Nothing says “winter” more than a good chai tea. And there’s nothing better than making your own chai tea mix. There are so many different recipes for chai tea floating around in the world. Depending on your culture, heritage, or taste preferences, chai tea made in one home can taste completely different than chai tea in another home.
The best part is—no matter which way you like your chai tea, you can make a simple chai tea mix, or chai tea concentrate, ahead of time so that it’s ready and waiting for you whenever the mood strikes you. Here’s one of my favorite Chai Tea mix recipes from my book, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion.
What is Chai Tea?
If you just want the recipe, you can keep scrolling. But for those of you who want to know more about the history of Chai tea, you can keep reading!
Chai tea is most notably know for its roots in India. “Chai” means “tea” in Indian. This tea has been made for centuries across various continents and cultures, each family putting their own flare on it. The base of Chai tea normally begins with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorns. Traditional Chai tea isn’t extremely sweet like we are used to at our local coffee shops here in the United States. Chai tea was used as an herbal tea to help open airways and aid in digestion. It was also used to relieve pain, enhance mood, and be a refreshing herbal drink.
Chai tea is one of those under appreciated herbal drinks that we think is just another good beverage, when in fact, it can be so much more!
How to Make Chai Tea
You’ll need to begin with whole spices and grind them down yourself for the most potent tea. But it’s okay if you’ve already ground your herbs (or bought them pre-ground) and are making the mix in advance, which is what we’re doing with this recipe.
I’ve linked each spice in the recipe in case you’d like to purchase the herbs online.
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 3 star anise pods, whole
In a container, mix together all spices. Do not grind up the star anise pods, as they add flavor to the mix as it sets overtime.
When you’re ready to make your tea (by the cupful)—
- green tea, black tea, or rooibos tea
- 1/2 – 2 tsp chai mix
- orange zest (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp raw honey or sweetener of choice (if using whipped cream, you can omit sweetener)
- dash of cream (optional)
- homemade whipped cream (optional)
- Steep tea of choice in a cup like you regularly would.
- Add 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp of chai mix to cup, combine well. This will be completely made to your taste and liking. You can strain the herbs from the tea once it finishes steeping or drink it as is. The herbs will naturally fall to the bottom of the cup.
- Sprinkle in a bit of orange zest if you like, along with your sweetener and cream. Top with homemade whipped cream, if desired. (Of course you desire—it makes it 10 times better!)
And that’s it! It’s that easy! Keep your chai tea mix in an airtight container and it will last the entire winter.
Chai Tea Concentrate
If you prefer to make a large batch of tea at one time, you can always make a chai tea concentrate with your mix instead. Simply quadruple your recipe, place in a quart jar (or larger) in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Then dip out some of the concentrate and add water into a cup. Warm, and drink! That’s it! Chai tea concentrate is that easy.