Chai Tea

Love chai tea? So easy to make at home and tastes so much better than store-bought!

 

I love Chai Tea! I was first introduced to Chai Tea in December 2003 during our honeymoon in New Zealand.

A friend of Mark is married to a lovely Indian lady and we stayed with them while in New Zealand. She brought us to one of the tea shops in Christchurch and convinced us to try Chai Tea. I have been hooked ever since.

Here’s a photo of myself in Christchurch in 2003 and many pounds ago!

 

Since then till recently, I never learned how to prepare my own Chai. So more often than not, I end up buying from Starbucks or getting a prepared mix from the grocery. While they taste ok, I find them to be so sugary.

Finally, last July our friend Samuel B. from India came to visit us. Not only did we have a lovely time with him, he taught me how to make Chai Tea! The authentic way and with only 1 major ingredient – Cardamom pods.

Wow! It was the best Chai I have ever had! I think the reason why I never tried to make it was the thought of having to mix or grind many spices. I was so wrong.

It is quite easy to make. Thanks to Sam I no longer need to spend money to make my own authentic Chai Tea right in our own home.

Here’s what a cardamom pod looks like.

 

File:Sa cardamom.jpg

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia by Sanjay Ach.

While cardamom is the most essential spice to any Chai Tea, sometimes I experiment by adding a cinnamon stick, star anise or fennel seeds to the mix. I make about 2-3 cups worth ’cause I like to have one in the morning (as a replacement for coffee) and one in the afternoon, to keep me alive!

So enjoy your homemade Chai Tea! Have it with ice in the Summer and serve hot during Fall and Winter!

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FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW.

INGREDIENT LIST FOR MAKING CHAI TEA

  • green cardamom pods, crushed or split open
  • cinnamon stick
  • star anise  or fennel seeds (optional but recommended for depth of flavor)
  • water
  • milk (adjust to taste)
  • black tea leaves (or 2-3 black tea bags)
  • sugar, to taste

My friend Samuel who lives in southern India says they only use cardamom pods to make their chai tea so that should be enough if you want a simple chai tea but add the rest of the spices and even include some ginger if you like a spicier version of chai tea.

HOW TO MAKE CHAI TEA (STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS)

Place the cardamom pods and the other spices (if using) in the saucepan (big enough to accommodate about 3 cups of liquid). Pour in 2 cups of water.

 

 

Using medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil lower the heat to medium and continue to boil for another 2 minutes to extract more flavor.

Add the milk and wait till it boils again. Once the liquid starts to boil and the milk is starting to foam well, add the black tea.

 

 

Cover and remove from the heat and brew for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you want your tea to be.

Strain then transfer the remaining tea to a mug or teacup. Add some sugar, to taste.

 

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5 from 5 votes
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Chai Tea

Love chai tea? So easy to make at home and tastes so much better than store-bought!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword authentic Indian chai tea, easy chai tea recipe, homemade chai tea, how to make chai tea
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manila Spoon

Ingredients

  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed or split open
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 Chinese star anise or 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional but highly recommended)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½-1 cup milk, use more if you want it creamier
  • 2-3 tsp black tea leaves (or 2-3 black tea bags)
  • sugar, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and the star anise or fennel seeds (if using) in the saucepan that's big enough to accommodate about 3 cups of liquid. Pour in 2 cups of water.

  2. Using medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil lower the heat to medium and continue to boil for another 2 minutes to extract more flavor.
  3. Add the milk and wait till it boils again. Once the liquid starts to boil and the milk is starting to foam well, add the black tea.
  4. Cover and remove from the heat and brew for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you want your tea to be.
  5. Strain then transfer the remaining tea to a mug or teacup. Add some sugar, to taste.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:6-7

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25 Comments

  1. September 2, 2012 / 2:44 am

    I love that photo of your younger self! And chai tea sounds like a perfect beverage for the colder and colder nights here 🙂

  2. September 3, 2012 / 12:35 pm

    Thanks, Jen! Chai Tea will be my best friend this winter.

  3. swanie molina
    September 4, 2012 / 1:06 am

    Thanks for this Abby. At least I can now use the cardamom been sitting in the ref for quite sometimes. I always fail to use it using my regular tea bag. With this, there is no reason to forget.

    How about the black tea, can I use the one in the tea bag?

  4. swanie molina
    September 4, 2012 / 1:09 am

    Sorry, no need to answer…it's in the ingredients list pala

  5. September 4, 2012 / 3:17 am

    Yes, you can. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for dropping by Swanie!

  6. September 5, 2012 / 2:25 am

    Thanks for dropping by Ally! Will be checking out your blog! Hope you enjoy Chai Tea during the cold winter days and nights.

  7. October 8, 2012 / 8:59 am

    Abby, this looks wonderful… and delicious. I keep thinking that I should make my own chai… I always have cardamom in the house, either ground or pods and I bought some anise and also cinnamon sticks ~ So I really don't have any excuse 🙂

  8. October 8, 2012 / 11:50 am

    Oh Marly, you gotta try this especially since you already have all the ingredients. This is my favorite cuppa and love that it is so easy to prepare. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. March 31, 2013 / 1:30 pm

    It has been a really long time since I had Chai Tea Latte. I used to ask for it everyday when I was overseas. The variety that is served in the coffe chain conglomerate is very bland (in my opinion). Today I got a hold of "Stash Premium Chai Spice Tea." I steeped one bag in a cup and added milk…ohhhh, HEAVENLY!!!

    So I was wondering how am I going to get my fix, when my 18 bags run out?

    Then, I found this blog…I'm saved! 🙂 Thanks!

    • April 4, 2013 / 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Paul! Glad you found us! Am sure you'll love this! You can tweak the strength of the Chai to your liking. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

  10. December 18, 2013 / 10:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your yummy sounding Chai Tea at my facebook party. It's one of my favorite drinks! 🙂

    • December 19, 2013 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks for sharing and pinning our recipe. Always a pleasure to join your foodie party and glad you stopped by Debi.

    • February 3, 2014 / 2:06 pm

      Please enjoy Sabra! Thanks for stopping by.

      • Terry
        May 24, 2019 / 10:02 pm

        Hi!

        Just want to say thank you for sharing your Chai recipe. I’m glad to say that my first attempt turned out pretty great!

        • abigail
          Author
          May 25, 2019 / 9:41 am

          So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for letting us know.

  11. Anonymous
    March 17, 2015 / 1:39 pm

    Where do you buy cinnamon sticks?

    • March 17, 2015 / 2:13 pm

      In the spice section of the grocery or supermarket. Any Asian market should have them, too.

  12. February 5, 2017 / 4:15 am

    Where can I buy cardamom pods here in the Philippines?

  13. Jessica Formicola
    March 29, 2021 / 10:21 am

    5 stars
    I love chai tea, but I’ve never made it from scratch before! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

  14. Katherine
    March 29, 2021 / 10:34 am

    5 stars
    I love the taste of Chai Tea. So great that I can now make it myself at home.

  15. Michelle
    March 29, 2021 / 10:52 am

    5 stars
    Chai is one of my favourite teas — it’s so cozy and warming, but I’ve never made it at home. Always thought it was complicated. Thanks for sharing the recipe — will be trying it soon!

  16. Angela
    March 29, 2021 / 11:11 am

    5 stars
    This chai tea is absolutely delicious! So fragrant and warming. My new favorite.

  17. Emily Flint
    March 29, 2021 / 12:17 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve always wanted to make my own chai tea at home and I’m so glad I found your recipe. Delicious!!

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