Guilt-free Hot Chocolate Chai

With winter in full-swing, there are few things I enjoy more than having a mug of something deliciously hot to sip. While I find a steaming mug of hot chocolate difficult to turn down, I worry about the sugar content of big-name hot cocoa packets and how the cocoa is harvested. The biggest names — Hershey’s, Nestle, Mars — still cannot label their chocolate as slave free or fair trade, because it is not. With an estimated 1.8 million children at risk for working as slaves in cocoa fields, I want to support a company that pays their workers a fair price so that they can slowly increase their fields and thus their amount of fairly treated workers.

For this drink, I started with a fair trade, organic cocoa by Dagoba, and paired it with another favorite of mine: chai. My hope was that by incorporating chai, I could add complexity to the drink while also getting away with adding honey as my sweetener. Adding almond milk resulted in a creamy, spicy hot chocolate, my go-to hot beverage this winter.


Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

5 cups water

3-4 black tea bags, such as English Breakfast (2 teaspoons of loose leaf black tea may serve as a substitute)

1 heaping tablespoon fair-trade cocoa, unsweetened

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-4 cardamom pods, split

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp of honey per cup



Heat the water in a saucepan on the stove until it becomes a rolling boil. Add the tea and turn the heat down to low. Allow the tea to simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the next four ingredients, and let the mixture simmer for 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, place one teaspoon of honey into the bottom of each mug, and gently heat the almond milk in a small saucepan (do not let it boil).

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the almond milk to the hot chocolate chai, stirring until the flavors are well-combined. Pour hot chocolate chai into each mug over the honey and stir.



Tip: Still looking for an original gift for that special person on your list? Pick up a package of slave free cocoa and wrap it with a mug handmade by a local potter. Attach a letter explaining why this particular chocolate is unique and perhaps a copy of this recipe.


About continuethislabor

Hi I'm Tera. I'm interested in how flavors work together and how we can work together to be responsible Earth citizens. Currently I teach English in S. Korea with my husband, but someday we will own a small organic farm. There, we will grow vegetables, raise chickens and goats, and play Catan in our little cottage while drinking good coffee.

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