’t prepared for how cold it would really feel.
I do love wearing winter layers and warm sweaters, but walking around in the cold is not as great as I always think it will be. No worries though, I whipped up a hot drink for us to sip while we stay inside in the warmth. If you know me, you know I love tea. I drink multiple cups of tea a day, and would drink more than I already do if I didn’t stop myself. Earl grey and chai are two of my favorite commonly sold flavors, and a tea latte is one of my favorite treats when it is cold outside.
Coconut and chai is a delicious combination. The coconut cuts the spicy chai flavor and adds a smooth creaminess to the drink. The chai spices make the coconut taste sophisticated and rich, without the tropical flavor coconut is sometimes known to have.
The foam is one of my favorite parts of a latte. We have a small, hand-held milk frother that I love to use to make my regular drinks look and taste fancy, without the coffee shop price tag. I got the small battery-powered frother after I got hooked when a coworker brought one to work. We would regularly make lattes in the morning or at lunch and it was amazing! Such a small, inexpensive gadget made my day so much brighter and now I love pulling it out for any ‘ol day. If you don’t have a frother or want to make this an even better treat, top your chai latte with whipped coconut cream or regular whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
I can’t wait to cozy up with another one of these coconut chai lattes and relax my way into the day. If it is going to be cold, at least we can have something delectable to keep us warm! :)
Coconut Chai Latte
makes 2 servings
1 ½ cups strongly brewed chai tea (you can use a tea bag or loose tea)
1 ½ cups coconut milk/beverage*
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or more if you prefer a sweeter drink)
*I tried using coconut milk from a can and coconut milk/”beverage” from a carton in the non-dairy milk section and preferred the taste of the coconut milk from the carton, but the coconut milk from a can had a great thick consistency. You can use either; I personally prefer the carton version here.
In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup over low-medium heat on the stove. Make sure it does not boil, or the milk will form a skin, which you don’t want in your drink.
While the coconut mixture is heating, evenly separate your chai tea into two mugs.
Once the coconut mixture is hot, but not boiling, you have some frothing options:
If you have a frother, pour the coconut mixture into a bowl (or into your frother, if you have a large one), and froth it. I find that it is sometimes easier to get more froth by separating the milk into two batches and frothing one half at a time.
If you do not have a frother, you can pour the coconut milk mixture straight into your chai, or pour it into a jar, seal the lid, and shake with all your might. It isn’t perfect, but it does give you a similar texture to the airy whip you would get with a frother.
After you froth your coconut milk, pour any un-frothed milk into the chai and scoop the frothed portion on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon, add some whipped coconut cream or whipped cream for an even more delicious treat, and compliment yourself on your barista skills.