Homemade Chai Tea




I love chai tea. I've tried it at a few places, Starbucks, Panera, a few other coffee shops, but nothing's as good as homemade. In this instructable, I'll show you a simple recipe for delicious tea out of things you can find at home.

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Step 1: Your Ingredients

To make this, you'll need:

-3 black tea bags (i used some decaf earl grey that was around, use what you want.)
-1 stick of cinnamon
-around 8 cloves
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-2 cups water
-about 3/4 cups* honey
-about 3/4 cups* sugar
-teaspoon ginger#
-dash nutmeg#

*it can vary, but the honey and sugar should add up to about 1 1/2 cups.
#you can add these if you want. some people can tell if they're there or not, but I tend not to use these.

Step 2: Brew!

Here's where the action is. There are 2 ways to do this. I used the first.

Boil your water. WAIT FOR IT TO BOIL!
When you're boiling, drop in your three tea bags, along with your stick of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and optional spices. Stir it until you get the ugly color in the picture below, then add your sugar and honey. Stir, and you're done brewing!

Use a coffee maker! Pour in your water like you'd usually do. Chop your cinnamon stick into small slices, and slice open your tea bags. Then put your ingredients into a coffee filter. Then, it brews.

***For this way, you'll need a 6-inch slice of vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract.

Step 3: If You Used the First Way...

Which is kind of inconvenient, some say, but I like being involved.

So, your tea is all brewed and beautiful, but how are you going to get it out?

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Place a large bowl in the sink. Pour your concoction through a strainer into your bowl. Then get rid of the used solid ingredients.

Step 4: Enjoying Your Tea.

Need a hot drink? Fill a mug 1/3 with tea, and the rest with milk. The milk was probably in the fridge, so it's cold now, but you can heat it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

Need a cold drink? Put a few ice cubes in a tall glass, and fill it a little less than 1/2 of the way with chai, then the rest milk. Use a straw to stir and suck upon.

Need it for later? Ladle your tea into a Tupperware container, and stick it in the fridge.

Enjoy, and happy Autumn!

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      14 Discussions


      2 years ago

      I also love chai tea and have several different varieties at my house. I also now have most or all of the ingredients to make my own homemade chai tea.


      10 years ago on Step 1

      how much tea does you recipe make? can i refrigerate any left over?


      10 years ago on Introduction

      I went to a music festival this past summer and had a fantastic iced chai that was half chai and half coconut milk. Delicious!!

      1 reply

      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      Orange Pekoe describes the leaf size, not a type of tea. Tea "flavors" are classified by growing region and drying/oxidation. All tea comes from the same plant, but the growing region adds different flavor, as does the oxidation process. Some of the common tea regions (And, therefore tea flavors) Are Assam and Darjeeling (India), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). English and Irish Breakfast teas are typically blends, and Earl Grey is a black Assam with Oil of Bergamot (a citrus). The tips of the new sprouts are picked (or flushed) twice a year (First and second flush), and dried. There are three main types: Green, Oolong, and Black. Green tea is steamed and quickly dried, Ooolong is dried and oxidized slightly, black teas are oxidized much longer resulting in a stronger, darker brew, but with less caffeine. The tea is then graded by size. Whole leaves of a certain size are Orange Pekoe, Large pieces are called Broken, the stuff they put into tea bags is typically Fannings, and the rest is just called Dust. Since it originated in India, a loose leaf black Assam, either Orange Pekoe, or Broken makes the best Chai tea (in my opinion).


      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      Oh, my Chai recipe is: 1/2 stick of cinnamon 4 whole cloves 1/2 t cardamon seeds 1/2 nutmeg freshly ground 2 allspice seeds Grind to a coarse grind and add to brewing tea. Strain with coffee filter.


      As a girl growwing up in Canada, I was allowed "children's tea"- very weak tea with lots of milk. The best part though was when the "Red Rose Tea "box was finished, there was always a china figuine to be foud. they were called "Wades' and you can find them on Ebay.


      10 years ago on Introduction

      Great recipie! I made it last night and was surprised by how good it tasted. I used black english breakfast tea because its what I had around and it worked beautifully.

      3 replies

      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      I am biased against earl grey anyway, but that notwithstanding I would say earl grey is not the right tea for this recipe. You ideally want a mellow plain black tea like english breakfast or ceylon, if you like a bit more "bite" then assam or kenya, or maybe something like pu erh. For a completely wacky experience, I recently discovered (in an American mall, no less) the blend of mate, rooibos and chai- it sounds weird but it's actually very good.


      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      I'm beginning to feel like a tea-idiot. You talk about tea like people talk about wines. I've noticed subtle differences in teas, but never really paid much attention to what and why. I think this is a great discussion - it's opened my eyes! Now, why do I like oolong so well? (I think it is Wuiy - I know I'm not spelling that right!) Is it sweeter, smoother - or do I have "unsophisticated" taste buds?


      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      Hehe- don't mind me, I'm a tea enthusiast and slight geek but still no expert. As for why you like oolong, I'd guess that it's the same reason people like rose wines- it combines the characteristics of green and black tea into a pleasant middle ground. Unlike wine, however, I sometimes get the feeling rose is considered best for "unsophisticated" drinkers but green-black teas are sometimes among the most "artisan" types.