Dirty Chai Blog Post

Monday, October 29th, 2018 by

People are passionate about their beverages. We want them flavorful, pretty, fresh, and inexpensive. We need them fast, in the biggest cup you’ve got, with our choice of milk, and a generous dash of whip. Remember those multicolored pastel drinks that were all the rage? What about freakshakes, the mother of all milkshakes, topped with every confection imaginable? People are having fun with their drinks, and we are on board. One of our favorite trends these days is the Dirty Chai Tea Latte. You can have all the warm, spicy flavors of chai without sacrificing the essential, revitalizing joy that is coffee. Basically, you can have your cake and eat it too. Bonus: you can make it at home!

Some of the best innovations come from necessity. We’ve all made those “I really need to go food shopping but I don’t feel like it” meals. You stare into your bare cabinets and try to figure out how you can work those pitiful, mismatched ingredients into something edible. There are entire cookbooks on the subject matter. Scarcity can turn anyone into an innovator.

The aromatic tea we know and love was born in tougher times. Masala Chai is a Hindi term that translates to “mixed-spice tea”. In the early 1900s, black tea was very expensive in India. Vendors used milk, sugar and spices to keep their brew flavorful while keeping costs down. To stimulate the sales of Indian tea, the British-owned Indian Tea Association encouraged big employers to offer tea breaks throughout the work day. They also encouraged chaiwalas, tea vendors, to sell their brew along the developing railway system.

Traditional Masala Chai used black tea, typically the local Assam or Ceylon, blended with real spices that varied based on region and availability. Chaiwalas became an important part of the culture and continue to exist all over India. They are one of the only consistent presences in a very diverse country, from lazy rural villages to busy cities streets. People from all walks of life flock to chaiwalas for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Over tea, you’ll see people congregate, night and day, discussing anything from politics to sports.

Masala Chai became popular in India, but it didn’t stop there. Over the pond it went, right to our local coffee shops and tea houses, in all its spicy, fragrant glory. Any trendy coffee shop will boast the “Best Dirty Chai,” but as DIY-ers, we subscribe to the philosophy that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. A lot of cafes make their chai with a concentrated syrup or powder mix. This version fuses our own signature chai spices into the tea like the first chaiwalas. Those real ingredients add a richness and depth of flavor you can’t emulate with an artificial mix alone. You wouldn’t build a house with particle board. You have to go for the good stuff!

If you want the traditional Dirty Chai experience, brew up 2 shots of espresso – we love Godfather’s Italian Espresso for this drink. You can also strong brew any coffee of your choice. Typically, espresso drinks use a dark roast, but the beauty of doing it at home is that you get to choose. Your home will be filled with that sweet, spicy aroma in no time! Whether you’re brewing it by the cup or the pitcher, this decadent treat is as simple as it is tasty.

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!



1-2 tbsp Spiced Chai tea

1/2 cup of water

1/3 cup of milk of your choice

1/2 cup of strong coffee or 2 shots espresso

2-3 tsp honey

1 drop vanilla extract

A dash of cinnamon


1.) Prepare coffee or espresso

2.) Prepare chai by bringing water to boil, then pouring it over loose leaf tea in a tea strainer.  Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bag/tea container from tea.

3.) Add honey and a drop of vanilla to chai tea, stir in well

4.) Prepare milk by either heating it up in a pot on the stove or use a wand to steam

5.) Add milk to chai

6.) Add strong brewed coffee or espresso and a dash of cinnamon

Chai-Infused Rye Whiskey

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 by

Chai Rye

If you’ve ever added a splash of whiskey to your mug of tea, you know the flavors can pair very nicely. Tea softens whiskey’s bite while whiskey adds warmth and complexity. Inspired by the success of our Earl Grey Goose, we decided to see what a tea  infusion would do to a traditional old-fashioned. We decided to use spicy and robust rye as the base for our Spiced Chai Black Tea infusion. With a strong flavor of its own, the tea needed to steep for only two hours to infuse well.


Add 1 tablespoon of loose leaf chai black tea and 8 ounces of rye whiskey to a sealable jar. Let sit for 2 hours, strain the tea and transfer to a bottle before using.

With more time, the subtle tea flavor will enhance, but the spices become unpleasantly strong. With a straight, unflavored tea, try infusing a few hours longer or overnight to start.

Spicy Old Fashioned Recipe

Add a little (or more if you like) simple syrup to an old-fashioned glass with ice.
Add a dash of bitters.
Add 2 ounces of chai-infused rye whiskey
Garnish with a twist of orange

Spicy Old Fashioned

Hopefully, this recipe inspires experimentation. Scotch, bourbon, rye, and tea share many characteristics  and can enhance one another, whether enjoyed side by side or blended. Mix and match and let us know what works for you!

Meet the Mugshots

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by

Coffee Bean Direct/Tattle Tea is powered by a small army of dedicated foodies, geeks, gamers, fitness nuts, creative types, and smart, talented people of all stripes. That’s why we’re featuring a staff member on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter every Monday, along with a coupon for their favorite coffee or tea, #MugshotMonday. Here’s a look back at our September mugshots, and a little more about the people behind those handsome mugs.


Anthony, Tea Expert

How long have you worked for Coffee Bean Direct/ Tattle Tea?

9 Years! And I’m ruined for working anywhere else.

Many of our employees have had a varied job path. Would you care to share any of your previous career incarnations before becoming our tea expert?

When I first started my job was responsible for all of the flavors and blends of coffee and tea needed for the day. I would start in the morning hand-blending everything, then in the afternoon I bagged all the coffee and tea up by running it through the weigh-n-fill machine. When this became a 10-12 hour job we hired someone to take over making the flavors and blends. My job was bagging the coffees and teas all day. Around that time I became responsible for ordering all of our teas. Shortly there-after I took over the shipping department, packing every order going out to customers for the day.

When we moved to our larger warehouse I stepped back from the hands-on order packing to manage the warehouse, with a focus on logistics and shipping. Now I over-see all things Tattle Tea, over-see the warehouse and work with the warehouse managers, and I’m half the HR team.

Your coupon code was DAPPLE40. Please explain.

That refers to my dog Asher who is a dapple dachshund. A dapple coat is spotted. He kind of looks like a moldy hotdog.

Why was Yunnan Black Needle your pick?

Because I want everyone to try it! It’s an incredible tea and I wanted to use my power as “the tea guy” to offer a huge discount so people will get to experience this typically expensive premium tea.

I have a lot of favorite teas but Yunnan Black Needle really surprised me. I’m used to strong black teas that basically give you a coffee-like punch in the face when you drink it. Yunnan Black Needle is about as far from that as you can get. It’s soft and mellow with a strangely buttery flavor. It has so much more depth of character than I’m used to from black teas. Even its golden leaves are completely unique.

Do you have a favorite unconventional use of tea?

I make really good salad dressings, sauces, dips and condiments and brewed tea is a great ingredient in all of those. My favorite was a creamy green tea dressing with sencha, pinhead, Greek yogurt, and fresh herbs. It was like a green goddess dressing boosted with tea. I used the dressing on a salad with blackened Cajun chicken. I made my own dry rub for the chicken using our ultra premium silver needle white tea. The soft, downy leaves of the white tea were perfected for blackening on the grill. Using such an expensive tea might be a bit exorbitant – definitely one of the perks of working for a coffee and tea company.

Are there any other areas in which you might be considered an expert?

Useless knowledge about random TV shows. Got a question about Lost?


Al, Roast Master

How would you describe a really good cup of coffee?

A good cup of coffee for me is smooth, balanced, and a bit on the stronger side.  I want to know I’m drinking great coffee but I don’t want the shakes after my first cup.

Your coupon code was GLOVESAVE. Please explain.

Hockey is life.

For those of you that don’t follow me on Twitter (shameless plug-@CBDRoastMaster), I enjoy getting hockey pucks shot at me in my free time.  Being a goalie can be a bit stressful, though.  You’re either the hero or the zero.  If you make a mistake, EVERYONE knows.  But at the same time, if you make a big save, EVERYONE knows.  Why GLOVESAVE?  Although STICKSAVE, KICKSAVE, and BLOCKERSAVE are all fun as well, there’s nothing like sticking your glove out and robbing someone who had their heart set on the top corner.  Also, it’s better than 5-HOLE and HELLBOWS, the latter being a reference that all my MMA friends will get.

Do you bother brewing coffee at home, and how do you brew it?

But of course!  I’m not insane.  I make an 8-cup pot every morning, drink half of it before I leave the house, and take the rest of it with me to the warehouse.  I was given a Cuisinart grind and brew as a Christmas present and I absolutely love it.  It makes great iced coffee, too.  I make a pot of that every few days when it’s warm.  I had a French Press that I brought in to use, but Marcie broke it.  Just between us, I’m pretty sure it was on purpose.

What else is in your cup? Cream? Sugar? Details, please:

It depends on my mood.  Most of the time I just use half and half, but sometimes I’ll get some light cream or heavy cream.  They make the coffee a lot creamier.  Once in a blue moon I’ll use sugar.  My 3rd mug of the day contains whatever flavored creamer I like the most that’s sitting in the fridge at work.  I absolutely hate, hate, hate, HATE, HATE, HATE milk in my coffee.  I’d rather take pucks from Shea Weber without my cage while Bas Rutten is behind me continuously punching me in the liver.

Why was Panama Boquete your pick?

Panama doesn’t get a lot of love from people and I think it’s one of the best coffees we offer.  It’s delicious no matter how you make it, and it’s great in blends.  We’ve been using it in a few of the more recent Roaster’s Blends, so if you were a fan you can thank the Panama.  It’s also in the Iced Coffee Blend.  But remember, just because the label says Iced, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way you can make it.  Try it out and thank me later.

If you weren’t our Roast Master, what would probably be doing for a living?

Well, I drove tractor trailers in my early 20s, so I’d probably be doing that.  It was fun for the most part, especially since I was home every night.  Pretty sure I used to scare people when they saw me behind the wheel because I looked like I just started high school.

Or I’d be wandering the Earth trying to find my purpose in life.


Jenn, Graphic Designer

Why was Forbidden Love Oolong Chai your tea of choice?

I’m a huge fan of both chocolate and chai so when I heard this tea was both, I knew I had to try it. It’s smooth, not bitter at all and so easy to make. It has easily become one of my favorites.

Your coupon code was MBT30. Please explain.

As a gamer, I knew I had to make my coupon game related. MBT stands for “Main Battle Tank”. I chose this because of avid tanking in Battlefield 4. There’s no greater feeling than completely dominating in a vehicle and shooting down all the opposing forces. Bunch of noobs.

Do you ever drink coffee, and if so, what kind?

I LOVE coffee. No way I can live without it because it is so delicious and helps me wake up every morning. I’m really into light roasts cause it packs a punch with the caffeine. My favorites are, Peaberry, Kilimanjaro, and Indian Monsooned Malabar. They are coffees that offer different tasting notes while retaining that smooth, delicious coffee taste.

What is your all-time favorite meal?

As someone who loves to eat, this is a tough question. Let’s just say all foods I love are definitely not date foods. Ribs? Yes! Chili cheese dogs? Yes! Korean BBQ? Hell yes!

If you weren’t a graphic designer you would probably be a…

Probably something involving video games such as concept art or 3D modeling. There’s nothing like being able to bring your visions to life using today’s technologies and being able to create environments or creatures with 3D is absolutely fascinating.

Other than Steve, what is your biggest pet peeve?

OMG you know what I hate? When people who have eaten greasy snacks touch my video game controller and then ruin it with its greasy-disgusting texture! Completely ruins my game play experience or when I see food bits stuck in other people’s game controllers. Absolutely makes my skin crawl. ugh!


Steve, Web Developer

How would you characterize your relationship with coffee/tea, on a scale from casual to dependent?

My relationship with coffee/tea has been an on and off for years. About once every year I am convinced it’s bad for me and try to break the habit, but it proves to have too strong of a hold on me. So, I give in and enjoy a little pick-me-up in the morning.

Do you ever drink tea? If so, what kind?

I drink tea almost daily! My favorite type of tea has to be just plain old green. And when it’s late, I enjoy chamomile tea. Never sweetened.

Your coupon code was POTATO. Why?

My coupon name comes from our designer, Jenn. She mentioned that I am a potato since I like to have experience with a lot of things. A jack of all trades is what I aspire to be so, like a potato which is versatile in many dishes, I am diversified in my skills.

What exactly were you thinking about the moment this photo was taken?

My hopes and dreams.

Why did you pick French Roast Papua New Guinea?

French Roast Papua New Guinea was recommended to me months ago by a co-worker. I love how dark the roast is while at the same time having a very smooth flavor. An overall decent cup of joe.

What is one thing your coworkers would be surprised to learn about you?

That I like to paint landscapes. I think that’s a thing not many people know about me, but it’s something that is personal and it’s a rarity that I paint anything. So, new pieces are created very rarely.

Cooking with Tea

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 by

Fall is official and our seasonal flavors are full of cinnamon, maple, pumpkin, and other things that are wonderful to cook with. My personal favorite is Pumpkin Chai, a beautiful blend of black, green, and herbal teas flavored with chai spices, caramel, and pumpkin. It smells so good I decided to find a way to eat it.

There are many ways to infuse foods with tea flavor, and I would like to try all of them. At the moment I’m too busy for a recipe that requires more than a few steps, so I decided to give a simple syrup recipe a try, inspired by the title. It is stupidly simple, and the end result is delicious and versatile. Here’s what you do:

  1. Brew a cup of strong tea. I used three teaspoons of the Pumpkin Chai in one cup of boiling water and let it steep for about five minutes.
  2. Strain the leaves and bring the tea to a boil in a small sauce pot.
  3. While the tea is boiling, add a cup of sugar and stir constantly for about two minutes. Syrup
  4. Let the mixture cool completely. Store in a container with a tight lid (a canning jar works great).

At room temperature the syrup will last about a week before it begins to crystallize. Refrigeration will extend the shelf life to about a month, probably longer, but chances are it won’t sit uneaten for that long.

What can you do with tea-infused simple syrup? Bake with it, poach with it, add it to an adult beverage, or drizzle it on whatever you want. I’m already planning a million variations on this theme.

Feeling under-challenged by simple syrup, I decided to keep going and make sundae sauce, adapting this recipe for wet walnuts, my favorite. I brought a half-and-half mixture of the simple syrup and maple syrup to a boil, along with the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Then I stirred in chopped walnuts and let it cook for a few minutes. That’s all. Warm, on vanilla ice cream, it is mind-blowing. Warm, on pancakes, also mind-blowing. Cold, right out of the jar with a spoon, mind-blowing.


Have you tried cooking with tea? We’d love some recipe suggestions!