Homemade Chai Tea Recipe

Use homegrown herbs in the chai tea so nice they named it twice.
Chai Tea

Chai Tea

Masala Chai is a distinctive tea made with black tea, spices and milk.

Photo by: Mick Telkamp

Mick Telkamp

Masala Chai is a distinctive tea made with black tea, spices and milk.

Related To:

Given the word “chai” means “tea” in Hindi and many other languages, the term “chai tea” becomes redundant. Even so, when we order a chai tea, we’re sure to get the distinctive blend of spiced black tea and milk called “masala chai” in its country of origin. Recipes vary widely, but the most familiar spice tones include green cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon and notes of licorice from fennel seed or star anise. Once relegated to Indian restaurants here in the U.S., in recent years the exotic beverage has become all but commonplace as an alternative to the fancy coffee drinks found in the five-buck-a-cup coffee shop scene.

Can’t start your day without a fix of this spiced tea served hot or over ice? We feel the same way, but that pit stop on the way to the office is no longer necessary. Chai concentrate made at home costs just pennies a cup, showcases the value of using fresh herbs and spices and skips the often unpronounceable additives found in some commercial versions. Best of all, it can be tweaked to suit your taste using spices common to the spice rack and even an herb or two taken fresh from the garden.

Using homegrown ingredients like ginger and fennel will help make your homemade chai stand out from the crowd, but it’s easy to adjust your chai to amp up or temper spices to taste. Strong flavors are tamed by brown sugar and the 1:1 ratio of milk to tea that makes chai tea a creamy and flavorful favorite.

Chai Tea Concentrate

  • 3” ginger root
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (may be adjusted to taste)
  • 6 cups water
  • 10 bags black tea

In a heavy pot, bring ginger root, cardamom, fennel, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla and brown sugar to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, add tea bags and allow to steep for 10 minutes to produce a strong, dark tea.

Strain out solids and discard.

Store chai concentrate in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Combine with milk at a ratio of 1:1 and heat to serve or pour over ice to serve cold.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Homemade Apple Jelly Recipe

Apples don’t require added pectin to produce thick, sweet jelly.

9 Homemade Cleaning Products

Simple ingredients from the pantry can be used to make cleaning products that are kinder to the environment for a fraction of the cost.

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table

Easily refinish a dated or worn dining room table to give it a fresh look.

Homemade Treat: Snowman Chocolate Bark

Delicious, adorable and easy to whip up even for a big group of people, these sweet snowmen will delight everyone on your Christmas gift list. 

How to Clean a Wood Kitchen Table

Got half an hour? Make your wood kitchen table spotless and germ-free.

How to Refinish a Kitchen Table

Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture.