Chai is not only for winter. Warming and spicy chai blends make amazing autumn and winter lattes, but they make amazing popsicles and cakes too. If you haven't tried it in the summer, you are missing out. This chai demerara simple syrup will give you an opportunity to experiment with the most amazing summer drinks.
What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup is a sugar dissolved in water over heat. Simple syrup is usually quite thin and watery, but very sweet. It's one of the best sweeteners for iced teas and frozen drinks as it will easily dissolve in water. Home-made simple syrup takes only 10 minutes to make and you can play with flavours and ratios until you find your favourite combination.
What is chai demerara simple syrup?
Chai demerara simple syrup is a sugar syrup made with demerara sugar instead of typical white refined sugar and masala chai blend. Demerara sugar is a sugarcane sugar with a light brown colour and texture similar to white refined sugar. It has a warmer nuttier flavour that goes well with masala chai teas. Demerara sugar usually comes from Mauritius. Masala chai is a type of Indian tea made with black tea leaves and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves and peppercorns.
Is it better using your own spices or a pre-made masala chai blend?
This will depend on your preferences and the type of tea you have. You can use pre-made chai blends, preferably with smaller broken leaves or CTC leaves. Make sure the blend is aromatic and intense, and brews into a full-bodied tea. Do not use murky and stale blends as that will impact the quality of the syrup. Always use only freshly brewed tea. You can also use chai blends that contain other ingredients, such as rose petals or fruits (we used Malabar Chai from Tea Drop). Alternatively, you can make your own masala chai blend using a strong black tea with broken leaves and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
What ratio should you use?
When working with sugar, getting ratios and temperatures right can be a problem. Thankfully, simple syrup is called simple for a reason – you don't need to worry about ratios as long as you are using more sugar than water, preferably in a 1:1 ratio. Please keep in mind that this will mean sugar will weigh more than water. This syrup is thicker than Earl Grey simple syrup from this recipe.
How long do you need to cook Chai demerara simple syrup?
Simple syrup will be ready in 10 minutes. You can't overboil it if you simmer it on low heat, and you can even add more sugar and keep simmering it if your syrup is too watery. Cooking it longer won't make it thicker though, only adding more sugar will. Always simmer syrup on medium-low heat and check the consistency with a spoon.
Chai Demerara Simple Syrup
- small saucepan
- jar for storing the syrup
- disposable tea filter
- kitchen scale or a cup
- 3 heaped teaspoons of loose leaf chai blend
- 120 ml of freshly boiled water
- 150 grams of demerara sugar
- Bring fresh water to a boil.
- Add 4 teaspoons of chai blend into a disposable tea filter.
- Steep tea in 120 ml of freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain the tea into a small saucepan and add sugar.
- Turn on the heat and stir the sugar until dissolved.
- Once it's dissolved, simmer on medium heat for 5 more minutes.
- Pour into a jar and let it cool down before storing in the fridge.