Monday, February 24, 2014

Dirty Chai Tea Latte

Speaking of novel food pairings, how about tea and coffee together? It sounds ridiculous. Enter the "dirty chai tea latte".

This is an idea from the New York cafe Dean and Deluca. We have a branch in Singapore and "dirty chai tea latte" is on the menu. The first time I went to eat there, I learned that it was a chai tea with a shot of espresso added. Ingenious! But was it tasty? I ordered one and they said the menu boards were being updated and they actually no longer sold it. So I didn't taste it until I recreated it at home.

I wondered, how bad can it be? I love chai tea, and espresso, lattes especially. All my favourite drinks in one beverage, I thought, sceptically.

Even I was amazed to discover that tea and coffee together can work. The addition of the chai spices is what creates the harmony. The cinnamon, ginger, and spicy pepper complements both the tea and coffee. It's warming, both in temperature and from the spices. I even think it could be described as comforting. The dirty chai tea latte is well on its way to being a new favourite.

Dirty Chai Tea Latte
serves 1

1 c (250 ml) milk
1 chai tea bag
1 shot espresso
sweetener, to taste

Heat the milk and tea bag in a small saucepan, bringing it to between 140 and 160 F (60 - 70 C), but not over. Heat for 15 minutes or longer to make a very strong chai tea.
Pour the chai tea and espresso into a mug. Add sweetener if desired.

Are there any other unlikely pairings that make a great drink?

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