A Mother Unit loves Chai. She loves one brand so much that Offspring Units and Father Unit go on serious shopping expeditions to find the best deal on Oregon Chai Latte Concentrate (OCC). I Google in vain to find a basic OCC spice list. Other official crock pot Chai latte recipes are found, one by a published author. No one raves about these. Even published author admits hers is lousy. Every crock recipe found has milk and tea in prolonged simmers. I roll my eyes. Tea gets bitter when it steeps too long, and milk in the crock is a major cooking foul. Even I know this.
Research continues. Several conventional non-crock recipes are found. Each has different spices. No liquid to spice ratios are similar. A recipe by user name: "snob guy" is selected. Ingredients are located and tossed in crock. Assembly: Less than 2 minutes. Research: More than 3 hours. Frenzied working to meet a real job deadline occurs because of time lost spinning wheels over Chai recipes. Hours later, during conversation with Mother Unit, the Chai project is mentioned. OCC research attempts are casually recounted. Mother Unit says, "Oh, I have that recipe."
An email forward is received with "Paul's" purported OCC copycat recipe. A comparison reveals "snob guy's" is not even close. "Paul's" copycat recipe is cheaper and simpler (if that is even possible). The universal appeal of OCC is immediately apparent: Honey Sugar Baby Palooza! More Chai is started in another crock. A 24 hour market receives a crazy sum for a box of OCC to be used in comparison taste tests. Hours later, there is a taste test. Spot on.
Tomorrow I will hunt, shoot, dress out, and butcher a buck. I will make Venison Wellington with puff pastry made from scratch. Dessert will include hand crafted spun sugar bird nests inhabited by assorted varieties of wild birds fashioned from homemade marzipan, air brushed for detail. Tomorrow compared to today will be "lite".
Winner, Loser, or Meh
If you love Oregon Chai Latte Concentrate, you are going to love this. If you love to save money, you are going to love this. I love this. It's my new favorite drink for the winter.
My cost per quart: $1.46.
OCC Walmart cost per quart: $3.25
OCC 24 hour grocery store cost per quart: $4.25
Note: My spices are alphabetized. My pantry is very organized. It saves serious time. Always.
Personal time spent assembling, straining, doing dishes, and storing batch: 10 minutes (actually less).
How much is Walmart and OCC charging to provide boxed convenience: $10.86 per hour.
How much is 24 hour grocer and OCC charging to provide boxed convenience: $16.86 per hour
I used a 1 1/2 quart crock pot for this
- 4 1 1/2 inch slices fresh peeled ginger, use vegetable peeler for the slices.
- 2 2 inch cinnamon sticks (I get mine in bulk bins)
- 8 whole cloves (I get mine in bulk bins)
- 15-20 green cardamon pods or 2 heaping demitasse spoons powdered cardamon (I used pods from bulk)
- 2 6 inch vanilla beans, cut into 1 inch pieces OR 2 cap fulls non alcohol vanilla extract (I used extract & 1/2 a very ancient dried petrified vanilla bean )
- 10 twists nutmeg mill or 2 dashes of nutmeg (I used nutmeg mill)
- 2 Tbsps sugar, heaping (I used organic pure cane)
- 1/2 cup honey (I used organic clover)
- 4 cups water
- 6 Bigelow Darjeeling Blend tea bags, or other black tea bag (I used Tetley Decaf - Do I sound like a woman who needs more caffeine?)
- Milk, full fat, 2%, 1% or soy, whatever turns you on (I used organic 1%)