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Cheap and Easy Homemade Chai Latte' Answered

I paid $3 for my first mug of Chai Latte' in one of those fancy internet cafe's. It was love at first sip, but I didn't have $3 for every time i craved another mug. I tried a number of powdered and liquid mixes, but couldn't find anything cheap enough for me. Then I found (and modified) a recipe for making it at home, and many who have tasted it say it's better than Starbucks. I drink as much as I want now without guilt! Here's the simple recipe: In a sauce pan, combine 2 C. water, 2 regular tea bags, 1/8-1/4 t. EACH of ground ginger and cardamon, 1 whole clove, and one cinnamon stick. Boil for 5 minutes. Then add 1/4 c. sugar (or 6 Splenda pkts.), and 2 1/2 C. milk. Bring to a boil, strain (if desired) and serve. Notes: 1. If you purchase your spices at the grocery store, you'll pay a bundle. You can get most of them at Gordon Food Service or similar places. Cardamon will be harder to find in a quantity. I have had lots of luck, though, at health food stores. You can purchase it by weight in small quantities and pay a fraction of the grocery store price. (A jar of cardamon at the store was $11 - the same quantity at the health food store was less than $2.) 2. Did you know that cinnamon sticks don't get "used up" very quickly? I used to throw the cinnamon stick away after each batch of chai - what a waste! Now I rinse it when I'm done and give it a sniff - if it smells cinnamon-y, it still has flavor to impart. In this recipe, you can reuse your cinnamon sticks 3-4 times - maybe more! 3. Variations: If you want a more dessert-like beverage, top off your chai with a dallop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg - YUM! Also, it can be made more or less rich by varying what kind of milk you use (skim or whole) or even replacing some of the milk with cream. Making homemade chai might not make you rich, but it will make the lean times taste a lot better! Enjoy!


Great you're taking the sensible and cheaper route to enjoying chai! If you have a love of spice that will warm your stomach, substitute one inch of ginger root per cup of water (roughly diced) instead of the dried version. There's something much more intense about the heat it produces. Also-- and this sounds crazy-- four black peppercorns, cracked, thrown into the pot will also liven things up and give it an added kick in the pants. The splenda will make sure it doesn't taste like a savory dish. Chai is one of my favorite things to make in the winter. In fact, I am getting a craving now...

I worked at Starbucks, nobody likes the chai. haha

I just tried this, and it is AWESOME!! it is so good, I have to say it does rival starbucks, the only suggestion I have is to add nutmeg, I didn't have any on hand so I couldn't try it, but I bet it would be good.

Glad you liked it! I have made it with nutmeg before, too. I do like it that way - a little more dessert-like, especially when it's sprinkled over whipped cream! As for the sweetness - I know people who make mine without any sugar at all. (I say, "What's the point!") I don't like tea without sugar, so it's not my thing. I have gradually reduced the sugar and not noticed it too much. Well, glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for commenting!

haha, coincidentally, I just ended up getting a starbucks version, and the only difference is the one I got was iced and wwwaaayyy too sweet, but it would be easy to make an iced version, just make it regular, and put it in a blender with ice....

Make this as an instructable! Include photos of people drinking it from flasks outside Starbucks, and giving it a big thumbs-up!

I'm new here - would I have to re-do this as an instructable somewhere else on the site, or would just adding pictures and doing it in steps make it one? Love the Starbucks idea, but the nearest one is about 100 miles from here! Thanks for your comment!

At the top of the screen, there's a "submit" button. From there, you can submit an Instructable, and follow the step-by-step instructions. You'll need photos, of course. The best way to learn about the content of an instructable, though, is to read a few good ones, no matter the subject.

Thanks! I appreciate the "instruction!" I'll have to get some pics and submit...