Since moving to this town almost seven years ago, I’d been waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting for a branch of my favorite Michigan-based coffee chain to open here. Finally, a video rental store went out of business (see ya!) and my beloved coffee shop moved in. Oh, and it’s about two minutes from my house.
While in a perfect world, I would go there two or three times a day (or just live on a small cot in the back room), in reality, I try to keep it to a few times a week, so I don’t go bankrupt fueling my coffee obsession. I’ve also discovered that I really can’t drink much coffee after about 3 pm, or it affects my sleep. Enter my new obsession: the decaf vanilla tea latte. This is my afternoon drink of choice when I stop by the coffee shop, so I decided to try my hand at making an at-home version.
While the coffeehouse version involves foamed milk, a decaf tea bag, and a shot of vanilla flavored syrup, most people don’t keep flavored coffeehouse syrups at home. At least, I sure don’t. I decided to flavor a pot of lowfat Michigan milk with a split vanilla bean, as well as a few cardamom pods. If you’ve never tried caradmom, it has a very unique flavor that can be described as floral, slightly sweet, and a little bit citrusy. It can be very expensive, but if you have a store in your area that sells bulk spices, you should be able to score a handful of cardamom pods for just a couple dollars.
After steeping the milk with vanilla and cardamom, I broke out my immersion blender to whip the milk into a frothy foam, just like at the coffee shop. I finished it with a tea bag and enjoyed a little afternoon tea, without having to brave the arctic temperatures and leave the house.
- 4 whole cardamom pods, smashed
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 2 cups (16 ounces) lowfat milk
- 2 black tea bags (regular or decaf)
- In small pot, stir together cardamom, vanilla bean and milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 2 minutes.
- Strain milk mixture through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids. Return mixture to pot; use immersion blender or milk frother to whip milk until foamy.
- Divide frothed milk between mugs or tea cups; add 1 tea bag to each mug. Steep 2 minutes before serving.
Disclosure: This post is part of an ongoing relationship I have with The United Dairy Industry of Michigan for recipe development. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.