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Homemade Chai Tea (Hot, Iced, and Concentrate)

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How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

As you are reading this post today, I am happy to be snuggled up with a warm blanket at a blogging retreat in Park City, Utah. There is snow falling outside our door, good blogging friends are near, and I am happy to be nestling in for some much needed R&R.

I don’t know about you, but it seems like fall has gotten off to a busy start. Busy, busy, busy. Always a little more busy than I’d like. Always trying to work on that. I embarrassingly didn’t even realize that the leaves were changing in Kansas City until I saw it on Instagram!!

Still, the transition into fall is one of my absolute favorite times of the year, and I have been trying to take small moments during the day to pause and soak it up. I’ve learned that one of the small habits that seems to always help with this is to cozy up with a warm drink first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. There’s something about holding a steaming hot mug and then taking slow, thoughtful sips that is the essence of comfort and calm.

So today, I thought I would share with you a recipe for one of my favorite comfort drinks — homemade chai tea.

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

I first learned to love chai back in the day at — you guessed it — Starbucks. I instantly got hooked on the drink and all of those delicious spices, and began stopping by to order an iced chai almost every day for work. Then the $4 daily expense got a little ridiculous. So I learned to buy Tazo chai concentrate at the grocery store. Then (bonus!) I learned that it was sold even cheaper at Costco!

But after years of buying those mega 3-packs of concentrate, I began to get tired of the uber-sweetness of that brand of chai. I loved the spices, but the sugar was too much. So I finally learned how to make homemade chai.

And friends — it is so easy!!!

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

My version is all based around making a chai concentrate so that you can refrigerate it and keep it around for multiple batches. All you need are a handful of spices and seasonings and about 20 minutes, and then you’ll have plenty of concentrate ready to make as much hot chai or iced chai as you’d like.

But the best part is that you can totally tweak the recipe according to your taste. If you really love the sweetness of the chai you get at Starbucks, by all means, add in more sugar and/or honey. If you like yours really peppery, add in more peppercorns. If you like yours really strong or really weak, that’s the joy of concentrate — you can control exactly how much flavor you get. Bottom line, everyone has their own preferences with chai, so with a homemade recipe you can make it your own!

With the holidays coming up, I’ll also add in that this is a perfect comfort food gift to jar up and give to your chai-loving friends.

Hope you enjoy!

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

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Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 4 cups concentrate 1x


Make homemade chai tea with this delicious and simple chai tea concentrate recipe.


  • 12 cardamom pods, gently crushed
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole allspice (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced down the middle
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 black tea bags


  1. Bring all ingredients except tea bags together to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour mixture through a strainer and reserve the liquid for concentrate, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix equal parts concentrate with water or milk to make chai tea. Or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

To Make Hot Chai Tea:

Combine 1 part chai tea concentrate with 1 part water or milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.), and stir to combine. Heat in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Or heat in the microwave until simmering.

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

To Make Iced Chai Tea:

1 part water or milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.), and stir to combine. Serve over ice.

How To Make Homemade Chai Tea |

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184 comments on “Homemade Chai Tea (Hot, Iced, and Concentrate)”

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  1. I have never had chai tea, but this does look so comforting! I am honestly not a tea person, but I still think I should give this one a try. I love all the spices and vanilla!

    Have fun in Park City, we have have a good covering of snow here in Colorado too!

  2. I love chai tea big time…the warm spices are so comforting & soothing! I love being able to make it at home.

    Kinda jealous of the snow in Utah….have a great weekend!

  3. I’ve never tried chai tea – you’ve persuaded me to give it a go! Can’t wait to give this a try one chilly evening.

  4. Mmmm…I am just imagining how wonderful this tastes and smells! Great recipe, Ali!

  5. This looks delicious! How do you think it would travel if I wanted to send it to far away friends?

    • I think it would travel great if sealed well. I just don’t recommend keeping the concentrate for over a week unless you have taken it through an actual canning process.

  6. Thank you for this recipe. I personally do not care for Chai Tea but my husband does and a friend of ours does so I will make this as a special treat for them. Thank you again.

  7. i love anything that involved chai – will be making this soon. Enjoy your cozy time while you are in Park City :)

  8. My husband lived chai tea! I can’t wait to make this for him.

  9. First of all- you have the best website name ever! I’m sure you hear that all the time.
    Also, I can’t wait to make this chai concentrate. I’m addicted to chai and really need to learn to make it myself.
    Thanks so much and enjoy the season!

  10. I love love love chai tea. I actually made some baked goods recently which is going to go on the blog soon. Have you tried chai tea with almond milk? It’s even more delicious

  11. Chai Tea reminds me of a hot drink my mother used to make when I was little with “panela” (sugar cane) and milk. Love the idea of making the concentrate for multiple batches. Thanks for sharing!

  12. It looks like you’re having a great time in Utah – I’m totally stalking via IG! :)

    Now this tea – love it! I could sip on this under a blanket every night!

  13. I am having friends over this morning, and I am bout to put a pot of this on. I can’t wait for the kitchen to smell as good as this looks.

  14. I live in Peru, and when people have tea here, it’s not just plain tea, it’s a cinnamon/clove tea that tastes remarkably like chai. I use a quart of boiling water with 10 of the tea bags, and then use it as a concentrate to mix with milk or sugar. I had no idea there were so many other spices in the chai! I’ll have to add a few to my next batch. Thanks for the post!

  15. Oops – meant milk or water, not sugar! :)

  16. Just letting you know this was a huge hit this morning, I had several people ask for the recipe.

  17. I loved seeing all of the pictures from you gals this weekend. It looked so perfect! And this chai? I love you for posting this! I’m obsessed with chai, especially this time of year!

  18. O.M.G. I made this last night and followed your directions to make hot chai this morning…and it was the bomb! It tasted very similar to (but better!) Starbucks/those concentrates you buy at the store, except that I made it myself!! I followed the directions exactly and the flavor is incredible. Thank you Allie!!

  19. I love homemade chai. This recipe looks great. Candied ginger works great too if you don’t have fresh.

  20. Hi Ali! I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest, and I really like your style. This homemade chai concentrate is exactly what I’ve been searching for! I do have a question though. I tried to find cardamom pods at my local grocery store (stop and shop) and all they had was ground cardamom. Will that do just as well, or are the whole pods essential? Also is it okay to use any of the other spices ground up?

  21. This was the perfect excuse to go buy some spices at the cute spice shop in town…and it is so much better than the stuff in the box!

  22. Can you get all the ingredients at a local grocery store?

  23. It is also very good when made with coconut milk. So tasty. Thanks for this recipe!

  24. Could you do a sugar free version of this with a substitute?

  25. I was thinking of using this to flavour things, like oatmeal or plain yogurt. Do you think I could freeze it into cubes without losing the taste?

  26. I have been searching for a recipe for Chai. This is fabulous, do you know the calorie per 8 oz without the soy milk? Thank you for this!

  27. I would love to try to make this. Can you tell me how to go about finding these items? Can you use ground spices from the spice aisle?

    • They carry everything in the recipe and more besides. The quality is excellent and their catalogues, once you place an order, are fun (and include recipes developed by individual customers).

    • You should be able to find everything you need in the spice aisle without using ground. I found all my whole spices at an ordinary market.

  28. Hi!
    I made this tonight. It was fun to do! I like it ok, but found that the ginger was quite overpowering, though i used about 1/3 less than suggested. Is that accurate, 4″ of ginger? I guess that can be subjective as mine might have been fatter. I did use erythritol, a zero calorie natural sugar derivitive, instead of sugar, and it worked great. Also i used almond milk. Thanks for posting this, and i will continue to play with it until its just for my liking. I just love chai.

    Take care,

  29. Love this concentrate recipe and the pictures are so beautiful! Helpful hint: However chai actually means tea, any kind of tea. So your title actually says homemade tea tea! :) What is slightly better and more accurate would be simply spiced chai since everyone already associated chai with those blends of spices with black tea … Although admittedly I’ve never put anise in it… and it was a marvelous addition! Always adding that from now on so thanks :)

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been thinking that there had to be a way to make my own concentrate for over a year now and I found this recipe and finally did it! So much better than Starbucks OR Tazo brand, because I can customize my taste and sweetness!

    Brilliant and I greatly appreciate it =)

  31. This is delicious. First run, I made it as above, and loved it. I’ve made it several times since then with just a couple of changes. I use 4-5 anise and I add about 1 tsp of coriander seeds, my favourite spice. Otherwise, I don’t change a thing. I also make batches minus the tea (red rooibos for me) to use as a liquid base for my smoothies, and with just some banana and spinach in the blender, it’s awesome. Thanks:)

    I also made chai masala pancakes using this instead of milk, with a caramel berry chai sauce, and it was awesome.

    I want to make a batch using coconut milk instead of almond milk next…

    “chai” masala is the ambrosia of the gods, and I’ve never nailed a recipe for it before, so thank you very much:)


  32. Just a few technical questions:

    If I wanted to double the batch size, should I double all of the ingredients, or just some of them?

    Cardamom pods are not readily available in my area, is there an amount of ground cardamom that you recommend as a substitute?

    The same question applies if I don’t have fresh ginger on hand. Does ground ginger act as a substitute, and if so, how much? Or how much candied ginger?

    Sorry to bug you so much! I absolutely love chai tea and on my first run through making it, these were all the issues I encountered. I’m also making this for a house full of people, so we really will go through at least 8 cups in week!

    Thank you so much for posting this, making it myself is so much cheaper than buying all those concentrates.

    • Hi Cara!

      Yep, if you want to double the batch size, I would double all of the ingredients. And you can substitute a little over 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom for the 12 cardamom pods. And a little over 1 tablespoon ground ginger for the 4 inches of fresh ginger. I hope you enjoy it! :)

  33. Dear Ali, I just made your recipe, I did not have the cardamon seeds, fresh ginger, vanilla leaves and the black tea bags, what I did is: I used powder ginger, pure vanilla extract, and a couple of chai tea bags plus everything else in your recipe, and it was FABULOUS!!!!! I served it with almond and coconut milk and honey, it felt like heaven.
    Thank you a lot for your recipe, love it!!!

  34. HI, Ali. I can’t wait to try this! In the ingredient list: “8 Whole Cloves” of what?

  35. I wonder if you can freeze it in an icecube tray then heat up in a month or so? Also, what would be the amount used for things like allspice and cardamom if you cannot find it whole? I couldn’t find it, so I just guessed. I’m hoping for a more accurate measurement than my “guessing”. Also couldn’t find star anice at all. But then again, I don’t live in a thriving metropolis either.

    • I think you could definitely freeze these! And here are some ground conversions:

      1 star anise = 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
      10 pods cardamom = 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

  36. I follow a recipe that’s very similar to yours, Ali, and it turns out great every time. I can’t get some of the whole pods and spices here in Costa Rica, but it even works well with grounds though you have to strain it very well. Gorgeous pics. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

    • There is a little coffee shop across the street from auto mercado and bac san jose in Lindora, There is also a scotia bank drivethrouh if I’m not mistaken that goes back into Lindora, It’s like a little triangle piece of commercial real estate, I think they have a small patio on the main road. But that was where I had my first iced Chai and it was amazing. Check them out if they are still there.

  37. Excited to try this recipe!! I drink chia every a.m.

  38. Thank you for posting this recipe, it sounds wonderful! I’m hoping that by making and keeping this chai at work, with my almond milk and coconut milk, it will keep me from running down to Starbucks three times a day! :)

  39. Thank you very much have been looking chi looking forward to making it to night many thanks

  40. I tried this last week and it’s already gone! It was really good. I made my iced chai with Blue Diamond half-almond, half-coconut milk. I love that it isn’t so sickly sweet as what I’ve been buying. Thanks for the recipe!!

  41. Ali,

    Thanks for the recipe. Now I can make it anytime and not have the preservatives from my favorite concentrate. I’m working on being healthier and cutting out overprocessed items from my daily food intake. This will help me let go of one of my last hold outs.


  42. Wow. I read this recipe this morning and went straight to my local spice market. 

    This is fantastic!! I forgot fresh ginger, so I used a ton of ground ginger. It definitely lacked the gingery bite, so I’ll be sure to use fresh next time. 

    Also, I prefer a stronger  chai, so I used less milk. Perfection!!

    Thank you for this recipe. It will get heavy use this winter. 

  43. oh my goodness!!! i made this exactly as described, except had to substitute whole anise seeds as i could not find star anise, and used ground allspice as i couldn’t find whole. then strained it all. TO DIE FOR!

  44. My husband’s back story with Starbucks and then Tazo concentrate for Chai Tea mirrors your story. . . .so funny how worlds apart yet the same! We live in Wyoming and love this receipe, as getting to the store or starbucks is a two hour drive. Thank you!

  45. OMG! This recipe is awesome, so tasty and spice! I’m glad that I found it because I’m gonna use it for the rest of my life! Thanks a lot!

  46. I want that chai tea. I want it in my mouth. 

  47. Sounds yummy! I have green cardoman pods, would they work? Thanks

  48. Thank you for posting this!!! This is the closest recipe to Starbucks chai I have found! Delicious!! I doubled the peppercorns only because I love that spicy zing but the recipe is delicious as is. The family loved it. 

  49. I want to make this recipe, like yesterday. I have all the spices, however, not in their whole forms. The cardamom, the cloves, the cinnamon, all of it is ground. Except the vanilla bean which I do have whole. Oh and the peppercorns. So can I do this recipe with the ground spices? If so, could you please help me out with the quantities? Thank you in advance. :)

    • Hey Kelly! Unfortunately we’re pretty sure this recipe won’t work unless you use whole spices.