Hot beverage for a rainy monday

Technically, I shouldn't like Starbucks. Mainly because I don't like coffee, I have yet to enjoy a sip of the black grown-up beverage (not that I haven't tried it, it's just the enjoying part that did not happen). Secondly it's a big multinational company, with all the bad sides it involves. But I have to admit that I like to go on occasion, mainly when I'm in Lisbon, because of the cakes and pastries they sell, and they do have a few other choices than coffee.

On my last trip to Lisbon, though the temperatures made me feel like it was spring already, I still wanted my hot cup of tea in the end of the afternoon (I'm just realising, how british of me...), but instead of a green or peppermint tea, I though I might try that somehow exotic "chai tea latte" on the list.
And it turned out to be a good idea, given that the milk part was a bit too heavy, and the pepper to present to my taste, but it was definitly a nice surprise.

Conveniently, the last issue of Saveurs magazine (number 190) features a chai tea (or tchaï tea) recipe. I don't have any machine (yet) to steam the milk like at Starbucks, but I've been enjoying the experience of balancing the spices to find a combination I like.
My first change is obviously to switch to soy milk, it's arguebly less "silky" than milk, but so much nicer on my stomach. Then the choice of tea is obviously an important part, I've tried it with the classical english breakfast tea, aswell as with some fruit or flower infusion. I'll just say: go with your mood, because I've enjoyed all the batches I've made.
And you can also drink this on a sunny spring tuesday! ;)

Chai Tea Latte (based on a recipe from Saveurs N°190)

300ml of Soy Milk
1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon of 4 Spices
2 Bags of English Breakfast Tea
1 Stick of Cinnamon
1 Star Anise
2 Cloves
6 Cardamom Seeds
4 Sichuan Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Honey

In a pan, pour in the milk with all the spices and the tea bags. Place the pan on a low heat with the honey in it.
I'd advice you use a whisk while it eats up, as milk can attached easily to the pan. To me when it starts to bubble a little, it's good to go. You can let it cook a bit longer if you want the flavor to be stronger.

If you want to drink it cold, or even iced, let the spices in and leave to cool. Otherwise pass the milk thru a sieve and enjoy it while it's hot!

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