Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

The Perfect Vegan Chai Latte

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

You guys. This winter…I can’t anymore.

I feel slightly vindicated to know that the amount of snow we’ve had in Boston is the most in thirty days EVER, because I was starting to think that maybe I just had a shitty attitude about winter. But we really are getting dumped with 2+ feet every other day, for a whopping total of 70+ inches in the last couple of weeks. And IT IS RUINING MY LIFE. (yes, I am being overly dramatic)

This morning I gave myself (and Aaron) a pep talk to get us more in the mental space of optimism and “you can power through this!” good vibes. A few hours later, along with the reappearance of melting ice leaking into our house, that pretty much turned into exasperation with a borderline breakdown.

I am all about living in an essentialist way. If there are things in your life that are keeping you from doing what you love and prohibiting you from going all out on your highest point of contribution, cut ’em. Sure, we can’t cut everything, but if we really give some serious thought to what we’re filling our time with on a daily basis, we realize that life is a series of choices. For example:

Spending hours shoveling snow? It’s necessary because Aaron and I chose to live in a duplex in Boston that doesn’t use a property management company. It’s exacerbated because the unit downstairs is pending sale and has been vacant, so maintenance of all common areas has fallen on us.

But what if we chose to live somewhere with mild winters and/or a smaller space? Then we wouldn’t have to shovel for hours or have to spend lots of money on utilities.

I know what I love doing (creating content for Pickles & Honey) and I know that I’m being swallowed by the maintenance of our current living situation. The height of it will pass…but do I want to do it again next year? Do I even want a big mortgage and the responsibility of maintaining 1,400 square feet? No, no, and probably no.

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

There are always going to be unforeseen issues that need tending and tedious aspects to daily life, regardless of where we live. What I don’t want to happen, however, is to ever think that I need to spend my winters stuck inside because it’s too cold or stuck outside because I have to shovel, or that I need to go back to an uninspiring 9-5 because I have to make a lot of money to pay my mortgage to live in Boston. I will sooner live smaller than forego doing what I love because maintaining my lifestyle doesn’t allow me the time. That, to me, is a really frustrating and crappy way to live.

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

There’s just no good way to transition to talking about chai lattes. I’m picky about my chai and it’s tough to find a good vegan chai latte at most places, even in a city like Boston. I find chai lattes are either not spicy enough or way too sweet, and they’re always too expensive. That’s why I set out to create my own perfect vegan chai, and I hope it will be your perfect vegan chai too. Feel free to tinker with the spice blend (skip the fennel, add more ginger, etc), use your favorite non-dairy milk (I like organic soy in my lattes), and sweeten it only how much/if you like. Top it off with a generous dollop of easy homemade coconut whipped cream for an extra dreamy treat. It’ll save you a snowy trek to the local coffee shop and $5, in addition to making your home smell amazing.

This chai is almost enough to make me momentarily forget all of the impending shoveling and our drip drip drip leaky ceiling…

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

…almost.

Do you ever think about changing your day-to-day so you can spend more time focusing on what you love to do? I’m contemplating this.

P.S. If you’re interested in essentialism, I highly recommend this book by Greg McKeown.

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The Perfect Vegan Chai Latte

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

The Perfect Vegan Chai Latte

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 2


Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Skip the over-priced, overly-sweetened chai lattes from the coffee chop in favor of this easy, perfectly spiced vegan chai latte recipe. One sip and you'll be a homemade vegan chai latte convert for sure.

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte | picklesnhoney.com

The Perfect Vegan Chai Latte

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 3 teaspoons loose leaf black tea
  • 6 whole green cardamom pods, partially cracked open
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • sweetener to taste (I like maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • coconut whipped cream for topping
  • ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 2

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Total Time: 25 mins

Skip the over-priced, overly-sweetened chai lattes from the coffee chop in favor of this easy, perfectly spiced vegan chai latte recipe. One sip and you'll be a homemade vegan chai latte convert for sure.

Instructions

  • Add the water, black tea, spices and fresh ginger to a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes, depending on how strong you prefer your chai.
  • Stir in the non-dairy milk and heat for 3-4 minutes, until hot. Pour into mugs through a fine sieve to strain out the tea leaves and spices. Add sweetener to taste.
  • Top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Copyright © 2022 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Cara says

    Your cursing is making me laugh so hard. But for reals, I have a solution. Be my neighbor! It’s going to be EIGHTY SEVEN DEGREES here this week. Whaaa???!

    1. Amanda says

      Cara, I love you and I hate you. 87?!?!?! WTF. I totally picked the wrong coast in terms of extreme weather. Aaron and I were just talking about how we should move out to LA, so yes, I would like to be your neighbor!

  2. Yesssss fist pump for the tiny house link! And amen sister, basically I dido this entire post and know just how you feel! Super hope your lifestyle never gets in the way of creating here on this space. I think that the fact we are even thinking about these things, all that you mentioned above, means that it won’t happen. Already being intentional BEFORE all the shit hits the fan and you find yourself in that 9-5 for the sake of a mortgage you don’t even want. Right?! Stay strong!!

    1. Amanda says

      That tiny house link was all you! I love it! And I love what you said about being intentional before shit hits the fan–it’s the only way to stay focused on what truly matters. Thanks for your thoughtful words, Jessie. xo

  3. Caitlin says

    YOU GO GIRL. i absolutely loved reading you bitch about this winter you are having. you deserve to share what is going on on your blog and your friends want to read about it (at least i do). i feel you on being an essentialist and not letting anything stop you from doing what you love. you’re my hero.

    also, side note, i LOVE the new photo on the side bar and the new about page. gahhh i just love you so much!

    1. Amanda says

      I just love you so much, Caitlin! You are seriously the sweetest. Thank you for supporting me on a rough day. xoxo

  4. Honestly, the link to that house on wheels type things is so what I want. I would rather live the lifestyle I want and live in a small space than be forced into a career I don’t want to pay for a space I don’t need or desire! I hear your frustrations girl and just know I am pulling for you.

    This chai looks wonderful and might even thaw my frozen toes from trudging through the snow xox

    1. Amanda says

      We are on the same page with the tiny house thing, Gabby! I’m sure there are tough things about that too (like all of the zoning issues), but what I like is the idea: 200 sq ft or 600 sq ft–just having a space that’s only what you need and what you can afford so you can do what you love. Thank you for the kind words. <3

  5. Kait says

    fuck fuck fuck fuck fuckitty fuck fuck.

    I just really wanted to say that. Also if you’re worried about your ads -welcome to my world sister! Try writing about sex and see what happens then. 😉 <–hopefully that made you laugh as it was intended.

    ALSO – I'm seeing a pattern whereby us [C/K]aitl[i/y]ns are fabulous awesome forces in your life. You should pay attention to that! For me its Sara(h)s. I always meet or become close to a Sara(h) when I need to learn a big lesson or something big is about to happen that they can provide support around (the first person to know about my ED, the manager who hired me after I got laid off, the yoga instructors who coached me through my bilateral, wrist injuries, etc etc etc).

    Lastly (since I didn't want to write also for the third time because that doesn't make much sense), tiny houses are amazing. I so want to buy a brownstone in NYC and rehab it to be a series of tiny-house inspired apartments (and by that I mean laid out in the most efficient way possible since most every apt here is technically tiny-house size).

    And on that note, my overtired brain is going to bed.

    Disclaimer: thought I was not inebriated when writing this post you now know what I'm like after a few drinks because overtired Kait + drunk Kait are extraordinarily similar (read: rambl-y).

    xo

    1. Amanda says

      You are hilarious! Next time I want to drop a bunch of f bombs I’ll just ask you to stop by the blog. 😉 And interesting about the [C/K]aitl[i/y]ns! That’s actually a really good observation.

      I love the design efficiency aspect of tiny houses when they’re laid out well. I’m constantly thinking, “that’s so smart!”.

      1. Kait says

        I want to make a f*ck buddy joke SO badly right now…alas I’ll refrain.

        Also – this girl was TIRED last night. Glad my word vomit made you laugh. 🙂

  6. Nicollette D says

    Oh, this hits close to home! I’ve been on vacation but for the last two days, I’ve been focused on how terrible it’s going to be to return to Boston and have to dig my car out. Thanks, New England.
    But this Chai will seriously help.

    1. Amanda says

      Enjoy your vacation! Don’t worry about digging out your car just yet. The snow is fluffy (thankfully), so at least there’s that.

  7. I have to shamefully admit I have never made my own chai from scratch before. You definitely have inspired me to do so with this post – this vegan chai latte looks wonderful!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Thalia! It’s so simple, and I really do think it’s better than most coffee shop chai.

  8. Molly says

    This post made me feel pretty spoiled, only because my apartment is owned by a management company and they are very good about shoveling. This is only my second New England winter, so it still feels fresh and new and exciting, but I know that lifelong New Englanders are cursing this winter.

    Did you see this piece yet? I think it’s helpful to read when feeling down about all the snow. http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2015/02/05/the-mom-the-baby-and-the-bus-stop-barbara-howard

    Despite all the fucking snow, I would happily trudge down the street for this chai latte. Yum.

    1. Amanda says

      Ride out the fresh/new/exciting feeling and don’t let us seasoned New Englanders get you down, especially since you have a management company that’s great about clearing the snow. You will come to hate Boston winters in due time. 😉

    2. Amanda says

      P.S. That article certainly puts things in perspective.

  9. I agree with the too sweet and not enough spice comment concerning chai lattes. I have this flavor shaker, it looks like a red avocado and it has a ceramic ball that gently crushes seeds and whole spices. I’m going to get it out and make this today and shake things up.
    P.S. coconut whipped cream Really? Oh, my goodie goodness.

    1. Amanda says

      That sounds like a cool kitchen gadget! The coconut cream, while optional, takes it up a notch for sure.

      1. So, just a follow up. I made the coconut Whipped Cream – seriously, where has this been all my life? It is freaking delicious! I haven’t ventured in to making the chai tea yet but I have all the ingredients sitting on the counter for when I have a chance.

        LOVE IT!

      2. Amanda says

        Woo hoo! Coconut whipped cream is one of those things that’s so simple, but so good! I have leftovers from making chai earlier this week and I’ve been adding it to dandy blend (an herbal coffee substitute) in the mornings. Dreamy! I hope you’ll have a chance to make the chai lattes soon!

      3. I must confess I don’t think I can give up coffee. We buy the best beans we can from a local roaster and it is such a part of our routine. My husband thinks I’d run off with the coffee guy Ha,ha. Could be the sign I have in the kitchen “I love you more than coffee, just don’t make me prove it.”

      4. Amanda says

        I was never a big coffee drinker so I’m not attached. But Aaron…you do not want to mess with his morning coffee! haha If coffee makes you happy, I think a cup is a-okay.

  10. Shana says

    I appreciate a well utilized cuss word and bloggers that keep it real!

    1. Amanda says

      Me too! It’s refreshing when it’s used sparingly.

  11. mira says

    This chair latte looks amazing and pictures are beautiful! Never tried to make one, but will definitely do! Pinned!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Mira! Aaron will be so happy you like the photos.

  12. that is a ridiculous amount of snow and i dont blame you for such frustation hope things get better until then hold ono these chai.

    1. Amanda says
  13. Those chai pictures are stunning! Also, I might have to fight Cara over it, but you could also come be my neighbor. Portland is an amazing place to live and you can own a house and we get snow like once every 30 years.

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Sarah! I would love to be your neighbor too. You can fight Cara. 😉 Aaron and I are hoping to visit Portland for the first time later this year and we’re pumped! It seems like vegan foodie paradise.

      1. Let me know when you come – we should meet up! Also, I can give you tons of suggestions on where to eat and what to do.

      2. Amanda says

        Yes! That would be amazing.

  14. Jen says

    Yay! Chai. Like you, I’m picky with mine and have been experimenting at home, with no success. I can’t wait to give yours a try!

    Also, I totally hear you in regard to an essentialist life. After having job after job that bores me to tears, I’ve finally realized that I just can’t do the 9-5 life, so my partner and I are quitting our jobs to bike tour around Europe with our dog this April. Society tells us that we have to live a certain way and have certain things. And you know what I say? Fuck. That. Shit. (can I say that in your comments? 🙂

    Also, I second Portland.

    1. Amanda says

      You most certainly can say that in my comments! haha That is ridiculously awesome that you and your partner (and your dog!) are taking a bike tour around Europe!!! That takes serious guts to quit your job and change your lifestyle. It’s one of those things that has potential to completely change your perspective on the world…you don’t know until you just get out there and do it!

  15. kate says

    greetings from a nearly 2,000 sq. ft. house in a suburb of boston that my husband and i are about to put on the market to dramatically downsize our cost of living so we can ditch our soul-sucking 9 – 5 jobs – yay! cheaper cost of living in portland, me, here we come. i’m going to go all in on my food blog and it’s exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time so thank you for, more coherently, voicing what is in my head –> “I will sooner live smaller than forego doing what I love because maintaining my lifestyle doesn’t allow me the time.” – YES!

    also, i love chai (and snow, but we won’t talk about that) and can’t wait to try this recipe. xo.

    1. Congrats!! I am SO excited for you two! (and it seems like a good time to sell – the real estate market in Boston is HOT!) Aaron and I are still traveling on our year-long road trip, but we’re talking about keeping our place as a rental when we get back in the Spring so we can reduce our cost of living to pursue some new things too. It’s scary, but also liberating!

      I wish you so much happiness in your next adventure, Kate! Keep me posted. xo

  16. Sam says

    I am trying out your recipe tomorrow! There are not enough recipes on vegan lattes-your blog is so perfect and also aesthetically pleasing to visit! For non-dairy milk though, I do wonder, should I go for almond milk or oatmeal milk? which one would help my latte taste better?

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Sam! I would go for oat milk, personally. I’m a big fan of Oatly—it makes an amazing latte!

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