Chai Cocoa

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I don’t like coffee, and I don’t like tea per se. But give me a cup of sweet, spiced chai and I am happy as the proverbial pig. The caffeine makes me a bit light headed because I’m not used to it, but if I am out somewhere that looks like they might give good chai, then I give it a go (I’ve tried making it at home with bags but it is always crap, so now it is a treat when I’m out).

My favourite to date has to be that from Dishoom – sweet and milky and cardamonny (if it’s not a word, it should be); a chai all other chai’s aspire to.

When I got a tweet asking about sending me a press release, I was happy to receive it on the basis of the company name alone; I mean, how cool is Holy Lama?! Luckily the product caught my interest as well because it’s like nothing I’ve come across before and I can see it becoming an addition to my kitchen arsenal.

Holy Lama Spice Drops

Spice Drops are concentrated extracts of spices which come in little bottles with dropper tops (like eye drops) and have a three year shelf life. Also they are made in a factory in Kerala, India, where 90% of the workforce are women and, to quote their website: “Most women are from disadvantaged background. In a traditionally male dominated society, employment in the factory gives the workers the much needed self-confidence and independence.  Women of all ages, castes and religions are welcome here. Holy Lama Naturals is guided by the concept of Kudumbashree – “The enhancement of a less privileged family by empowering the women.”  Which all sounds pretty good to me.

So back to my chai love. HL kindly sent me a sample of their tea masala spice mix- a teeny 5ml bottle crammed with nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cinnamon and clove. You only have to take out the top to smell the pungent mix.

Rather than make a simple cuppa with it, and risk a dizzy caffeine spell,  I decided to make a spiced hot chocolate drink. I used cocoa rather than hot chocolate as it is easier to adjust the sweetness but obviously feel free to use whatever you have.

The drink has a cheeky spiced undertone– I think any more spice and it would have overwhelmed the chocolate.

This makes one mug or three espresso cups- for once I actually think the small serving is just perfect as a pick me up. I only wish I had a pain au chocolate to enjoy this with as the buttery pastry would be a natural bed fellow for the morning after the night before. But I only have a Mini Magnum in the house and I don’t think that would have the same effect!

Chai Cocoa

Chai Cocoa- served in my mid-century tea set from a Ludlow charity shop!


Chai Cocoa

Makes 3 espresso cups or 1 mug

  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 ½ tsp cocoa (I use Green & Blacks)
  • 2 drops Holy Lama Tea Masala spice mix
  • Sugar to taste (I used 1 tsp)

What you do

  • Heat your milk in a pan over a low flame or in the microwave (no idea about the latter as I don’t have one!) and bring to a gentle boil
  • Put your cocoa in a jug, add a little of the milk and whisk until smooth
  • Add the rest of your milk, the spice drop and sugar
  • Pour into your cups and serve

Thanks to Holy Lama for letting me try this product. They’re only £3.99 a pop (except for vanilla), you can buy variety packs as well, and with such a good shelf life I can see a clearer spice cupboard (and more pain au chocolate) in my future!


Posted by Claire

She eats. She drinks. She cooks. She travels. She learns. She tastes. She bakes. A foodie with exceptional taste! Always looking for the best food and drink producers from far and wide. Chocolate brownie queen. Judge: International Cheese Awards. Cheese fiend! Travel lover. What better way to discover new food, than to travel to it. Massive fan of The Archers. Crazy cat lady and proud. NW England / Manchester / UK Twitter & Insta: She_Eats_Blog Facebook: SheEatsBlog


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