Eggnog Chai Tea Latte
words and pictures Wendy Robinson
Eggnog Chai Tea Latte
I've had my Presso for two months. While I have enjoyed every delicious espresso and Americano I've made with it, I wanted to experiment a little bit and try something different.
With that in mind I picked up a bag of loose leaf Chai Tea from a local tea shop, keen to put the Presso to a new test...
I'm no barista and certainly have never made tea any way outside of the usual steeping a bag in a cup. When I use the steeping method I either remove the bag too soon and get weak tea or I forget the bag in the cup and end up with bitter tea. It occurred to me that if I ground up the loose leaf tea with a coffee grinder just like I would with espresso beans, I might just be able to press out Concentrated Chai from the Presso and add hot water for a good flavoured cup of tea. I'm happy to say that after some trial and error, I managed to do just that.
Now as I never like to do anything "ordinary" if there's possibly a more exciting way, I thought I'd take it a step further and introduce some egg nog into the mix to add a little flavour and holiday spirit. So, if you're an egg nog fan like I am, you'll love this. If you're not, well, I am sure you could do similar using milk or just add hot water to your chai for regular tea.
1) Find a good quality loose leaf chai tea blend. I like the Yerba Mate for it's lack of caffeine. I also find it less bitter than black tea.
2) Grind up your tea in a conventional coffee grinder. This was one of the original attempts. I later found that a more concentrated flavour could be achieved with a finer grind (just like coffee), but this still made for a tasty drink.
3) fill the portafilter to the "single shot" line and pack it down with the tamper. Don't pack it down too hard though as that just causes water absorption and seals the portafilter basket, causing a big mess when you remove it. Just make it flat and even. The top should sit just below the single shot line.
4) Time for the eggnog! I filled my cup about 1/3 before pressing the shot of chai.
5) Now time to add some hot water. I filled it to about here:
6) Operate the Presso like you would for an espresso. Slowly lift the arms up and when the water is released from the top resevoir, start pressing down with even pressure on both arms. I have found with tea that you need to press for a bit, then release some air by letting go and then press again. Repeat until all the water has filtered through the grounds. You'll want to wait a little bit and then do one last press to get the extra moisture (and the most concentrated mix) out.
What you get as a result is a very pretty layer of chai on top of the egg nog as shown:
7) I think that much concentrated egg nog and chai would be a good recipe for a stomach ache, so I top the cup up to almost the top with boiling water to lighten it up a bit (also keeps the drink hot).
8) Now just stir with a spoon and voila! A delicious and spicy egg nog chai latte made in your own home with your Presso.
For a spicier and less of a thick drink, fill the cup 1/4 full with egg nog and grind your chai almost to powder, then top up with hot water to the 3/4 mark.
This was so fun and with such a good result that I can't wait to try other tea and mix combinations.