Madly in love with your chai lattes from your favorite coffee or tea shop, but hate the price? Bring the flavors masala chai into your home with this simple chai concentrate recipe. Make ahead and use it whenever you’re ready to enjoy. Once you try it, you won’t go back!
Chai pronounced, “ch-eye” is made from strong black tea, that’s been flavored with spices, boiled and typically has milk included. Chai masala is a very popular drink that originates from many regions of india and has now become a mainstay across many parts of the world. You can find chai on the menu at many coffee and tea shops, as well as concentrate on local grocery store shelves in the coffee and tea aisle.
I began making my own chai after searching for a concentrate on store shelves that maintained a strong black tea boldness, with lots of flavorful spices, no fillers, and low sugar. There are lots of chai concentrates on the market, but none of them hit all 4 of these boxes. I find the secret to a really good chai concentrate, is using a quality black tea and boiling the tea for a limited amount of time, to extract all the flavor. the best part about this method is that you can make as much concentrate as you like and store it in advance. You also have the freedom to control the sugar and spice content of your tea. If you don’t want to add brown sugar, use maple syrup or brown rice syrup instead.
After making your concentrate and preparing for your finished drink, use your favorite milk to create the latte. Do not add your milk to your full batch of concentrate, but until you are ready to use it. This allows the concentrate to last longer under refrigeration. I recommend full-fat milk, whole milk, coconut milk or cashew milk for this beverage as the fat content complements the boldness of the tea well. Are you a fan of black tea or chai? If you try this recipe let me know in the comments or tag me using #beyondafoodie on all social platforms
At Home Chai
- 1 Large Saucepan
- 1 Strainer
- 1 Lidded bottle or container
- 1 Milk frother
- 1 oz (3 tbsp) strong black tea
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup green cardamom pods
- 3-4 black cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp (10-12) clove buds
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp black peppercorn or ground black pepper
- 1/2 piece ginger root sliced
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (optional)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup honey
- milk of choice for steaming
- In a large saucepan, add black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg peppercorn, and ginger. Cover with 6 cups of water. Bring the pot to medium heat and allow water to boil.
- After the water reaches boiling, allow to continue boiling for 10 minutes then reduce heat to lowest possible setting.
- Cover and allow to slowly steep for up to 45 minutes.
- After steeping, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Strain tea through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter in a bowl or pitcher.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until incorporated.
- Transfer finished chai concentrate into a lidded bottle or container. Refrigerate until ready to use. Chai concentrate lasts up to 10 days under refrigeration.
Prepare For Serving
- Combine Chai concentrate and milk of choice with about a 2:1 ratio in a steaming pitcher or in a medium saucepot.
- Using a milk frother: steam while adding some air until the desired temperature is achieved.
- On the stovetop: bring sauce-pot to low heat and whisk vigorously while heating to incorporate air. Heat until just warmed, do not boil. Remove from heat.
- Divide Chai into desired cups or mugs. Top with extra ground cinnamon, nutmeg (optional) and serve immediately.
- If enjoying iced, simply follow the 2:1 Chai to milk ratio and pour over ice instead of steaming/heating.