I still remember the first time I had a chai tea latte. I was in high school. My friend told me it tasted like pumpkin pie and I was hooked. Since then my tastes have changed quite a bit and I find that the concentrate used at most coffee shops is really lacking in flavor. Its also too sugary for me.
There is one place in Madison, Marigold Kitchen, that makes a spicier, less sweet version (they make their own concentrate). I love it, but it costs quite a bit and has caffeine, which I haven't been drinking for a while. It also means I have to drink cow or soy milk.
I have been seeing recipes for homemade chai concentrate on the internet for a while and had been meaning to try it. I was finally forced into action after the hot weather we have had the past few weeks left me craving an iced chai tea.
After checking out the variety of recipes, I decided to follow this one: Chai Tea Concentrate, but cut the sugar in half and use decaf black tea. This required a trip to a specialty spice store, but all of the spices were under $8 together and there is plenty left to make a ton of batches. In less than a half hour, I had enough for a weeks worth of chai tea lattes.
Although it says to mix the concentrate and your choice of milk 1 to 1, I found that to be too milky, so I did more like 1.5 parts concentrate to 1 part milk.
And unfortunately the weather dropped this week, so I only enjoyed my chai tea as a hot drink. I'll be making it again soon, hopefully having a delicious iced version for the hot afternoons when I bike home from campus.