Chai concentrate

For a variety of time-related reasons, I find myself needing to buy lunches for most of this week. And while I generally try to be frugal, some of the lunch deals come with tea (or, rather, coffee that I replace with tea). Now, when I’m bringing lunches from home, I have an afternoon snack consisting of a baked good and my favorite black tea from DavidsTea, Buttered Rum. But I figured if I was going to be getting bland bag tea with my meals anyway, I might as well try to spice them up.

Fortuitous, then, that my RSS reader should deliver this recipe for chai concentrate. It’s pretty simple, really: one tin of sweetened condensed milk with a bunch of spices stirred in. Conveniently, I happened to have a tin of sweetened condensed milk sitting on my pantry shelf, a relic from last Channukah when I got a book of dessert recipes, many of which called for condensed milk. I meant to bake the recipes, never got around to it, and so I had this tin of condensed milk that was looking for a use. (It’s good until September 2012. I checked.)

For one thing, I’d never used sweetened condensed milk before. Until now, I’d really only ever heard it referenced in Good Omens. (Shadwell drinks it a lot.) It’s… very thick. Much thicker than I expected. More the consistency of honey than milk. Also, it’s very sticky. I stirred in the spices and put it in a 250-ml mason jar to bring to work. (Only replacement: replaced the cardamom, which I didn’t have, with 1/4 tsp ground ginger.)

Bought some tea with my lunch and tried it out. It’s… okay. It lends the milk and sugar and a bit of spice to the tea, but it’s not really “chai.” And when you get down near the bottom, it’s very granular because of all the spices that have settled there.

Will I finish the container? Probably, given that it lasts 6 months in the fridge. Will I ever make more? Probably not.

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