Four ways to serve chai latte

The age-old Indian chai tea is milky and spicy, and the world can’t get enough of it. Chai latte has become a premium tea drink served in the trendiest settings. There are a few ways to serve it in a fast-paced environment.

Chai latte is made by infusing black tea with spices and mixing it with steamed milk. Chai syrups and powders present a quicker, more on-demand brew. Operators have the choice to serve it with non-dairy milks like oat, almond and coconut. The more authentic the chai latte is, the more it can be customised and sold at a premium. For example, by adding a shot of espresso you can turn a chai latte into a ‘dirty chai latte’ and with a bit of pumpkin puree added to the spice mix, you have a pumpkin spice latte.

Traditionally, preparation and spices can vary, and so can ways of mixing a chai tea latte.

1. Authentic chai latte

The most authentic way is to roast your own spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and cloves in a dry frying pan, to crush them and steep in hot water with black tea bags. Strain and then pour in the steamed milk. This version of the latte is at the highest price point because it takes longer to prepare. It has great showmanship value as the mixologist can display skill in mixing the drink.

2. Add a syrup-based product

Different syrup flavours can add some flair to a chai latte, like hazelnut for a cosy winter drink. It’s easy to prepare as the syrup, made from a blend of black tea and chai spices, is simply added to steamed milk.

3. Use pre-flavoured teabag chai latte

Simply infuse the teabag and add milk, an economical option for faster paced operations.

4. Opt for a concentrate

This is the most time-efficient way to make a latte, by adding liquid or powder to infuse with water and then topping up with milk. Chai latte powder can also be used to make an iced chai latte.

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There’s no doubt that this winning combination of tea and milk is inexpensive and easy to prepare but it should be delicately infused rather than overly spiced or sugary. Each of these methods have redeeming qualities: some are quicker to prepare, others are truer to the original recipe. Depending on the size and pace of your business, speak to your tea merchandiser about the best chai tea product.