Way back in February, I brewed up a fancy chai mix by Chaiwala for Valentine’s Day. You may remember — Chaiwala makes their blends by mixing black tea with spices and with fresh ginger and honey. In case you don’t remember, it looks like this:
Because it contains fresh ingredients, it risks going bad quickly. Indeed, the package that I bought at the Toronto Tea Festival at the end of January had a best-before date of July 28th, so time was running out.
So I decided to do something a little bit different: I made popsicles with the remaining tea leaf. And I even have a recipe for you!
Chaiwala Tea Popsicles — Ingredients
- 40-45 grams of Chaiwala chai blend
- 1 small carton (approx 4 cups) of vanilla-flavoured soy milk
- 1/2 can of coconut milk (try to skim off the thick coconut cream and use that)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- Popsicle molds
I took the remainder of the chai from the package and let it steep in the vanilla soy milk for 5-10 minutes — enough for the soy milk to reach a boil and for the tea to become a rich tan colour.
Then I took it off the heat, set it aside to cool, and added the coconut milk and honey. Because the coconut milk had been sitting in my cupboard for a bit, I was able to skim off the top part of the cream that had separated from the rest of the liquid, which gave the mix some added richness.
I say that I added the coconut milk and honey at the same time, but I really added a bit of the honey, added the coconut milk, and then added more honey to taste — I really just eyeballed the ingredients for this whole thing.
Then I took the whole pot and strained it through a sieve into a large measuring cup to get rid of the chai pieces. After straining, I had a little over a full litre of liquid.
It’s at this point that I have to admit another mistake. I didn’t wait long enough to let the mixture cool before pouring the popsicle molds. See this set below? See how shiny and clean it is? That’s because I, in the interest of being efficient, washed everything before I even added the tea to the soy milk.
But this was a bad idea. I should have waited until after I brewed the tea to clean these things out. It would have given the tea a bit more time to cool before being poured into the molds.
Anyways. I took the liquid and poured it into the clean popsicle moulds. Because the skimmed coconut cream was so thick, little clots of cream were still visible, not fully incorporated into the rest of the liquid. You can see the flecks of cream in the liquid below.
There was still quite a bit of liquid left over after pouring some into the molds. I had only 6 molds, but there were still 2.5 cups of liquid left, so this recipe could easily make a dozen pops. So after chucking the whole thing into the freezer, I drank off the remaining liquid while it was still warm and toasty. (Pretty delicious, by the way!)
The popsicles stayed in the freezer overnight.
The result? An icy pop with a hint of sweetness and a rich, spicy flavour of cloves, fennel, cardamom, and more. I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out, since this was my first time making popsicles.
However, the texture of the popsicles was jagged and icy inside, rather than smooth, toothsome or creamy. I don’t know if this was a result of there needing to be more fat in the blend (moar coconut cream!!), or a result of not letting it cool to room temperature before putting it in the freezer. If I were to make tea popsicles like this again in the future, I’d be more careful about how I put them into the freezer.