A Love Affair, and a Latte
I can literally hear the time ticking by as I sit here staring awkwardly at my computer. My plan was to kick off this article basically by waxing poetic about my longtime love for all things: Fall. My feelings for this season are none too trivial, as I’ve loved everything about it since I was a little girl. So why, then, am I having such a tough time explaining this in at least a pseudo eloquent fashion that someone, somewhere might actually want to read?
I think maybe it’s because I REALLY love it. Not in the way you love a pair of shoes or that amazing dessert you had the other night. No, this autumnal affinity of mine runs deeper than that. As a freelance writer I write about all kinds of topics and yet, when it’s time to describe the things that are nearest and dearest to my heart, my fingers hover above the keyboard, frozen dead in their tracks.
Fall seems to bring out a little something romantic in all of us. I know that’s what people say about Springtime, what with its explosion of colorful flowers and rising temperatures. But I’ll take the brisk air, fiery leaves, and cozier foods/drinks that reliably crop up when the signs of summer start to fade away.
As such, I’ve got a recipe that brings some of my favorite Fall flavors together. After visiting a local apple orchard and sampling their cider, I couldn’t help but be inspired. This spicy Apple & Chai Latte is like a hug in a mug. I even topped mine with some homemade almond marshmallows that just so happen to taste great when toasted. Over a campfire. In the Fall. Imagine that.
What you’ll need:
For the Homemade Chai:
4 cups water
1.5 cups half and half (whole milk, almond milk, or soy milk also work)
3 tblsp dark brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
3 tsp ground cardamom
2 star anise
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
6 bags of Darjeeling tea (or any black tea you have will work)
Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat, add the tea bags, and let it steep for at least 30 minutes. Using a sieve, strain the chai into your teapot or serving vessel, and keep hot/warm until service. OR you can pop it into the fridge after straining to chill if you’d prefer to make iced lattes instead.
Optional garnishes: homemade almond marshmallows (recipe on Harvest and Honey), cinnamon sticks and/or ground cinnamon, caramel, whipped cream, candied ginger, fresh apple slices
To make the lattes:
Heat some apple cider in a saucepan over med-high heat. Pour a ratio of 4 parts chai to 1 part cider into serving mugs or glasses (or adjust the ratio to taste, no rules here) and top with any and all garnishes of your choosing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a food and travel loving freelance writer, blogger, and author who is enjoying a humorously nomadic existence with my family (currently, I live outside Washington DC). My blog, Harvest and Honey, is like a culinarily inspired love letter and savings account for all of my favorite foodie things.