DIY Chai Tea

October 11, 2011

Sometimes all you need if a warm drink to comfort you on a cool day.  Chai tea is perfect in the morning to wake up your taste buds or to snuggle up with at night.  The aromatic spices permeate the tea creating a rich and complex flavor.  You will taste cinnamon and sweet cardamom with a hint of spice from the peppercorns.  I suggest using black tea for this recipe but feel free to use your favorite.  You may even want to visit a tea shop and pick something exotic and complementary to the above spices.

Chai Tea

1 cup Milk
2 cups Water
4 pods Cardamoms
1 pod Black Cardamom
2 pieces Cloves
2 pieces Peppercorns
1 small piece Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Tea Leaves
2 teaspoons Sugar or to taste
Boil water in a pan with five spices, black cardamom, green cardamom, crushed pepper corns, cinnamon & cloves (lightly crush to bring out the flavors).
Cover the pan with lid, as to my experience, there is a huge difference in the aroma of tea made covered and uncovered.
Bring the water to boil and add Tea Leaves.
I prefer brewing Taj Mahal Orange Pekoe or Brook Bond "Red Label" for my Chai's, can't beat the flavor.
Let the tea leaves brew for 4-5 minutes in boiling water.
Add 1/2 cup of milk and sugar to taste at this point & simmer for few minutes.
When the tea is done, give it a grace period of another one to two minutes with lid covered, to let the spices lose all their flavor to the chai.
Use a strainer to filter the tea into your tea cup.
Lastly, to make every sip a complement, I like to garnish the tea with crushed green cardamom, lends it a great flavor...turning milk-addicts like me into tea lovers...!

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Anita@Chai Tea Site's picture

That is a great staple chai tea recipe. For variety, you could add anise seed sometimes, or boil it with milk only. Also, using different teas, like Yerba Mate or Rooibos is also interesting. You can check out some ideas at

Ravi Shastri's picture

We grind these spices (including star anise) together to a course consistency and store in an airtight container. A pinch or two is added every time when we brew tea. saves time every time and gives consistant results every time.

Brian's picture

Sorry, but not being American, I have no idea what you mean by, "tea leaves." I assume that you mean some sort of black tea leaves, although there are hundreds of varieties of those as well. Will you please clarify as to what leaves you are referring? Thank you.

Dee's picture


Jay's picture

A friend/chef of mine used to make his with goat milk that he simmered for hours with the spices and then added the tea at then end. It was real good.

Jay's picture

A friend/chef of mine used to make his with goat milk that he simmered for hours with the spices and then added the tea at then end. It was real good.

Josh Haftel's picture

I was surprised to see no ginger included in the recipe. For me, ginger is a huge part of chai and I can't imagine it without. Now, I've never had chai in India, so maybe I'm just used to a completely wrong taste, but I really love gingery chai :)

Yogic Chai's picture

I never had Chai in India that didn't have ginger. Ginger gives Chai a really nice flavor. Also there is no need in using green cardamom and black cardamom as what we know as black cardamom are the black seeds inside the green cardamom pods. As for black tea, go to an Indian grocery store and ask them for CTC Assam. Using a fancy graded tea is not worth it. You want a rich and dark cup and CTC will do that.

You can also mix both the milk and the water, which I would use equal parts, add spices and tea when boiled and let it simmer at low heat for 3-5t min. You do not want to over boiled tea. Strained and then add your sweetener, we like to use raw honey.

I can consider myself an expert on this subject as one of our blends has won 1st place for the Chai category at the North American Tea Championship 2 years in a row. If you like you can follow a link to our website by clicking on my name above :)