Review: TAZO chai vanilla caramel latte

I am a coffee girl through and through. I drink about 1 to 3+ cups a day black. That means no cream and sugar for the fast food workers who always ask if I want cream and sugar after I order a black coffee… but I digress.

I was hesitant to try the TAZO Chai vanilla caramel latte concentrate mix because I don’t like beverages that are too sweet tasting, too milky tasting or too calorie-dense. However, by using your own milk, you have some control over the amount of calories and the final taste of the beverage.

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All you need to make this tasty drink is TAZO chai vanilla caramel latte concentrate mix, found at your local Wegmans (or other grocery store if you’re so unfortunate as to not have a Wegmans) in the tea aisle, and a type of milk to mix with the concentrate. The package recommends 2% milk but I never drink that. In fact, I hardly drink milk at all these days. What I happened to have on hand was unsweetened Silk AlmondCoconut Blend milk. At 35 calories per 8 ounces, I save about 100 calories compared to the 2% milk they suggest on the box. And the tasty sweet and spicy is still there with the lower calorie milk.

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This couldn’t be easier to make. Literally a 4-year-old could do it. I had just a small mug to fill, so I used a half cup of the Tazo chai concentrate and a half cup of the coconut almond milk. You could make more or less, but just make sure you have equal parts milk product and chai concentrate. The concentrate comes out looking really dark, but don’t worry. It will lighten when you add the milk. (In case you are curious, I took a swig of it without the milk and it really wasn’t bad to just drink straight.)

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Mix the two liquids and then pour that mixture into your mug. I microwaved mine for a minute because I didn’t want it to be super hot, just warmed up. If you like yours hot, microwave longer or heat on the stove if you’re into dirtying more dishes…

That’s it! Enjoy. If you follow the steps above using those ingredients, you’ll only set yourself back about 105 calories – that’s less than a skinny peppermint mocha at Starbuck’s, although less caffeine. But it’s still got some to get you going but not so much to make you jittery.

I don’t think I’ll stop drinking coffee but this is a tasty drink I could see having once in a while as a treat. If we ever end up getting snow (It’s Dec. 12 in Rochester, New York, and still no sign of the white, fluffy stuff!) this would be a great replacement for hot cocoa after sledding. It’s probably around the same amount of calories, but it has that little bit of caffeine that hot cocoa lacks. It could help you resist that post-sledding nap.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s other than a little bit of calcium and vitamin a, it really doesn’t have a lot of stuff (good or bad) in it. The ingredients list is fairly wholesome: water, black tea, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, natural flavors, cane sugar, honey, natural flavors, ginger juice, vanilla extract, citric acid. While it’s not as good as a tea bag straight from the box, I can bet you’ll find a lot more crazy chemicals in your average pouch of hot cocoa.

What’s your hot beverage of choice? Have you tried chai? If not, get a coupon and give it a try. Then let me know what you think.

Disclaimer: I received free product in making this review. However, the opinions shared here are my own.

 

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