Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate features a warm blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, and star anise steeped with blank tea. All you need to do is add milk!
This chai concentrate keeps well for several weeks and makes a great hostess or holiday gift!
I absolutely adore fall–the fiery colors, the cooler weather, the cozy drinks, the apple picking and pumpkin carving. I’m a sucker for all of it.
At the same time, as the leaf pile grows, I feel a sense of dread niggling away at the back of my mind. I know soon it will be dark by 5 PM, and leaving the house will require a circus of layering clothes, wrestling a wiggly toddler into boots, and searching the house for the match to that one pair of gloves the five year old will actually wear.
Just the thought of it makes me feel sweaty and cold at the same time.
This year, I know what’s coming, and I’m determined to bring as many small joys to our winter as I can. We’re going full hygge, and battling the winter blues with all the fluffy socks, chunky knit blankets, and homemade tea lattes we can find.
This Chai Tea Concentrate is your ticket to a perfect 3 minute Chai Tea Latte. Warm it up and add steamed milk for a spicy chai that will comfort you from the inside out.
Today, I’ll share all the details for creating your own perfect chai concentrate. Knowing this stuff is waiting for you in the fridge will make getting out of bed this winter just a bit easier.
Masala Chai Tea Ingredients
The term chai tea is a bit confusing as “chai” actually just means “tea” in many parts of the world. However, usually when we refer to Chai Tea here in the U.S. (and in this post!), we’re talking about Masala Chai, which is black tea brewed with a blend of aromatic spices, often served with milk.
There are many varieties of Masala Chai, but these are the spices I consider essential for a classic chai flavor.
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Green cardamom pods
- Whole Black Peppercorn
- Star Anise
The final ingredients are black tea and sweetener, which we’ll discuss more below.
This combination delivers a tongue tingling, warm, and sweet masala chai, with a pleasant kick at the end. I like my chai on the spicy side, but you can definitely lower the amount of peppercorn and clove if you prefer a milder flavor. That’s the joy of creating your own chai concentrate!
Where to Buy Chai Tea Spices
While you can find whole spices at most major grocery stores, they can be ridiculously expensive. Your best bet is to find an Indian grocery store, where you can get bulk spices at amazing prices.
I got all the spices I needed to make Chai Tea Concentrate at our local Indian grocer for well under $20, and it’s enough to make many batches of concentrate and probably close to 100 lattes. That’s a pretty great deal if you ask me!
What Kind of Tea is Used for Chai Tea?
What Sweetener to Use for Chai Tea
Chai tea can be sweetened with sugar, honey, or even maple syrup. I like a combination of brown sugar and honey, but I also like adding a bit of Vanilla Simple Syrup for extra flavor.
Sweeten your concentrate to taste. If the mixture tastes bitter, it needs a bit more sweetener.
Experiment to Make Your Own Perfect Chai
The beauty of this recipe is that you can adjust every bit of it to your liking. Think the cinnamon is too strong? Leave a stick or two out.
Prefer a little more ginger? Add it! Need a little more heat? Up the black pepper!
You can also increase or decrease the sweetener to get it just right.
How to Make Chai Tea Concentrate
- To make the concentrate, add the water and all of the spices to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the tea bags. Steep for an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Remove the tea bags, then strain off all the spices. Stir in sweetener while the mixture is still hot. Allow to cool, then store in the fridge until ready to serve. The mixture will keep for 7-10 days.
Homemade Chai Lattes- Hot and Iced
Now for the best part! Let’s put that chai concentrate to good use and make some lattes!
- To make a Hot Chai Latte, warm 6 ounces of concentrate on the stove top or in the microwave. Steam and froth 1/3 cup milk and stir it into the concentrate. Top it with ground cinnamon or fresh ground nutmeg and you’ll feel fancy AF.
- To make an Iced Chai Latte, fill a glass with ice. Add 3/4 cup concentrate. Stir in 1/3 cup cold milk of your choice.
You can use any milk of your choice to make the lattes. Whole milk will give you an intense creaminess and classic coffee shop flavor, but if you prefer a dairy free option, I really like oat milk and coconut milk with chai. The coconut milk is particularly refreshing for an iced chai!
Chai Tea Latte Concentrate- An Edible Holiday Gift
This concentrate recipe is perfect for gifting! Place the concentrate in a pretty glass jar along with instructions for making the lattes.
You can also triple the spices in the recipe and place them in a jar or bag for someone to make their own concentrate! For this to work best, I recommend chopping up the cinnamon sticks and star anise into smaller pieces with a knife.
Give the gift of cozy (not to mention a house that smells amazing) with this chai spice blend. Include instructions for making the concentrate with the gift. Use about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of spices for every 6 cups of water.
More Cozy Drinks
We love nothing more than to curl up with a warm beverage on a cold night. Here are a few more of our cold weather favorites:
- Matcha Lattes
- Baileys Coffee
- Stove Top Hot Chocolate
- Bourbon Eggnog– Okay, okay, this one isn’t technically a hot drink, but I promise the bourbon will warm you right up!
- 6 cups water
- 7 black tea bags
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom pods, gently crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 star anise
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or Vanilla Simple Syrup
- Add the water and all of the spices to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the tea bags. Steep for an additional 5-10 minutes (or longer--don't fret if you forget for an hour. It just deepens the flavor!).
- Remove the tea bags, then strain off all the spices. Stir in sweetener while the mixture is still hot. Allow to cool then store in the fridge until ready to serve. The mixture will keep for 7-10 days.
Chai concentrate should be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days.
To make lattes, combine 3/4 cup concentrate with 1/3 cup steamed or iced milk.