Spice Up Your Life

Pumpkin Masala Chai and Spiced Butter Chai 
As the leaves begin to turn hues of red, we can't help but daydream cooler days, curling up by the fireplace with warm, soothing drinks! 
Every year with fall come pumpkins and our dear ol' Pumpkin Spice. Everyone loves pumpkin spice, and the easy way would be to add pumpkin spice seasoning to chai, but our way is better. *wink when you drink* #pumpkkingscupstyle lol (college reference) But, this time, we have two unique twists to chai. 
As much as we love pumpkin spice from our local cafe (mostly because it requires no effort), the idea of not enough-spice and more than enough sugar isn't fun. 
#Spoileralert - The big-chain pumpkin spice lattes don't exactly have very much pumpkin or spice in them. It's easier to maintain flavor consistency when nature-identical flavor molecules for large-scale production. #Nerdalert - Kantha Shelke, a food chemist with Corvus Blue and a spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists' says, "The combined mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove or allspice contains at least 340 flavor compounds. But human brains can fill in the blanks if provided with about 5–10% of that natural cornucopia." 
More so, according to Popular Science, even if pumpkin puree is used, it usually isn't made from the classic field pumpkins on the cover. The 100% pumpkin puree is many a time made using sweeter winter squash like Butternut and Hubbard. They say, "Technically, anything designated as pure "pumpkin" can contain "articles prepared from golden-fleshed, sweet squash or mixtures of such squash and field pumpkin."
Knowing all this, we want to say, our idea of food is a tad bit different so we like making our drinks from scratch and avoid drinking our calories. This year we aren't doing the local Philly farmers market, but we don't want to deprive you of The Chai Bar Fall Chai - so you guys get our secret pumpkin spice chai recipe #ohmygoshmoment
Here is a naturally sweet recipe you can easily brew at home and enjoy guilt-free. 
Our tried and tested recipe calls for The Chai Bar Sanyukta Bharatam - Classic Masala Chai. We find that it has the right warmth from the spices to balance the sweetness of this drink. 
If you want to - BYOB you can replace Sanyukta Bharatam with Astitva - Our Original Blend and add your own spices from our Spice Shop

Pumpkin Masala Chai 

A creamy, warm, and sweet chai brewed using fresh pumpkin pure (preferably homegrown) 
The Chai Bar Pumpkin Masala Chai - made with natural ingredients: pumpkin puree, plant milk, maple syrup/ jaggery, and spices. 
Aroma: Highly aromatic spiced tea with the complex spicy scent of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg, AND Pumpkin. 
Head Notes: Warm heat from spices; 
Body Notes: Sweet with spicy undertones and a malty flavor in a body of fresh black tea; 
Tail Notes: Gingery heat with bottom notes of rich and creamy milk. 
Color: Warm Terracotta. 
Yields:  2 cups
Prep Time: - 15 min
Cook Time: - 15 min
Ingredients :  
  • 1 TBSP Sanyukta Bharatam - Classic Masala Chai Blend
  • 1 TBSP Jaggery or maple syrup. Tea'p: try to use real maple syrup for a natural taste)
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened oat milk/ almond milk/ coconut milk
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée (preferably homegrown) 
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla extract / a dash of fresh vanilla bean
  • 1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon (reduce this by half for a less spicy chai) 
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger (skip this step for a less spicy chai) 
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 2 fresh ground cloves 
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice mix (optional- only if you specifically crave a particular pumpkin spice flavor) 
  • 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch to make the latte creamy 
  • Pinch of sea salt
Garnish :
  1. Coconut whipped cream mixed with vanilla (you can DIY by chilling coconut cream for 12 hours in a mixing bowl and whisking in maple syrup, vanilla and your choice of spices refrigerate this mix till you make your chai) {we use the trader Joe's Low Fat Canned Coconut Cream} 
  2. A pinch of cinnamon 
  3. Star anise for aesthetics
Instructions :
Tea'p: If you have never made chai before, please read our blogpost - The art of brewing the perfect chai
  1. Bring 1 cup water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add 1 tbsp Sanyukta Bharatam - Classic Masala Chai Blend 
  3. Boil for 3 minutes
  4. Add 1 TBSP Jaggery or maple syrup.
  5. Add your preferred milk
  6. Add pumpkin purée
  7. Add the vanilla, optional pumpkin spice, salt and blend it. 
  8. With a hand whisk or fork, blend in the arrowroot starch or cornstarch. 
  9. Allow this to simmer and bring to 2 boils as usual. 
  10. Strain your Masala Pumpkin Chai
  11. Cool to room temperature (but keep the original pan handy)
  12. Transfer into a stand blender and blend for two minutes. 
  13. Pour the mixture back into your pan to re-warm it but do not boil it. Boiling it may cause it to split. 
  14.  Top with whipped coconut cream or garnish with a cinnamon stick or star anise. 
If you are entertaining this holiday season, you can store a batch of this in the refrigerator, whisk it before reheating it on the stove and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. 
Now that the calorie-conscious are all set with this relatively low cal creamy vegan chai; let's get to business with the buttery spicy goodness of spiced butter chai. 

Spiced Butter Chai 

Butter tea originated in Tibet and is best suited for cold weather. It was originally invented to provide Tibetians with caloric nutrients from yak butter. We aren't nutritionists but judging from the original recipe, this tea was best suited for those undertaking intense mountain climbing in the bitter cold Tibetian winter, so it is safe to say this isn't an ideal everyday chai. 
The Chai Bar Spiced Butter Chai - brewed using natural ingredients: Astitva Chai - Our Original Black Tea Blend, full-fat cow milk, grass-fed ghee, sugar/ jaggery, and spices like cardamom, ginger, fennel, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, and more. You can order spices from our Spice Store
Aroma: Deep, earthy, creamy, slightly salty, and spicy. 
Head Notes: Bold & malty with warm heat from spices; 
Body Notes: Full-bodied, earthy touch with a lasting "chai" flavor with a twist of spicy undertones and a slightly bitter buttery body. 
Tail Notes: Gingery heat with bottom notes of rich and creamy milk. 
Color: Creamy Brown. 
Yields:  2 cups
Prep Time: - 15 min
Cook Time: - 15 min
Ingredients :  
For the Spice Mix, hand crush with a mortar and pestle/ a broad knife - 
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves 
  • 2 pods of star anise 
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp fennel 
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp anise seed 
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Tea'p: Reduce the cinnamon, clove, and pepper by half for a less spicy chai
For the Chai 
  1. 1 tbsp. Astitva Chai - Our Original Black Tea Blend
  2. 1 tbsp. Jaggery. Tea'p: try to use jaggery instead of sugar to add to the depth of flavor. 
  3. 1 Cup water 
  4. 1/2 Cup full-fat milk 
  5. 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger (1/2 tsp for a less spicy chai) 
  6. 1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract / a dash of fresh vanilla bean
  7. 1 tbsp Ghee (Try to use grass-fed full-fat ghee) 
  8. Pinch of sea salt
Instructions :
Tea'p: If you have never made chai before, please read our blogpost - The art of brewing the perfect chai 
  1. Bring water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add Astitva Chai- Our Original Black Tea Blend
  3. Add the spice mix (We like the warmth of spices but, you can reduce the quantity of spice mix for a less spicy chai) 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes (Simmer for 5 mins for a mild chai) 
  5. Add vanilla
  6. Add your preferred milk, 
  7. Stir in the ghee
  8. Stir in 1 tbsp jaggery and a pinch of salt, until completely dissolved
  9. Allow this to simmer and bring to 2 boils as usual. 
  10. Remove from the heat, and strain the tea.
  11. Turn off the heat and blend until frothy with a hand-held milk frother. 
  12. Serve Hot 
Tea'p: If you want to make the tea to serve it later, skip the step of adding milk, ghee, jaggery, and salt. Brew the chai and the spices, strain, and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve the chai, you can heat it in a pan, add milk, ghee, jaggery, and salt and bring it to a boil. Whisk it together and serve.
Note: If you keep it for a few hours, the flavor will build and emulsify so, you will have a warmer, spicier chai.
Do try these recipes, if you have any fun fall chai ideas do share them with us in the comments below. 
On this note, we bid you adue. Next week we'll bring more recipes for you. 
Happy Fall Y'all! Chai Bye. 
Co-authored by Sargam Merchant and Madura Chaudhari

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