Chai, a sweetened, milky spiced tea based on Indian masala chai, has become very popular in the San Jose area recently. Starbucks, Peet’s, and many other local coffee shops have added it to their menus, and it rivals coffee in sales. You can order it hot or iced, and Safeway, Lucky, and Zanotto’s even offer liquid chai concentrate and powdered instant chai! It’s a very short step from iced chai to chai ice cream, but if you wanted that, up until this spring you had to make it yourself. In February, Haagen-Dazs released a new Limited Edition flavor, Sweet Chai Latte, for 2011. It will be avilable at Safeway and other grocery stores throughout the San Jose area until September, according to the company website.
Sweet Chai Latte is packaged in the familiar Haagen-Dazs pint container, and generally costs about $4 per pint. The carton reads: “inspired by the distinctive tastes of india, aromatic spiced chai tea is blended with rich, velvety ice cream to create this unique modern delicacy. Haagen -Dazs® Sweet Chai Latte Ice Cream: Aromatic chai tea with rich, creamy ice cream. Flavor Top Notes: Warm cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and anise. Flavor Finish Notes: Mellow cream with a tingle of lingering spice.” One serving (1/2 cup) of this ice cream contains 250 calories and 16 grams of fat. The ingredient list reads: “cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks, natural black tea flavor, vanilla beans, tea, spices, honey.”
It disturbed me a bit that the ingredients include “natural black tea flavor” as well as “tea”, and that mysterious combination of “spices.” I wonder what makes the “black tea flavor” so different from “tea”, and what “spices” are in there? I tasted cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and other flavors that would be in Christmas gingerbread, but I couldn’t really identify them separately. I did find the black tea flavor to be a little weaker than I would have liked, but the taste as a whole was very good, as was the lovely creamy texture that Haagen-Dazs is famous for. I would recommend this ice cream to anyone, and I would also recommend that people stock up on Sweet Chai Latte ice cream before it’s taken off the freezer shelves in September! I purchased this ice cream at Safeway in Milpitas.
Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.
For more information:
Haagen-Dazs Sweet Chai Latte product page
“Haagen-Dazs unveils new flavors for 2011”
Chai ice cream recipe
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“How to make ‘instant’ chai”
“Another tea cocktail for the horse-racing fans!”
“Is it too warm to sleep? Try soothing orange-blossom mint tisane”
“Cool off with tea ice cream”