While I love Starbucks Chai Latte Tea (especially with whipped cream), I can't justify spending over $4 for a cup. The mix at the local store is almost as expensive at $5 for a small can and the commissary sells a big tin for the same price. So I became interested in trying Kim's recipe for homemade chai latte mix.
After buying the ingredients at the grocery over the weekend I mixed up a batch in a large ziplock baggie. Then I taste-tested it against the commercial version. Pretty close, but I think if I add some ground anise seed it will be a bit closer. I haven't figured out the price per cup difference, but one ingredient puts a dent in the wallet- cardamom. A small bottle was $10! Never having heard of this spice, I looked it up on Wikipedia:
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Scandinavia . One of the most expensive spices by weight, little is needed to impart the flavour. Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. However, high-quality ground cardamom is often more readily (and cheaply) available, and is an acceptable substitute.
(3 days later)
I did find anise seed, but it wasn't ground so I tried to grind it myself. Didn't work. After a few days of taste-testing, I find there is too many bits in the bottom of the cup to make it enjoyable to drink past 3/4 of the cup. So, unfortunately for my wallet, I think I will go back to the store mix. What will I do with the cardamom? I wouldn't want to waste it-supposedly it is good in apple pie and blueberry muffins, two of my favorites. I think I'll mix some muffins up for breakfast this morning and add a dash of my newest spice.