Spiced Chai Concentrate

With temperatures in the single digits and the seemingly endless snow, I’m loving hot drinks these days. While I enjoy coffee and tea daily, occasionally I like to indulge in something fun, like a Chai Latte. But Sharon and I both agree that the chai concentrate you get at chain coffee shops and at the store are often too sweet for our taste. I’m more interested in the warm, spicy flavors anyway.

I recently posted this recipe for Spiced Chai Concentrate on Tasty Kitchen and everyone loved it, so I wanted to share it with you all (just in case you missed it over there). Like me, they didn’t realize how easy it was! You probably already have a lot of the ingredients and it’s done in less than 30 minutes.

Just to address some of the questions people had in the comments section on Tasty Kitchen. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, probably even longer. You can add the chai concentrate to milk, soy and almond milk and I bet it would be great added to plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream. One person even suggested making ice cubes out of it…YUM! And yes, I’ve been to India. I actually spent several months there – so I know this is not “real” chai, but I love it anyway!

Spiced Chai Concentrate

For step-by-step photos of this recipe, head over to Tasty Kitchen and check out my guest post. Here is the basic recipe which was submitted by Tasty Kitchen member, thecatnipcat. We doubled the cinnamon and halved the sugar, but you can increase or reduce the quantities of any ingredients depending on your taste.

4-½ cups Water
1 stick Cinnamon
1 piece Fresh Ginger Chopped
7 whole Cardamom Pods
2 whole Star Anise Pods
10 whole Cloves
1/4 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2  teaspoons Freshly-ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Orange Zest
10 teaspoons Green Or Black Tea Or 10 Tea Bags
2/3 cups Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Bring the water to a boil. Add the spices and tea, remove from heat and let steep 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Strain and add the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk, heat and enjoy or pour over ice.

For a stronger flavor, mix 2 parts concentrate with 1 part milk or half-and-half (if you’re like me).

25 Comments

  1. Smartcat says

    This is very close to the recipe that I have used for years. You can add more tea, thus making a stronger solution, so you can use less chai when making your drink. I find it keeps much longer if I don’t add the sugar until you make your drink. (I make a syrup so it mixes easily)

    This can also be used as the base for a marinade. AND it makes a wonderful sorbet/ ice cream.

  2. Heather says

    This sounds fantastic. It’s been too long since I made chai and I heartily agree with your sweetness preference.

    Smartcat – a marinade is a really interesting idea. What have you used it on?

  3. says

    i love chai lattes too (and i totally agree that coffee shops often make them way too sweet)

    thanks for sharing the recipe : )

    found you on the eat, write, retreat site – seems like a very cool event! might just attend myself.

    http://www.cailenascher.blogspot.com

  4. Pam says

    What a great a recipe, Maggy. Love having a little jar of this in my fridge for those moments throughout the day when I’m looking for a pick-me-up–especially when I’m all coffee-d out!

  5. Smartcat says

    @ Heather, I’ve used the chai concentrate on almost all meats, but my favorite is for grilled chicken. I generally add honey for sweetness and some rice or balsamic vinegar with some lemon or lime juice. I have to admit that I am *very* freeform and rarely do the same thing twice.

  6. Becca Rothaug says

    Fabulous idea, thank you! I can’t wait to make this and second Karen’s question on where you found such a sweet lidded mug? It would come in especially handy with our two curious kittens who love to drink anything liquid they can find.

  7. says

    Becca! I should have posted the comment. I think I e-mailed Karen directly. I got the mugs on Amazon! I think I just typed in “mugs with lid” or something like that :) My dad’s tea was always cold, so I bought these for him. But would also work great for curious cats!!

  8. Becca Rothaug says

    A belated thanks, Maggy! Haven’t found the exact one on Amazon yet, so I’ll check again when I have a moment. Thoughtful gift for your dad’s cold tea dilemma! Many thanks for the tip and recipe.

  9. Bonnie says

    I love chai tea, I have it every day. I just don’t understand the need for making a concentrate, chai tea leaves are readily available, easy to steep a cup with milk just using the tea.

  10. says

    I made this chai recipe this past weekend and it came out really sweet and not much spice. Any idea what I did wrong?

    I’m thinking the next go around I’ll soak the spices for a few minutes first, then add the tea and let steep. Or what do you think about grinding up the spices first (specifically the star anise and cardamon pods, and whole clove pods)?

    Thanks and I look forward to perfecting this recipe!

  11. Therese says

    This is really great recipe except for the sugar it’s wayyyyyy too sweet so I dropped the sugar to 3 Tbsp…..lovely recipe. Thanks.

  12. Jenny says

    Just tried this and I LOVE it!! I will be making my own from now on! I only reduced the sugar a tiny bit, and it is perfect. My kids have recently discovered chai tea, and they want it every time they see me with it! I think they will love this one, too.

  13. susanna kennedy says

    Your tea receipt is JUST what I have been looking for, thank you…don’t favor sweet tea myself! Byt the way, your subscribers can locate coverec tea mugs in the nearest chinatown.

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