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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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 40 reviews
  • 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)”

  1. I have made this twice in 2 weeks (&I double it cuz I’m a tea junkie). I’m obsessed,  it’s sooo good and so easy and customizable.  LOVE LOVE LOVE, thank you for this recipe.

  2. Love this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing.


  4. I love Chai Tea. Bless you for sharing this awesome recipe. I’ve drank it everyday since I discovered your
    recipe about 2 weeks ago. I make it and as soon as it’s gone I make more. The cold weather is here and
    the snow is on its way and your Chai Tea will be comforting over the long winter and then enjoyed cold
    in the summer. It’s so nice to enjoy something knowing it isn’t filled with chemicals or preserveatives.
    Thank you so much.

    • Awww thanks Suzan, that’s so sweet, and we’re so glad to hear you like this! And we agree, it’s so comforting to enjoy a hot mug of chai tea when it’s cold and snowy outside! :)

  5. I love Tazo Chai Teas! I also got to try it free from Smiley360 as a mission!

  6. Can the concentrate be frozen to last longer? I love the way it tastes, and id rather make a ton at once rather than a triple batch each week.

  7. I LOVE Chai tea. Found your recipe while looking for mulled wine ingredients,and I can’t wait to get the ingredients and try it. It sounds delicious. Where can I find a similar glass container for storage? It is an amazing gift for friends too! Thank you so much for sharing. 

    • Thanks Gail, we hope you and your friends enjoy this! We used a weck jar. You can find them here:

  8. Chai … the name and brew are Indian and all my life I have been a great experimenter with Chai (which means tea). 
    In India on train journeys, at each little station there are men walking up and down the train with a kettle and cups (used to be earthenware! years ago… plastic trash now) calling “Chai! Chai! Chai Garam!” (Garam=Hot, both As pronounced like the U in run or rum).
    I always say Chai has four important ingredients.
    The water … very important. Some water makes better tea than other water.
    The leaves .. so many different sorts and flavours, try what you like. If you like strong flavours and “Wake Up now!” Chai then go for Assam or Ceylon otherwise Darjeeling for lighter subtler.
    Time … Makes all the difference. The best leaves can be ruined and mediocre leaves made to taste heavenly depending on how quickly or belatedly you strain the eta or remove the tea bags. 
    Mindfulness … I believe I make my best tea when I am There (Zen There, fully Present).
    The recipe you have is what we would call Masala (Spice) tea… there are many variations. 
    Tea leaves are always better than bags… (Leaves swell and need space to release their flavour. Also tea bag fabric is treated in some way ….)
    Simple great recipe for a cold winter day ..
    Take water in a pan .. crush a quarter inch piece of fresh root ginger and a peppercorn and chuck them in.
    Boil up the water… turn down heat and add tea leaves (one teaspoon for an 8 oz mug say)
    Turn off the flame and cover the pan. Leave it to brew for 4-5 mins while you pour a little room temp milk into the bottom of your mug (hot milk gives its smell and flavour to the Chai…which i don’t like)
    Strain the brewed chai into the mug into the milk. Add sugar to taste and enjoy !
    Traditionally in India we boil up the milk, leaves, sugar and spice all together and boil it for a minute or so before straining it piping hot into cups. 
    Enjoy your ‘Chai Garam’!

  9. I love the idea of a concentrate.  Looking now for a combination of spices that floors the flavor

  10. It is the 4th time i am making this concentrate.  It lasts about 3 days as i drink it all the time.  I am still tweeking it to get the best  flavor for my taste, to give  the flavor a FLOOR, so to speak.  Not sure how to do that yet beyond consulting with my nephew who reputedly makes the best chai ever and has been to india several times.  I am feeling competetive to surpass his recipe even though i havent had the pleasure of tasting his concoction yet.  This drink is a real winner.
    .  I stopped drinking coffee for about a week as it was simply a morning habit with no real pleasure, maybe my palette was tired of the same flavor day after day?  Then had a mug at Petes hotdogs in Newburgh, ny, which was one of the best ever.
    I am interested in discovering personal taste in general, self expression, that stuff.   So,the connection is that the coffee tasted much better after abstinence.  the chai always tasted good however.

  11. Can you convert this recipe to use ground spices as I that is what I have.

    • Hi Karen! Unfortunately this recipe is really designed for whole herbs. We hope you can give this a try sometime!

  12. I found this recipe yesterday and went straight to my local grocery store’s bulk spices. I made this last night and added a little ice and equal part milk this morning. It’s not quite as spicy as I’d like but it has a beautiful flavor. I will be using this as a base and tweak it to my taste. Thank you SO much for sharing, I did a little bit of searching for the right recipe. I think this is it! :)

    • Thanks for sharing Emily, and for giving this a try! We’re glad you enjoyed it — definitely feel free to tweak the spices as you like. :)

  13. Thank you for sharing this! I, like you, fell in love with the chai latte at Starbucks, started buying the concentrates, became overwhelmed by the sugar content, and am interested in a big batch of brew I can use morning after morning! And here I stumble upon your recipe!!! Where do you get your spices?

  14. Is there a substitute for the whole vanilla bean?    Is there a way to use vanilla extract in a pinch?

    • Hi Becky! We haven’t tried this with vanilla extract instead, but we think that should be okay. We’d suggest 2 tsp of vanilla. We hope you enjoy!

  15. After spending a lot of money on tea bags from various places attempting to make my perfect cup of Chai, I found this recipe and decided to make it myself. I’m so happy that I decided to try this out, it’s the best Chai I’ve ever tasted (although I’m new to Chai) and so much better than certain coffee chain store’s versions. I almost can’t believe I made it myself, and so easily!

    I really wanted to start drinking hot drinks now winter is setting in, and this is my winter drink! I tweaked it slightly by adding more vanilla pods, and more of each of the spices as I like my Chai to have that extra strength. The first batch hasn’t even lasted a week, and I’m going to make a second batch tonight!

  16. YUM YUM YUM!! I really enjoyed the balance of the spices. I tried it with and without milk and they’re both delicious. I also want to try it with green tea. This is definitely a keeper!

  17. Hi there! This recipe sounds amaxing.. Just want clarification on one thing:

    When you say “4” piece of ginger – sliced” I’m not quite sure what this equates to… How wide, how thick, etc? Most of the time when I buy ginger it is very oddly shaped so I want to be sure I’m getting the amount right! 


  18. plz
    what the meaning of  chai tea
    i know tea 
    but chai no
    look tea in arabic mean chai 
    is that the meaning?
    or there are another mean

    • Hi there. Chai is a type of Indian tea, and it has cardamom, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. It’s wonderfully aromatic and warming. :)

  19. Awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing. I love Chai!!!

  20. Is the chai to milk or water ratio 1:1 for the Iced Chai like it is for the hot? I ask because the recipe only states “1 part water or milk…”  It doesn’t say how many parts chai concentrate. Thank you! Your chai sounds wonderful!

    • Yes, it’s the same ratio, we’re sorry for the confusion — we hope you enjoy!

  21. This was deliciously spicy and not too sweet, which is the way I love chai! Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. If I was trying to replicate starbucks version, how much brown sugar do you think I should add? Also should I include whole allspice?

  23. It’s just called chai not chai tea. Chai means tea in hindi and urdu (indian languages) so saying chai tea would be equal to saying tea tea.

    • On the other hand, in English it specifically means a kind of sweetened tea with milk.

      Languages are fun like that.

    • This is reply to “A Friendly Person”. What you described as a ‘sweetened tea with milk’ is actually not Chai / Chai Tea because not all Chai/Chai Teas are served with milk OR sweetened. You are probably thinking of “Latte” (I.e. Chai Latte). Latte does mean made with milk as the word Latte is from the French word “lait” = milk (English). I will finish with the guess that your experience with most things “latte” are prob sweetened but that is typical in the US where we over sugar everything which is opposite most countries where milk is sweet enough.

  24. I made this with mostly ground spices. I only had whole cloves and green cardamom. Skipped the star anise because I didn’t have it in the house. I even used refrigerated ginger paste. It turned out incredible. The flavor profile is fantastic. Just try it and adjust to your liking. It was easy and absolutely worth the effort. This made a little over two cups of concentrate for me after I strained it.

  25. I love chai and I recently quit coffee… and chai tea bags are not dense enough for me. I’m gonna make this without any brown sugar… and add monkfruit sweetener per cup. Thanks for sharing this… I’m so excited to try it!

  26. Great recipe. I’ve found that soaking the spices for several hours or overnight really pulled out all the
    constituents and made it much more flavorful. I also added lemon zest which helped bring a nice fresh flavor into the concentrate. Yum

    • @Rich, considering there is so much cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods for just 4 cups, I was trying to figure out a way to make the flavor more concentrated. Did you just cover the spices in a few inches of water and let it sit overnight?

  27. So happy with this!!

  28. Can the spices be used more than once? I LOVE chai, but have never made my own, and I really need to!

  29. Yes, this is amazing and thank you oh so very much for this recipe. I was not feeling well and chai always makes me feel better but I too hate the price and sweetness of the commercial brands. Also I do love a full array of spices and love how I can adjust. this blend is so good. I added more cardamom, pepper and star anise. I drank 2 cups on the spot standing in the kitchen. and another I made in to a stowaway cocktail.

  30. My only Starbucks drink was a soya chai latte and when I saw how easy it was to make, I was enthusiastic. Bought ingredients and I off I went. I love the smell it gives throughout the house.

  31. This chai is lightly sweet and delicately spicy. I will make it again.

  32. Hi I’m Diane!

    I haven’t made it yet because I’ve noticed that there’s no chai seeds! Help me to understand because I really want to make it!

    • Hi Diane! I think you’re confusing chia seeds with chai. Chai is the Hindi name for tea. ( “Chai tea” is a redundant name). Traditionally it is made from black tea, milk and a sweetener. Spices blends like the ones used in this recipe, or ginger root or mint can also be added. There are many variations of the amount and type of spices used, but none use chia seeds. I prefer to blend the ground spices and store it in jar. It keeps a long time and I add it to taste when I make chai. I like Tazo’s version and have been on a mission to replicate the spices. Trying this one next!

  33. I have to add a comment. The recipe is wonderful thus the 5 stars. But the way it appears on a search for “homemade chai tea” makes it look like you are simply buying the concentrate and adding to it; not a recipe for the concentrate. Great recipe.

  34. It’s not “chai tea.” It’s just chai. Saying chai tea is redundant.

  35. Can I substitute loose tea leaves for the bags, if so, how much?

    • You could add a teaspoon of loose leaf , that is about what is equivalent to a tea bag :)

  36. Thank you for this. Came out fantastic.

  37. Hi Ali-

    It’s many years later since you posted this recipe. And it’s a cool spring day in Park City. Yours is the first recipe that is perfect for me! And how fun we are both in Park City.

  38. Thank you so much for publishing this recipe, my daughter loves Chai tea. Our local Costco had stopped selling the concentrate. The recipe was perfect, very easy to make.


  39. Hi Ali, would you (or one of your readers) please replicate a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice CHAI Latte [hot and cold] pretty please? Perhaps you already have…if so, please reroute me in that direction. I also want to add I truly appreciate the tip TEJAL shared for storing the seasonings in a jar to have at the ready.
    Ali, I share the same palate as you. THANK YOU for sharing your comforts of the seasons. With Fall upon us again, I’ll be ready for sure.
    Blessings ?

  40. Thanks for the recipe! This is my second time doing it and i’m getting better at it, tastes great :)

  41. I love it made this recipe at least 5 times, iced and hot, it’s just the best! Love the health benefits of it too.

  42. This recipe is the best masala chai recipe I’ve ever tried. I alter it a bit because I adore strong spices. I throw each spice into my mortar and give em a rough crush. When making the final tea I used 3/4 tea and 1/4 milk (I like it strong!!). With the extra spiciness it benefits from an extra tbsp of brown sugar, too. I’ve made this 4 times in the past month and find myself needing to re-up my spices!

  43. I make this everyday and I’m telling you it’s better than any chai I’ve ever bought from a tea shop or prepackaged.

  44. Just wondering if you would use a grade A or a grade B vanilla bean?

  45. I made this recipe as everyone stated by doubling the amounts. I substituted loose leaf tea. I made one batch of spices and tea, boiled for 15 min, then only added 4 cups of water and made another with the same ingredients, combined the two batches for the concentrated, store it in the fridge. Stir and pour one cup of tea concentrate to one cup almond milk add brown sugar to taste and heat on low. It made the perfect Chai Latte.

  46. I changed the recipe. I used two cap fulls pure vanilla extract(the real stuff). I used ground all spice and cinnamon. Also I added dried orange peel spice. I brewed luzianne iced tea bags (4 family size). To me it came out delicious. It knocked the spice down a lot from the taxi chai tea I’m used to.

  47. Bless you. Such an awesome recipe!

  48. I’ve tried making this recipe, and mixing it 1:1 with milk makes the latte too watery for me, but adding more milk I lose the flavor. Any tips for how to make this less water and more milk, without losing a strong spice flavor?

  49. In these cold Canada COVID days we visit our family and friends at a distance in our back yard around a fire pit with blankets and hot drinks. Hence, I have been trying out various hot beverages (boozy and not) and many chai recipes. After many excellent versions your recipe is the favourite and I love that I can easily prepare the concentrate well in advance and offer dairy and non-dairy without any extra work. We ramp up the quantity of spice (yummy) and use a mix of coconut and cashew milk. I also make a second batch of concentrate by simply adding about a 1/4 scaled new spices to the used spice mixture and letting the second batch simmer longer (about 1/2hr). Thanks.

  50. This look amazing :D I love chai tea.