Chai Tea Recipe Choices

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With so much delightful variation, there's a chai tea recipe to appeal to every palate. Over the past decade, chai tea has steadily grown in popularity and now can be found on most coffee house menus and standard grocery store shelves.

This ancient blend is made with brewed black tea, milk, honey, sugar or syrup, and a unique combination of spices that vary based on the specific recipe.

Spices typically include cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, and cardamom. According to ancient Indian health practices, the deliberate mix of spices helps to calm the mind and revitalize the spirit. In addition, chai is said to promote healthy digestion. There are many variations in recipes based on the area of the world and a drinker’s individual taste.

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Some say chai brews are like a hearty vegetable soup – it's always good but everyone's chai tea recipe is unique, with different ingredients and varied seasoning. Following are some chai tea recipe variations that you may want to make at home and sample.

If the recipes below are not to your liking, substitute or add some of your favorite spices and sweeteners to create a special blend of your own. The are also a wide choice of recipes online if you are looking for more alternatives to satisfy your taste buds.

Chai Recipe #1

7 cups water
1 tbsp fennel or anise seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 cloves 
1 cinnamon stick
1/4" ginger root, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp black pepper corns 
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp of black tea
6 tbsp honey or rock sugar
1 cup of milk (may use soymilk)

In a saucepan, combine first 8 ingredient (spices and water) in a pan, cover and bring to a medium boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Add tea and bring to a boil again, simmering for 5 minutes. Add honey or rock sugar and milk. Makes about 8 cups.

Chai Recipe #2

1/4 teaspoon cardamom
5 whole cloves
3 teaspoons loose black tea
3 cups water
chopped ginger
milk
Sugar or honey to taste

Lightly crushed cardamom seeds and cloves. Mix these spices with tea and set aside. Add a small piece of chopped ginger to water and boil for 3 minutes. Remove water from heat and add the tea/spice mixture. Cover and let it steep for 8 minutes. Pour tea through strainer. Serve with milk and sugar or honey.

chai tea recipe

Chai  Recipe #3

12 whole cloves
1/2 tablespoon of fennel
6 green cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
6 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of fresh, finely chopped ginger root (peeled)
2 tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup milk
7 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon (to taste)

Mix cloves, fennel, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and peppercorns together. Place spices in a pan with 7 cups of water. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and steep for 8 minutes. Then add the tea and return the pan to the head. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the spices and tea from the "brew." Slowly add brown sugar and milk. Sprinkle with powdered cinnamon and the chai is ready to be served. 

Chai Recipe #4

4 slices fresh ginger cut 1 ¼ inches thick
1 cinnamon stick 
4 whole cloves
1 heaping demitasse spoon powdered cardamom
1 6-inch vanilla bean (cut up into 1 inch pieces) 
dash nutmeg
1 heaping tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cup honey
3 Darjeeling blend tea bags
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add teabags and then other ingredients in the order listed above. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk and bring to boil, then take off heat. Strain through strainer or coffee filters and serve hot or in a tall glass filled with ice.

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