Chai lattes see a Delhite tradition adapted to the modern café format—and its popularity is unmatched.
With ambiguous origins in the Indian subcontinent, chai has overtaken all other specialty tea beverages (yes, even matcha) in the specialty coffee sphere. Everyone seems to have their own take on chai—chai makers deal with an abundance of potential ingredients and no standard ratios (ask one chai maker if star anise is essential, they'll say just a hint; for others, it's the star of the show). We made a point to stay true to the character of our organic Chinese black tea and a classic interpretation of true masala chai in our concentrate, resulting in tea-forward, spice-driven, lightly sweet chai lattes that customers become regulars for.
Here, we've outlined a barista-friendly preparation of the ubiquitous chai tea latte, using our microbrewed chai concentrate:
Our chai concentrate is 1:2—1 part chai con to 2 parts milk. The appropriate amount for a 12 oz latte, then, is 4 oz.
All chais are brewed to different concentrations, so refer to the packaging of what your shop uses for best dosing practices. Hugo chai is super concentrated—this is by design, as it saves cafés on chai cost (usually greater than milk cost). Its ratio is 1:2 (one to two), meaning in any given vessel, there should be one part chai concentrate to two parts milk. In a 12 ounce latte, this means 4 ounces of chai concentrate, and 8 ounces of milk. Measure out enough for the vessel you're serving in, and pour the chai con into it.
Steam your milk of choice to standard latte consistency.
Most chai concentrates have a medium-light body, which means the consistency of your chai latte depends on a proper steam. Steam your milk of choice in a pitcher. Once the temp is up and the tear tapers off, be sure to gently tap the bottom of the pitcher on bar just before pouring to prevent air bubbles. In true Indian style, our milk of choice for chai lattes is full-fat, locally-produced dairy, which accounts for the body customers seek in a latte. Oat mylk is the preferred alt-milk for chai lattes, also because of its body-giving character.
Pour steamed milk into chai concentrate per a traditional latte.
Like with the London fog, you're working with a tea concentrate, so latte art execution is nigh impossible—unlike the fog, chai lattes benefit from a little dressing up. Once you've poured the steamed milk into the concentrate and the two are integrated, ensure the liquid fills the entire volume of the cup. The final product should be a caramel tone with medium body.
Serve the finished chai latte garnished with a spice element.