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On Tuesday morning, I packed up the car with all my canning supplies, a basket and containers for strawberry collection, a bottle of water and a travel mug of iced chai latte and left for a day of strawberry picking and preserving at a friend’s house. The berries at Ithaca Organics were insane, and we managed to pick about 9 pounds each in just under 40 minutes.
Six hands make quick work of weighing, washing and hulling 19 pounds of strawberries (we each reserved about three pounds for fresh eating and freezing). By the end of the day, we had 5 half-pint jars of chamomile-scented strawberry syrup (plus a failed batch of two additional jars), 8 half-pints of spiced strawberry butter, and 15 pints of strawberry lemonade concentrate cooling on the counter.
Long days of canning and evenings of tossing-and-turning due to the heat call for some caffeine. So I made a big batch of chai concentrate to mix with milk for quick lattes. I’m saving my good looseleaf chai for hot tea, so I used half a box of Bigelow vanilla bagged chai tea for the concentrate. At only about $2 a box, it makes for a fairly cheap beverage, especially when compared with the iced chai lattes at coffee shops! I think this will definitely become my go-to summer drink!
Though I chose to use a bagged chai tea, this would work with any black tea, especially something like Earl Grey or English breakfast tea. To make an iced tea latte, fill a glass with ice. Fill halfway with tea concentrate, then top it off with the milk or milk alternative of your choice. For an extra creamy latte, use a tablespoon or two of half-and-half or cream to replace some of the milk.
- 10 bags chai tea
- 4 cups water
- 1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar
- Heat the water to just before boiling. Pour the water over the tea bags and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. To keep the tags from falling into the bowl, I like to tie all the strings together and hold them on the edge of the bowl as I pour in the water.
- Stir in the brown sugar as the tea steeps until it is dissolved. Using the full half-cup will make for a sweeter latte.
- Allow the concentrate to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to airtight containers and refrigerate.
Make Ahead and Storage
Extra concentrate can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.