Almond milk dirty chai! THE BEST KIND OF CHAI! I'm all about good ol' chai — I slurp it down at amazing rates every time I go out for Indian food, and then wonder why I can't sleep — but you guys KNOW I love my coffee. Love love my coffee. The first thing I bought, upon returning to the USA in March, was an aeropress. Mine was still in storage in Montana and I was like "UM GIMME THAT AEROPRESSED ROASTED BEAN LIQUID ELIXIR GOODNESS." Too much? I swear I haven't even had any coffee yet this morning. Fo reals.
So not only is this the best of both worlds [chai + coffee], it's also full of NUT MILKY YUM. You guys remember when I started making my own almond and cashew milk — it's so easy, and totally customizable, and DELISH. So, why not do that here? DO IT. You can use pre-made almond milk, but I'd really encourage you to try making your own.
The important part of this recipe is the sequence of operations: If you are making your own almond milk, STRAIN it first, THEN add the spices. Not the other way around. We want you in chai-land! Not semi-chai-land. That place just doesn't sound fun at all, right? In the directions, I say to heat this on the stove or the microwave. I wish I could claim I do this gently on the stove, with patience and perfect hair, but that just simply is.not.true. I stick this baby in the microwave because I'm impatient, hate doing dishes [actually, I don't mind them that much these days, but still], and WANT MY CHAI NOW. So, do whatever suits you.
IF you have a frother: USE IT. If you don't have a frother, then you might want to have a look at somewhere like The Full Moon Cafe as they provide a guide to some of the best milk frothers available that could really help you out in making a drink like this. I shot this before I got my frother from storage, so it's frothless (how many times can I say "froth" today? I'm going for 100.) Frothy frothful froth froth frothing. You guys, send help. What I'm trying to say is: froth would be great! Then add some fresh grated nutmeg and you have a WINNER of a morning drink!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to to froth my own dirty chai — although I'm making mine with cashew milk today! LOVE YA! xo
- ½ cup almonds, soaked overnight in water (Alternatively, 2 cups of pre-made almond milk)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 1 small pinch salt
- 1 shot of espresso* per serving
- Combine the soaked almonds with four cups of water in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth or nut bag.
- Return the liquid to the blender, and add the remaining ingredients (except for espresso). Blend until smooth.
- Heat the almond milk either on the stove or in the microwave until hot, then add ⅔ cup to one shot of espresso. Top with fresh grated nutmeg.
*You can use ¼ cup very strong coffee in lieu of espresso.