Easy Homemade Chai Tea Mix
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I’ll be honest… I’m not a tea drinker. In fact, I could probably go the rest of my life without drinking another cup of tea and I’d be alright. But take away my coffee and I’d have a hard time even getting through the day!
That being said, I do drink tea from time to time, but I’m pretty selective about what kind of tea I drink. It has to have the same bold flavours that a good espresso has, and for that reason pretty much the only tea I really enjoy drinking is chai tea.
What exactly is chai tea anyway?
Chai tea originates from India, and funnily enough, calling it chai tea is actually a bit of a misnomer because chai literally means tea in India! So technically chai tea really means “tea tea.”
But chai as we know it is a very distinct type of tea, made with black tea and a mixture of warming spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger (among others).
The chai tea mixture is then steeped in water and brought to a simmer over heat to extract maximum flavour (and medicinal benefits) from the tea and spices. Finally, milk and sugar/sweetener is added, and then the liquid tea is strained into mugs to be enjoyed. (You could also strain the tea and then add warm milk and sweetener, but I like adding it before straining as it gets heated in the same saucepan and even more flavour gets extracted and infused right into the milk).
Chai is admittedly delicious and almost as invigorating as a rich latte, especially on a chilly fall or cold winter day. And while I do tend to keep a few chai tea bags on hand for quick steeping, there’s nothing like homemade chai tea, made with crushed whole spices and looseleaf black tea.
But lest you think that making your own chai tea from scratch is difficult, let me reassure you that I wouldn’t waste my time making it myself (or sharing the recipe with you) if it was.
How to make homemade chai tea mix
Making your own homemade chai tea mix is actually super easy, and it takes just a minute or two to whip up a quick batch!
You can make it fresh when you’re in the mood for sipping some chai or you can make up batches ahead of time and keep them on your shelf.
This chai tea mix also makes a great homemade gift, especially for Christmas. Package it in a Mason jar or a decorative bag or pouch, attach a pretty label and a recipe card (I’ve got printable versions of both under the “Labels” section of my Free Resource Library), and you’ve got a simple but impressive homemade gift for all of the tea lovers on your list! (And even us coffee lovers too;)
Start by gathering your ingredients, which include
- Looseleaf black tea (Assam or Darjeeling are best… I use organic Assam tea)
- Spices (cinnamon sticks, star anise, allspice berries, cardamom pods, whole cloves, black peppercorns and ground ginger)
Using a mortar & pestle (I love this handmade stoneware mortar & pestle from Roots & Harvest), gently crush the whole spices to break them into smaller pieces and release their aromatic oils. Add the tea and the ground ginger and mix well to combine. And that’s it! Just transfer it to a jar and it’s ready to go:)
As for brewing homemade chai tea, you’ll of need some water to steep the chai tea mix in, some milk or cream (or non-dairy milk) and some optional sweetener of choice (I prefer honey).
The recipe below makes enough for two servings, or about three cups of finished chai tea.
The chai tea mix on its own makes about ¼ cup and fits nicely in a 4oz Mason jar or similar.
Whether you make this for yourself or for someone else, you’ll want to label your homemade chai tea mix. Be sure to download the printable labels I use. You’ll find them –along with some printable recipe cards for gifting– under the “Labels” section of my Free Resource Library.
You can either print the labels on regular printer paper and then cut and paste them, or they’re designed to fit these brown kraft paper sticky labels (the same ones I use for labelling all of my homemade goodies).
If you’re gifting your chai tea mix, print out the recipe cards and paste onto card stock and include the recipe along with the tea. You could even package it along with a set of mugs for an inexpensive but impressive gift from the heart!
Finally, if and when you do make this recipe, be sure to leave a review below to let me know what you think! Or take a photo and tag me @thehouseandhomestead over on Instagram and I’ll happily re-share:)
Oh, and above all else, enjoy!!!
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 teaspoon whole cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon grond ginger
- 2 tablespoons looseleaf black tea
1. Using a mortar and pestle, gently crush the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, allspice, cloves and black pepper seeds. I find it easiest to crush each spice one at a time.
2. Add the ground ginger and black tea and use the pestle to mix them with the spices.
3. Package in a Mason jar or a decorative bag or pouch, add a pretty label and attach a recipe card (you can make your own or download the labels and recipe cards I use from my Free Resource Library) and either store on your own shelf or gift to someone you love!
To make the Chai Tea
1 jar/package chai tea mix
2 cups water
2 cups milk or cream (or non-dairy milk substitute)
1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
1. Transfer chai tea mix to a medium saucepan, along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add 2 cups of milk or cream and one tablespoon honey (or other sweetener of choice). Bring back to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. Strain, serve and enjoy hot!
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