Making your own Chai Concentrate at home means you can make this warming spiced tea to suit your exact personal tastes and it’s far easier than you might think. Make sweetened or unsweetened and adjust the spices to your personal taste. Use any milk or non-dairy substitute you like and serve it hot or over ice.
Homemade Chai Concentrate. This recipe is nearly 7 years old, at this point, and it’s still a major favorite of mine. It’s so so easy to make and you can customize your own recipe to exactly what you are looking for in your chai. I like mine spicy, with a strong tea flavor and with a subtle sweetness, if any at all. I personally find the packaged chai concentrates from the grocery store and at most coffee shops to really lack that nice spiced flavor I love and many times they are just far too sweet for me. Most are loaded with preservatives and other less than desirable ingredients. Why though?
Chai is one of my favorite, comforting drinks to cozy up with, especially in the colder months. Plus, with the holidays upon us, it’s important to note that this is the perfect thoughtful handmade gift to bottle up and give to your chai-loving friends. Package with a cute label (FREE download included below for my printable labels you can easily customize) or label and enjoy the smiles and praise.
Years ago when I first developed this recipe I looked around and tested tons of different chai recipes and ultimately settled on creating this customized recipe based on my own personal favorite chai tastes. I have made it many times now to get it exactly how I wanted it. When I first started making my own chai, I generally opted for coconut sugar and a little quality raw honey in at the end. These days I am not much one for the sweet stuff, so I generally go without any sweetener at all or sometimes I add just a bit of raw honey at the end. Maple syrup would also likely be quite delicious, too. You can also stir in a little monk fruit or stevia, it’s truly up to you how you want to sweeten your custom chai concentrate or if you want to at all.
Much like the sweetness, the options to customize are up to you. Many chai recipes are made without black pepper at all and some with just a tad bit of ground pepper. I personally really love the spiciness from the pepper so I add in whole peppercorns. Leave out if that’s not your thing. I also really love the addition of orange zest and nutmeg in my chai. But what I really I love is that there are absolute no rules when making your own chai concentrate. Use this chai recipe as a guide, but tweak as you’d like and get the ratio of ingredients to your preference. Have fun with it.
You can serve your chai warm as a hot latte or cold as an iced latte. Either way, I go with a 1 to 1 mixture on the chai concentrate to a non-dairy milk. I prefer homemade almond or cashew milk, personally, but you could use regular milk or any other non-dairy milk. If you like your chai a bit less strong, use less tea bags, or mix 1 part concentrate to 3 parts milk instead of 1 or 2. Play around. If you are like me, after you make this once and take the first sip, you will be sure to always have a batch in the fridge.
If your finished, cooled chai is a bit more cloudy, note that nothing is wrong with it and it will taste just fine. This has to do with the natural oils and tannins in the tea (higher quality tea also generally has more tannins). They’ll create a cloudy finished product, if you don’t cool it to room temperature before refrigerating, as the tannins settle. It may also be your water, if it’s high in minerals, opt for a quality filtered water for a less cloudy tea. And sometimes, it just happens, even with cooling properly and quality water, so please note, regardless of the cause, cloudy tea may not be as pretty, but, it’s still perfectly fine to drink.
Gifting Your Chai
This Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate would make a lovely holiday gift in a mason jar with a cute tag, some ribbon or twine, etc. Another great gift idea would be to pre-mix all of the spices and place them with the tea bags into a cute little cheesecloth pouch for an adorable chai concentrate mix packet, so your recipient can make their concentrate whenever they wish, adding or taking away any spices of their choosing. You would just want to substitute dried ginger for fresh and skip the orange zest. And of course provide the recipient with the following instructions ::: To make your chai concentrate, place 4 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup coconut, date or raw cane or other granulated sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the cheesecloth pouch in. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove the pouch, then stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (optional). Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container or jar and placing in the fridge to cool. Keeps up to 7 days. For a latte, hot or cold, mix one part concentrate to one part milk of your choice, warm up or serve over ice. :::
PS – I am loving the comments about using the concentrate in other things like baked goods or making a syrup from it. SO brilliant, I didn’t even think of that. Great ideas!
- 4½ cups water
- 8 organic black tea bags
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
- ½ cup coconut sugar, date sugar or raw cane sugar (you can add more or less or leave out depending on how sweet you like your chai)
- 1 - 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
- 10 whole cloves
- 8 cardamom pods
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 whole star anise pods
- ½ teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (optional, leave off to make vegan, if you want it to be sweeter without the honey, add a bit more sugar in at the beginning)
- 1 small square section of cheesecloth, approximately 6" square and/or good strainer
- kitchen twine, if using cheesecloth
- quart-sized glass bottle or jar
- Prepare the teabags by removing any tags if there are any and tying them all together. Prepare the spices, vanilla bean and orange zest by laying them in your cheesecloth, I leave my cinnamon sticks out to make the little pouch of spices a bit more compact. Tie the cheesecloth pouch shut with a small piece of kitchen twine. If you leave the cinnamon sticks out, just tie them together with kitchen twine.
- *If you don't wish to use cheesecloth, you will just add all of your spices directly to the pan when the time comes and strain them out after.
- Add the water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat strain the concentrate through a sieve or just remove the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. At this point if you want a bit more sweetness you can add a tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. I don't always do this, but it is a really nice touch. Additionally, if you didn't use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.
- Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into an airtight jar or container. This amount fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar. Be sure your tea is fully cooled before placing in the fridge. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk of your choice. I personally love unsweeteened almond or cashew milk (you can even make your own). Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink.
Bonus – Printable Labels:
Download a customizable version of these labels to print at home to give your bottle or jar of homemade Chai Concentrate an extra-special, personal touch! Print the PDF, simply write your name in under “by:”. That’s it. DOWNLOAD HERE.
Print these 2.5-inch diameter labels on any Avery brand 22808 template. I used these brown kraft paper labels.
LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!
mmm!!! yummy! I am going to try this during the holidays!!!
I have a couple of ideas in mind,this would go great on top of a cupcake
even swirled into a cheesecake/pumpkin pie
ohhhh… if you make a vegan cream brulee …. pour a little layer in the rameken
Make Tea – Spiced nuts with it ( I can use the tea concentrate, add some cayenne pepper nad salt, toss with nuts) – or perhaps even a brittle!
I will report back to you when I get some time to make them ….
Thanks so much! Wow those are some amazing ideas… I love it. Thanks for sharing. Definitely report back if you do any of those things, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Just found your blog – love it.. your photos are amazing. This recipe is fantastic… I love chai and usually make my own chai tea blend, making a syrup concentrate would be awesome for smoothies, adding to baking etc. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much for your lovely compliments, Lou. Yeh I love the concentrate blend, it’s so easy and super flavorful, I am definitely obsessed. Thanks so much for reading!
Great idea. This is something I would love to have chai basically ready whenever I need it.
I just started my own blog about being a line cook and everything that interests me. Check me out if you have a second.
Wow! Amazing idea! Chai tea is my absolute favourite, never thought of making it this way though 🙂
Thanks for sharing x
This looks great! Have you tried multiplying the recipe? I’m wondering if anything would need tweaked to triple or quadruple?
I haven’t yet doubled or tripled the recipe. You could definitely just double everything or play around with different amounts of the spices, there really is no wrong answer.
I quadrupled the recipe and it turned out wonderful!
The only tweaking I did was I only used 4 cinnamon sticks as I didn’t have anymore, I used 1 cup of honey rather than 2 cups of sugar, and thats it! I have made this recipe about half a dozen times and this was my first time quadrupling it and it is by far my favorite batch!
I tripled the recipe and found it worked great. Next time I would only double the ginger and add an extra teaspoon of peppercorns.
I froze nearly a quart in 1/2 cup servings using a silicon muffin tray. These are awesome! Should significantly extend the 7 day fridge shelf life. To prepare, I just defrost one in a coffee cup in the microwave, then add 1/2 cup almond milk and warm a bit more if needed.
Not to nitpick but calling something chai tea is like saying “coffee coffee”. Ugh…
Thanks so much Mr. T actually you are the second person to bring this to my attention today, I was unaware of this fact and had no idea how much it upset some people. I have since corrected it.
In your defense, there are novices out here who, at one time, didn’t know chai was tea 🙂
I must say that the part I loved most about your blog is this:
“Today I learned that some people really get upset when you say “chai tea” Today I also learned that chai means tea I’m apparently an idiot”
I couldn’t help but giggle as that is the one pet peeve I go on a tangent about. Mr.T above is spot on with his comment . I may have to give in try this concoction just because, well, I *am* Your Chai-ness 🙂
I also appreciate that you titled this “Homemade Chai Concentrate” and omitted the Tea from it. Good luck and here’s to many delicious cups of chais in your future.
LOL about the “chai tea” – I had to google it myself. Even Starbucks calls it a “Chai Tea Latte,” so we shouldn’t feel too bad about that particular hole in our linguistic knowledge. 😉 Love this recipe. I’m definitely seeing some chai te … er, chai flavored icing in my baking future.
Haha, I know right? Who knew such a silly thing could bother people so? Whatever you wanna call it, I am obsessed with making it, so that’s all that matters to me 🙂
BTW I am so glad to have found your beautiful blog through the post on The Kitchn, I’ll be spending lots of time on there for sure!
Yum this chai recipe sounds amazing!!! Thanks for sharing.
And really? who cares if it’s chai or chai tea or just tea…it’s great recipe with beautiful photos! Love your blog.
Have you tried this blend omitting sweeteners altogether? I’m curious because I had a hot tea at a Thai restaurant once that was just spicy (the spices were still floating in the cup!) and not sweet, and it was surprisingly good… I may have to try and see if it turns out awful or amazing.
I haven’t yet, but I am certain it would work. I prefer mine very subtly sweet, which is how I came to this amount of sweetener. I’ve seen many recipes with a lot more sugar. I think the flavor is soo much nicer when it isn’t overly sweet.
I’m glad to hear yours isn’t too sweet! Thanks for the advice!
Just made this… my house smells amazing!!! So easy and delish!!! The packaged stuff is never spicy enough for me and since I already have all the ingredients it was a cinch. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Hi! Love the recipe. I may have overlooked so I apologize if this is redundant but does this have to be kept in the refrigerator? Is there a shelf life to it?
I need to know this too!!!
It says up in the recipe to store in the refrigerator. I would say it would last approx 10 days in the fridge. Possibly longer.
What a great idea. I’m a sucker for the Starbucks Chai Lattes (iced during the summer of course) and feel like such an idiot spending so much daily. This looks like a great idea! I can make a weekly batch and be set. Awesome post!
Can’t wait to try yours! I have tried a few of these recipes and love the amount of spices in yours. Never have I used nutmeg in mine, but will give it a shot. I am a big fan of the whole peppercorns as well. The spicier the better!
When chai is made right it can taste incredible and it is hard to stop drinking it. Indians also make lassis that taste incredible also.
I don’t drink tea, but I’ve had Chai before and the taste was so amazing! Do you think if I left out the black tea it would taste anywhere near the same? I would love to be able to replicate that flavor!
Hi, I’m so excited about this! I have one question – do you think I could seal the mason jar through a hot pack canning process to preserve this for longer? I’m hoping to be able to give these away as a Christmas present but don’t want to have to tell people to drink it within the week. Thanks so much for posting this! 🙂
To be totally honest with you, I have absolutely no canning and preserving experience at all, so I really cannot answer this. I am not sure why you couldn’t do it, but I really have nothing to base that on 🙂
Sorry I cannot be of more help. I plan to give this as a gift to a couple of people and I am just telling them to drink this first batch within a week, and I am including the recipe so they can make it again themselves. Thanks
YUM! I love love love me some Chai and this recipe is perfect for those of us who avoid refined sugars. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Heidi (sorry for the late reply) thanks so much, glad you like this! I love your blog by the way 🙂
Thanks for posting this! I have a co-worker who loves chai, but can’t stand how fakey most of them taste. I’m hoping this will be a great Xmas present for her. It’s a little hard guessing what amount of spices she likes, but I think it will be so fantastic as a homemade gift that it won’t matter that much.
[…] If you want to do the cooking yourself, consider making preserved lemons, BBQ sauce, enchilada sauce, nut butters (my two favorites), energy truffles, or a chai concentrate. […]
[…] the blogosphere, and the gazillion recipe finders around. I started with recipes I found here and here, and then modified a few things as I went […]
I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!! I love the resource this blog is. This chai sounds d’lish! I am a celiac and have a gfree blog. I recently found out I have Hypothyroidism and I’m truly trying to stay away from caffeine. I love the option to vary the chai as I need it. Do you have any suggestions for a caffeine free tea to replace the pekoe? Thanks in advance.
Kara. Hi, thank you so much! It means the world to me. I cannot wait to snoop around your blog, it looks so amazing. Thanks for sharing!
I think you could definitely use a decaf black tea or you could also try making it with rooibos tea, which is an herbal tea, so it is naturally caffeine free. It is one of my favorite herbal teas. I have actually been wanting to try this myself since I have been avoiding caffeine myself lately and I am missing my homemade chai. I will let you know if I try it out, how it turns out. Please do the same if you try it out. Thanks again.
This sounds delicious! I’m going to try it! Where do you find coconut sugar??
Madge – I find it in our local Food CoOp, this is the brand I usually buy: http://www.essentiallivingfoods.com/collections/sweeteners/products/coconut-sugar I also saw it in the health foods section of our regular grocery store today for the first time.
[…] been somewhat obsessed with the flavors of chai lately. First, I discovered that you can premake a Chai Tea Concentrate to keep in mason jars in the frig. It’s delicious, but expensive to add all those spices. […]
I wanted to take the time to say thank you so much for this recipe. My husband and daughter have recently become addicted to starbucks chai frappacinos and I have been trying to come up with a concentrate that I could use at home daily. This recipe is fabulous!! For my daughter I eliminate the tea and add soymilk–she can’t tell the difference!!! There is so much you can do with the concentrate–warm or cold drinks to cookies and cakes–Im in love!!! We have been able to adjust it a little to our taste (love extra cinnamon) and we definitely use it up in a week–I’m having to make double batches every time!! BTW so happy I found this wonderful blog–it is fantastic!!!
yet when I go to our local Thai restaurant and want a chai bubble tea — I have to order a chai tea bubble tea or I will get the Green Tea Bubble Tea!! And yes they are all from Thailand.
YUM! I am a new follower and I have featured this recipe on my blog. Check it out:
I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for the inspiration!
Janiene, welcome!! Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing my recipe. I truly appreciate it! Take care.
Just tried this recipe and it turned out amazing. However, next time I think I will add about 1/2 the sugar, and a tad more honey. I am also curious to see how this recipe might turn out with different teas. I’ve had green and rooibos chais before, and am excited to see if they work well with this recipe ;-P
As soon as I saw this blog I feel in love with it! I just had to make this chai syrup… for the Black Tea I just used ordinary clipper tea, but i found my syrup became quite bitter, even though I removed the tea bags 5 minutes in! Anyway, as a result I have done some brain storming and my theory is that if you just made the syrup with the spices and omitted the black tea in the concentrate, then yo could add the spices to your ordinary tea whenever you felt like mixing it up a little! I also think this would make is last longer in the fridge.. I also thought it would be nice to use the syrup and make chai tea ice cream/… or even freezing this concentrate into ice cubes and then blending it into your milk to make an ice chai milkshake on a hot day….
Thanks for sharing this! I just made it and it’s DELICIOUS. Next batch I’ll try roiboos 🙂
Made this today!
SO yummy. Fabulous recipe.
Yay I am so happy to hear that Julie. Thanks for letting me know that you liked it!
Excellent post, full of insight. Keep up the good work!!
[…] This looks tasty. […]
I’ve been searching for the perfect chai for ages now and this one sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing and congrats for getting it into “where women cook” magazine, awesome stuff!
Finally tried this and it was delicious! Great job! I lacked orange zest, but will be sure to add it next time. I’m sharing your link with other chai lovers.
As a barista-turned-pastry chef-turned-mixologist, I took this recipe, cut it in half so that I could tinker with it without using all my whole spices (which I recommend getting at your local spice shop), and created the following version. It is less sweet than the original recipe with a more prominent spice character.
2 cups water
1/4 cup No. 209 Gin*
2 T brown sugar, lightly packed
4 black tea bags
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 1/2” ginger, sliced and smashed
8 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, ground
1 star anise
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole coriander (optional)**
1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
1/2 T vanilla bean paste***
Bring water, gin and sugar to a boil. Add tea and spices. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the cardamom rehydrates, use spoon to split the pods open against the side of the pot to release more flavor. Remove from heat. Strain. Add vanilla bean paste. Let cool. Makes approx 1 1/4 cups.
*Many flavor and aroma compounds found in spices are only alcohol soluble, so adding some alcohol at the beginning releases those esters. After simmering for 20 minutes, the alcohol has evaporated (that’s why this version has a lower finished volume compared to the original), but the flavors pulled out of the spices by the alcohol remains. I used this gin specifically because the botanicals in the spirit contain many of the same flavors as in the chai (cardamom, coriander, bitter orange, cinnamon, etc.) so the flavors will mesh nicely as it simmers.
**I have coriander seed in my cupboard that I’m trying to use up.
***This is a pastry chef’s go-to flavoring. It’s essentially vanilla beans and sugar. I add it to everything I make because the vanilla flavor is much more pure and prominent than in an extract, and less likely to cook off in something that is reheated. Nielson-Massey makes the best version out there. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying vanilla beans and infinitely easier to use. A note: The vanilla particles stay in suspension in the paste, but once the paste is added to something, the particles sink to the bottom just like when using vanilla beans, so you have to be sure to stir the chai concentrate vigorously before each use.
[…] concentrates available at the grocery store and they always disappoint. I am thinking of giving a homemade recipe a […]
I found this recipe through Pinterest and I just made it. Wow, this is so good! I’m not even a big fan of chai normally, but my hubby is so I made this primarily for him. But I loved it as well, and I just had to say thank you for such a great recipe!
Your Homemade chai recipe is very delicious! thank you for sharing this.
and where do you get these glasses??
This is delicious. Just made it. Not sure what type of tea bags i used. I had an unlabeled package of tea bags in my cupboard. Used half raw milk when drinking. Also, i had to use cardamon seeds instead of pods. it was all i had on hand. Either way it tasted delicious.
[…] found this recipe for homemade chai concentrate through Pinterest and I’m so glad I did. I love having the […]
I had been looking for a chai concentrate to make, when I came across yours. Can’t wait to try it!
I am not typically a chai drinker, but I use the concentrate to make my steel cut oats in the morning, replacing the water to boil the oats with half concentrate and half almond milk. I was tired of the overly sweet, processed junk, so this will be perfect!
Making this right now to flavor some sugar cookies!
How wonderful to find your recipe for Homemade Chai Concentrate. Like you, I far prefer the spicy Chai so I’ll certainly try this out, along with the recipe for Raw Almond Milk.
Thanks for these!
[…] This looks tasty. […]
Anyone tried canning this to keep it around longer?
I see that the suggested shelf/fridge life is 7 days, but I’m struggling to see what in this would “go bad” after that time period. Does something actually make it inedible or is the flavor just less potent?
Are you able to preserve this? How long would you need to put it in a hot water bath? It would be nice to give as gifts as Christmas time!
I am absolutely sure that you can, but to be totally honest with you, I don’t know anything about preserving. But I desperately want to learn. I wish I had more info for you. Sorry.
I was going to try this recipe, has anyone tried freezing it? I don’t know how much I would go through in a week, but would love to have it available for a latte every now and again!
Can’t wait to try this recipe! Love the ‘Bucks’ chai tea lattes, but not the price – and I haven’t found a store-bought concentrate I love. Question about the orange … with the 8 orange pekoe bags and then additional zest, does it come out with a prominent orange taste – or does it just blend in?
[…] start off each day with a hot cup of chai. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week (I love this recipe) and then make lattes with homemade almond […]
I just made this and I am in a happy place right now! I looked a lot for a chai concentrate recipe and settled for yours. What a wonderful recipe! I made some modifications (less ginger, could not get cardamom pods so sub it for seeds – about 100, and only 1 star anise). I think next time I will decrease the sugar a bit as I still find it a tad sweet. This is 1000 times better than what you get at the store or coffee shops. Thanks!!!
I have been making a very similar version to your recipe for a couple years now and love that you are adding coconut sugar. The recipe I have asks for b sugar. I will definitely try with coconut sugar. I have tried black tea, green tea and white tea bags in the recipe but my favorite is Earl Grey The bergamot in it adds another layer of flavour to the concentrate.
Just making this now and wow my house smells amazing. Thanks again for sharing.
I made this a year ago and now that the weather is turning cooler, time to make it again. I just LOVED it. Spices are so good for you!!! May try more honey instead of the other sugars (especially since my hobby is beekeeping). Thanks so much for this recipe….So fun to make too.
How do you know when the concentrate goes bad?
Jessica, I have never had it go bad on me, but I would guess like most everything else, if it went bad, it would start to mold or smell funny. Always use your instincts with that kind of stuff!
[…] Yields: 1 batch of concentrate, approximately 4 cups Recipe adapted from Tasty Yummies […]
Can you tell me where you get your cardamom pods from?
I just buy them locally in bulk from our natural grocery store. You could probably find them online, I am sure.
Do you think it is possible to make a large batch and actually can this recipe? I’m thinking with the amount of sugar and spices that it will store well after a nice hot bath. Let me know what you think!
Nevermind. I found a similar question. Im sure it can be canned and in small 8oz so you could give them two and they could open them whenever they wanted. adding a fresh cinnamon stick the the concentrate before processing would keep it tasting fresh!
I plan to make this yummy looking recipe. Regarding the concerns about the caffeine. I use fresh tea leaves vs bags. But, either way, you can decaf either by letting them soak for 30-60 seconds and discarding this first batch of tea. There’s still some caffeine of course, but it really helps.
I just tasted the homemade chai that I made according to your recipe. It is wonderful, the best I have ever made. I did not use the black peppercorns as I find I don’t care for their sharp bite in my chai, but thoroughly enjoyed preparing all the spices and ginger root, the kitchen smelled so good. I did mix mine with milk from a local dairy, but I also have almonds soaking to make almond milk. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe, this one is a keeper. Much peace to you.
So glad you enjoyed it. I love this stuff, so much! xo
I enjoy this drink often I use So Delicious unsweetened Coconut milk and Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea bags or their Honey Vanilla which is a White Tea with Cinnamon Cardamom Ginger Cloves and Black Pepper, when I am time crunched to…Yet I really enjoyed reading your recipe for your Chai Tea Concentrate when I can not find the Celestial Seasonings varieties but I will still use White Tea as my base to cut back on some of the caffeine even though Black Orange Pekoe would be tastier…I just am unable to handle the caffeine. Thanks for yet another awesome post!
[…] (slightly adapted from this version on Tasty Yummies […]
Just made this and it turned out REALLY BITTER. I followed your recipe exactly, except I omitted the sweetener (I’d prefer to add it when I serve). The mix isn’t spicy at all either… I guess I was expecting a spicy chai. If I make this again I would reduce the black tea and increase the spices. Not sure if the mix I just made is even salvageable, it is that bitter. I can’t imagine an omitted 1/2 sugar would have made that much of a difference, could it?
Hi there, sorry it didn’t turn out good for you. There are quite a few things that might cause bitterness, first is the tea that you used. Black teas can vary significantly in flavor and level of bitterness, if it is a strong black tea, it may tend to be more bitter. Your tea may also need to steep for less time than the tea that I used, I would always check the directions on the specific brand of tea you are using. For some teas 20 minutes would be just way way too long. Additionally, absolutely yes, less sweetener would mean possibly more bitter, again depending on the tea. There are a lot of very strong flavors happening there and without the sweetener, the cinnamon, vanilla and tea could all produce a somewhat bitter flavor. The sweetener definitely rounds that out. I have made this exact mixture for many many people and have never had bitter results. In the future, if using that same tea, I would recommend simmering the spices and adding the tea at the very end, letting it steep only a few minutes. As far as the spiciness, that is definitely a personal preference. This chai concentrate definitely has a spiciness to it, but I wouldn’t say it is crazy spicy nor would I say that it wasn’t spicy at all. Chai is hard, everyone has their own preference. If you try making this again, I would say to just alter the ratios to your personal liking.
Also, to salvage what you do have, maybe add more water, sweetener and more spices (but no more tea) and simmer it a bit longer. Hope all of that helps.
I have quit sugar (pretty much off it for 2 years since reading Sarah Wilson’s book) and was looking for a chai recipe without too much sugar/sucrose. Glad I found this! I’m going to try this with no sugar and just sweeten with rice malt syrup at the end. I’m new to chai and this could be good to make in an evening or Sunday and take to work and top up from milk from coffee machine at work! Thanks again. 🙂
I was so pleased to find this recipe. I am on the Specific Carbohydrate diet and it was so easy to convert it. I used all the same spices and tea I only added honey instead of the sugar and it turned out great! I have made this several times. it’s a nice treat to have around. Thank you so much for the recipe idea!
That’s amazing! I am so happy to hear you liked it so much and found it super easy to substitute!! Thanks for taking the time to comment.
LOVE THIS!!!! So glad I researched several recipes…thought this sounded the best….and it is! No more expensive commercial mixes or store-bought chai! My condolences to all the baristas out there, but I can make my own.
Awesome to hear that! Thank you so much for choosing mine 😉 It really is pretty amazing to be able to make this yourself isn’t it?
Also, I WILL be making this for gifts this year! How timely!
I like your suggestion of sachets and a jar as a gift. I boil my spices (I like to use many, including nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anis, lemon grass…whatever I have on hand) first, then add loose tea leaves and turn off the heat. That way I’m not boiling the tea. I put it all into a big jar in the refrigerator. I strain it into a mug, add milk (1:1, usually), and sweeten it or not, depending on my mood, and heat it in the microwave. It has never lasted long enough to go bad in our house!
Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. I love experimenting with it. Since I prefer having a chai latte in the evening, I started with (caffeine-free) Roiboos-tea which turned out a little pale in respect to the tea-taste. On my stove there is the next version simmering right now, this time with decaf Cylon. This should be much closer to the perfect solution. I’m really looking forward to it, since it already smells great …
Hey, I’m just wondering if you make this because the tea actually tastes better/stronger with a concentrate, or if this is just meant as a time-saver?
I’ve been making Chai for about 2 years. I usually make it in 1 or 2 gallon batches and it keeps great in fridge. Has anyone tried canning it sucessfully? I don’t add sweetener to mine only afterward when I go to use it and then add maple syrup with my almond milk and it is excellent!
Hi! about to make this delicious tea! never used anis flowers on chai tea so im excited to try this new recipe!
I have a silly question but I happened to have a problem with this all the time. I have an electric stove and never guess which number exactly is for simmering. When I have put it on “low” doesn’t seem to simmer since no bubbles come up and for what I understand “simmering” is a light bubbling. If anybody has an electric stove could you help me out on this one please.
thanks for the recipe, I’ve been making my own chai for over 6 years, many of the same ingredients as your recipe with one big exception. Instead of tea bags etc I use roasted dandelion root, get it at any health store and even many super markets. So gets rid of the caffeine etc that many tea bags can have. I wanted to try it as a syrup and found this page in Google. Until now the most convenient way I’ve found to make quick chais is to get a separate electric kettle that I use just for making chai, so I make the dry chai mix and run it thru a small blender and then bottle that up as dry powder, keeps for months in dry form. Then add tablespoon dry chai mix and water to the electric kettle and flick the switch and in 30 seconds have hot chai.
Best part is what does not get used stays sitting in the jug for the next cuppa, if needed I add some more dry mix and water if it is low and flick the switch. I used a stainless steel jug for years but hard to judge the strength when topping up so I swapped to a new glass sided electric kettle (which looks awesome) so I can see how strong it is and add dry mix as req. I empty and rinse the jug once p/wk and start fresh batch.
Hi, I just did the recipe and my chai is a little bitter. I took a look at other recipes and they ask to add the tea bags for just 5min. I think that’s why mine got bitter. Have you tried that way? Or do you keep them simmering together with the spices for the whole 20min?
Interesting. Teas can definitely vary, I would say go with less time next time and hopefully as you dilute it will reduce that bitterness.
Love this Chai concentrate. Just made a new batch. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
This is wonderful!! I was wanting to make this impulsively so I didn’t have everything on hand. These are some substitutions I used.
– 1 tsp ground ginger in a tea bag, per 4 tbsp fresh ginger
– dried orange pieces from a loose leaf tea instead of orange zest (on principle I really ought to have oranges in the house though…)
– vanllla extract for the bean (I am going to order some beans though and leave them in the mix after straining too cause they are amazing and far superior)
It was super yummy!! I also lobbed in a whole nutmeg, and a few allspice berries cause I had them kicking around. I used closer to 3/4 cup coconut sugar cause I like it sweeter.
I love that you encourage people not to just copy you but to be inspired by your recipes and make something they will love.
I wonder if this could be processed in a canner and given as a non-perishable gift!
I didn’t have most of those fresh ingredients so I just used 10 chai tea bags instead of black. I also did 1/2 c honey instead of sugar plus ~2 tbsp at the end. I like sweet 🙂
So happy to have easy chais on hand, they’re my favorite drink!!
I have tried many, many Chai tea concentrate recipes since I fell in love with Chai Tea about 6 months ago and none can compare to this one, it’s absolutely perfect even my picky kids love it!!! The orange zest and nutmeg give this recipe an amazing flavor and my house smells amazing when im making it, my kiddos come running everytime!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Yay!! I am so so glad that you like it so much. Thanks for taking the time to comment. xo
I’ve been spoiling myself with a ‘dirty chai latte’ every so often at work, and cannot WAIT to make up a batch of this to start bringing in (and hopefully save my wallet!). I do have a few questions:
– Do you think adding espresso would work with this, or would you recommend adding it at the same time as the milk?
– How long would you say one batch typically lasts you (if you’re still making it?)?
– Can I also ask how you got the templates to stick to the bottles — did you use sticky labels?
Thanks so much, Beth! (Name buddies!)
Beth!! Hiiii, thanks for the comment. Yes, espresso would work, but I would definitely add when you add the milk, I am not sure how it would do with the tea and spices. Never tried it. Hmm I haven’t made it in a little bit, but it usually lasts me around 7 days or so. I printed the labels on sticky labels (stickers).