It's story time here at TGBK and what better way to enjoy a good story than with a delicious cup of tea? When asked how this recipe blog, and our friendship, came to be we easily answer over tea! Soon after meeting through our shared work as dietitians we decided to have a bake night making some of our favorite desserts. And of course this event was not complete without a full blown tea party with beautiful teapots, mugs, and of course great tea. So this post holds a special place in our hearts as we share a deliciously spicy chai latte recipe this week with an extra special ingredient, saffron.
Saffron is the world's most expensive spice by weight, aka fancy! It comes from the the saffron crocus flower which is native to Southwest Asia and Greece. Saffron is expensive because the harvesting is labor intensive during flowering season each fall. Every flower has three threadlike stigmas in the center which are removed by hand and dried to become the familiar spice. Saffron contains carotenoids giving it a rich golden color when added to cooked food or beverages. When using saffron in recipes, remember that a little goes a long way! Saffron has a very pungent taste needing only a thread or two to add a bold, warm, and somewhat exotic flavor to your recipes. We think it is perfectly different and exciting to our taste buds in our chai latte recipe.
Saffron Chai Latte
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 10 mins
Servings: 4, 16 ounce drinks
4 cloves, crushed
3 star anise, crushed
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
1 Tbsp fresh chopped ginger
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp fresh shaved nutmeg
5 cardamom pods, crushed
10 black tea bags or 5 Tbsp loose black tea
3 Tbsp cane sugar
Almond milk (homemade recipe here), soy milk, or milk of your choice
Saffron springs and sprinkle of cinnamon to garnish
Using a mortar and pestle gently crush the cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods until broken and fragrant and place in a tea strainer. Add peppercorn, all spice, ginger, fennel seeds, black tea, and sugar to the tea strainer. Gently pour hot water (~3-4 cups) into the tea pot until full. Allow tea infusion to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea strainer from the tea pot and place to the side. In a medium size pot, warm milk over medium heat. Feel free to use a milk frother if you have one! Fill half of a large mug with chai tea and top the remainder with warm milk. Add a sprig or two of saffron and sprinkle of cinnamon if desired and enjoy1
*Note that if you don't have a tea pot with a tea strainer spices can be bundled in cheese cloth tied with string for steeping.
Well, we hope you've enjoyed learning more about our beginnings here at TGBK and love the recipe we've shared this week. This chai has a gentle spice, delicate sweetness, and special flavor imparted from the saffron that just can't quite be explained. Looks like you'll have to try this one, friends, for the full flavor story.
We love you a latte,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.