Spices using promo!

  • Jun 15, 2020


Over the weekend, your A-Z Swagman received a sorely craved-for package from Penzeys Spices. Many years ago, a good friend of ours taught me how to make Chai Latte from scratch, and I’ve been making one every morning as part of my normal routine. Green Cardamom pods are one of the key ingredients and were in the package in question. I buy them in the large, ¾-cup bag, and had mistakenly thought I still had some in the spice cupboard! Ground cardamom from the grocery store tided me over, but there’s something about crushing the dried pods with a mortar and pestle that feels right.

Briefly, here is what Anne taught us those many years ago (or at least how I remember it):


·        Loose Black Tea (Your A-Z Swagman uses Irish Breakfast) approximately 2 tsp for my 20-oz travel mug.

·        About 6 Fancy Green Cardamom Pods, crushed

o   BTW, Penzeys also has Cardamom in two other varieties (not including ground), Fancy White Pods are OK for Chai, but may be more subtle. The Large Black Pods have a smoky flavor that doesn’t work as well in Chai – at least in the opinion of your A-Z Swagman!

·        Half a teaspoon Ground Ginger

·        Milk, 2% minimum fat content

·        Sweetener of your choice (Your A-Z Swagman uses Splenda and a little honey)

·        Variants I’ve tried over the years (not taught by Anne, but tasty nonetheless):

o   Add a quarter-inch of vanilla bean (extract can work as well)

o   Add a pinch of sweetened coconut flakes


1.      Add about a quarter to a half cup of water to a pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add Tea, Cardamom and Ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-3 minutes.

2.      Add milk. The total amount of milk added will depend on the number of servings or the size of your travel mug and may take some experimentation. Your A-Z Swagman still often winds up with a little left over!

3.      Add sweetener to a small strainer.

4.      Bring back to a boil – but watch carefully. At this stage the chai will easily spill over the pot. Many’s the time your A-Z Swagman has had to clean the stovetop because of a spill!!

5.      Strain chai through sweetener into cup or jug. Go slowly and don’t splash. Use a ladle if necessary.

Enjoy! Please let me know if you try it.


Oh yes, there was something else that inspired me to write this entry. Included in the package from Penzeys was a wonderful socially-distant hug! Every order, they include small sample packages of spices I might enjoy, and usually a wonderful bumper sticker touting the benefits of cooking. The socially-distant hug was a new one this time.

As you can see, the card included some fun artwork on the outside, as well as a wonderfully positive message on the inside. Additionally, a coin was glue-tacked on the inside. Your A-Z Swagman originally thought it was a button, but on closer examination, it’s similar to challenge coins given out by organizations and companies.

The coin’s front side shows the primitive artwork in a relief format. The mezzotint recessed areas added to the difference between high and low levels. The back side shows the iconic Penzeys heart logo, again with mezzotint to accentuate the nature of the logo. A repeat of the word Hug is at the top of the back, and almost missed by your A-Z Swagman is the braille in the middle of the heart logo. I felt sure I knew what it was, but did look it up to confirm that the braille spells out HUG.

I already love the spices I purchase from Penzeys, and will continue to frequent their online store (and visit physical stores when travel allows), but this small extra really made me smile. It’s just one way that a company is using a promotional product to share a positive message – and for that, I say thank you Penzeys!

Contact your local A-Z Rep, or your A-Z Swagman if you'd like to incorporate promo into your marketing.

Please continue to stay safe out there. Wear your masks in public situations and wash your hands frequently.


Please note, the images in this blog article were taken by your A-Z Swagman except for the featured image (I couldn't find one I took a few years ago of a wonderful Chai Latte I had in Australia!) Instead, that image is from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pumpkin_soymilk_chai_latte_art_flickr_user_ggvic.jpg


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