Tea-based Mixes and Concentrates
Liquid "chai concentrates" have become very popular for their convenience, as these spiced, sweetened tea-based syrups merely require dilution with milk, water, or both to create a flavorful hot or cold beverage. Most coffeehouse chains use commercial liquid concentrates instead of brewing their own chai from scratch. Dry powdered or granular mixes similar to instant coffee are also commercially available.
Both dry instant mixes and liquid concentrates can be replicated at home. A liquid concentrate can be made by brewing an unusually concentrated pot of highly spiced tea, so that the dilution of a small amount into a cup of hot water or a glass of cold milk results in roughly the same concentration of tea as in a normally proportioned brew; e.g., to make a syrup from which one ounce suffices to make one eight-ounce cup of normal chai when diluted, brew tea (and the proportional quantity of spices) at eight times normal concentration.
Similarly, unsweetened iced-tea powder can be tailored to individual taste with powdered spices, sugar, and (if desired for convenience and texture) dry nonfat milk and dry non-dairy creamer; the result can be mixed with hot water to produce a form of instant chai masala. This form of dry mix has certain disadvantages, however: the powdered spices may leave a grainy residue at the bottom of the cup, and it may dissolve poorly in cold water, especially in the presence of dry milk/creamer powders.
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