Chai tea is mixed with a shot of espresso or cold brewed coffee, and is enriched with cream, coconut, or nut milk, and lightly sweetened. This iced (or shaken) tea is a lovely way to beat the heat. The coffee addition is what makes it “dirty”, an apt description as it clouds the otherwise clear tea. I find the flavors produced by mixing coffee and the spiced tea so interesting and delicious!
We tried a version of this at a new restaurant that opened in Portland called Harlow. I will be doing a review of it at Mnn.com in the near future, but meanwhile I wanted to recreate my own version for making it at home. Now that summer is in full swing, cold drinks are where it is at. But buying them out is a sure fire way to overspend, and often consume high amounts of sugar. A smoothie is at least $6 dollars around here, a blended coffee drink, not much cheaper, if that. Any specialty iced tea is going to cost much more then the tea bag and ice you need to make it at home.
So today, as part of my 52 ways to save money on a healthy diet, I thought I’d share some of my favorite make-at-home cold drinks! They are healthier, cheaper to make, and delicious too!
1. Cold Brew Coffee: Cold brew coffee is quite popular in the coffee shops around here, for good reason. Making your own at home is considerably cheaper than buying it out, however! Plus, I find that coffee shops serve it too strong for me personally. Making it at home allows me to enjoy it just how I like it.
2. If you’d like to make a coffee-like beverage (without the coffee), I give instructions here for a coffee-free iced “coffee” here.
3. Cold Brewed Tea: Making cold brewed tea and keeping it in the fridge gives you easy iced tea whenever you want it! Cheaper by far than buying iced tea out.
4. Orange Lemonade: I adore this simple hydrating beverage. It’s perfect any time you need a refreshing drink.
5. Creamy Iced Jasmine Tea: I LOVE Jasmine tea hot and cold. This is a favorite.
6. Chocolate milk frappe: This kid and adult friendly “frappe” is a delicious way to cool down. So much healthier and cheaper than those bought out.
7. Paleo Raspberry Cream Soda: I adore this beverage, as it reminds me of Italian Cream Soda – without being overly sweet. Though not quite as cheap to make as some of the other options, you still save money when you consider the price tag on most Italian Cream sodas.
8. Ice Cream Kombucha Floats with Orange: Another special treat is this kombucha ice cream float. Skip that Root Bear float and try this, all kombucha lovers!
And now for the Shaken Dirty Chai recipe! Keeping cold brewed coffee (and/or cold brewed chai tea) makes this recipe a snap to make. But you can also use freshly made espresso and tea too! I’ve made it both ways. We don’t have a fancy espresso maker, but we do own a stovetop espresso maker, which we got at IKEA. It is the same idea as the Moka pots (you can see one at my affiliate, Amazon, here). Use your favorite chai teabag or loose tea, I’ve been using a rooibos chai, but you can use a traditional black tea chai too. Obviously chai can vary from brand to brand, so play around until you find a favorite.
- Sweeten chai tea with honey (1 tablespoon seems about right to me, but vary as to how sweet you like your drinks). This is easiest to do with hot tea, just stir it in after the brew time.
- Fill with ice either a mason jar (preferably one made to be freezer safe) or a cocktail shaker. Pour chai tea and espresso or cold brewed coffee over ice and lid jar/shaker. Shake vigorously until the shaker is frosted and cold. Pour into a cup and add cream or milk of choice. Serves 1.