Homemade Chai from Scratch

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The best chai I’ve ever had was made from scratch by my friend’s mother-in-law. She’s indian and after explaining that “chai” means “tea” (so “chai tea” becomes a redundant “tea tea”), she served me the most delicious chai. It was full of flavor with the milk and sugar mellowing out any harsh spice notes.

I’ve been working on my own chai blend through trial and error. After two weeks of testing and consuming two cups of chai per day, here’s my recipe, which I must say, is pretty tasty. The hardest part is gathering all the ingredients.

Makes 2 cups

3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup milk (I use soy.)
2 teaspoons of black tea (Assam or Ceylon)
1/2 piece cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon honey
5 whole green cardamom pods
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of coarse ground pepper

1. Crush and roughly chop the star anise, cloves and cardamoms.
2. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients except for the vanilla extract.
3. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Take off heat. Add vanilla extract.
4. Using a strainer, pour or ladle chai into mugs. Enjoy!


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  • Greensummer
    4 years ago

    Good Morning ! :)thank you for posting this. oh, i like the part where you wrote " Full of flavor with the milk and sugar mellowing out any harsh spice notes" Will try it as soon I can complete all the ingredients. Hmmm.. smells so good ! 🙂

  • Jee (Oh, How Civilized)
    4 years ago

    Hi Greensummer,

    Yes, getting everything needed to make this was the hardest challenge! A bonus to making this is that it fills your entire place up with the scent of chai.

  • Indian chai drinker
    4 years ago

    FYI. There is no such language as "Indian". Chai is the hindi word for Tea. Hindi is one of the main languages of India (there are over 20). Chai is also the word for tea in several other Indian languages. But not all. Love the idea of the post, but this just really irked me. Thank you though for reminding folks that saying "chai tea" is redundant. Another thing that really irks me! Finally, vanilla extract really doesn't seem to fit in chai, if you want it to be authentic. If authenticity is not a primary goal, then no worries, enjoy.

  • 4 years ago

    Homemade chai really is the best and yours looks so delicious! Love your photography and style!

  • Jee (Oh, How Civilized)
    4 years ago

    Hi Indian chai drinker,

    Thanks for the correction! Just made the edit change. As for the vanilla extract, I added that in since I thought it added a fuller flavor to the chai. I was looking to create my own chai blend, not so much to keep it completely authentic.

    Hi Hannah, I agree, homemade chai is the best! Thanks for the compliments on the post!

  • Indian chai drinker
    4 years ago

    Appreciate the edit. I'll have to give vanilla a try some time and see how it tastes, thanks for the idea! Also agree with Hannah that your photography really draws the viewer in, I love the stylized look of the captioned photo at the top of the post.

  • Jee (Oh, How Civilized)
    4 years ago

    Thanks, Indian chai drinker! I've noticed my photography has really improved since I started this blog.

  • K. Carrabetta
    4 years ago

    In your recipe you state 1/2 tsp nutmeg but in your photo with ingredients it states 1 tsp. What gives?

  • Jee (Oh, How Civilized)
    4 years ago

    Hi K. Carrabetta, thanks for catching that! It's 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Just made the change in the post.

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