DIY Chai Tea Concentrate
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product after clicking through a link I will earn few cents from the sale at no additional cost to you. This income helps to support this blog. Thank you!One of my favorite hot drinks is masala chai tea, sweetened with milk and honey.But I’m particular. It has to be spicy, but not overpowering. A touch of sweet, but not super sweet. I’ve tried buying those cartons of chai concentrate, but not only do none of them taste quite right to me (and all are too sweet) but also they are expensive!One day when I was ordering chai at the bagel shop in town that makes, in my opinion, the perfect chai, my eyes landed on the sign next to the register. It said, “We brew our own chai.”Oh, right. I could make my OWN chai!I swear, I’m a little slow to realize the obvious sometimes.If I could brew my own tea, I figured, I could also make my own chai concentrate, sweetened just the way I like. And so I did. Here is the recipe for you. Two recipes, actually. One uses a pre-made masala chai blend from Adiago Tea. The other, if you prefer a different spice blend, uses individual spices you can adjust to taste, plus black tea. The second is closer to the traditional way of preparing it, which I experienced when I was in India a decade ago.I make this in quantity and keep a half-gallon jar in the door of my fridge. When I want a cup I fill a mug half-full with concentrate, top off with milk and heat it in the microwave. I don’t know how long it will keep because I go through it pretty quickly!For a more authentic Indian version, heat the tea in a pan on the stove with an equal amount of raw milk. Add more sugar - as sweet as you can stand it - and serve steaming hot in small cups. Divine.Note: You can make a caffeine-free version by replacing the tea blend with rooibois chai in the first recipe or using decaffeinated black tea in the second one.
Chai Tea Concentrate (from pre-blended tea)
makes about 5 cups of concentrate
- 6 cups of water
- 18 tsp of masala chai tea blend from Adiago Tea
- 1/2 cup organic sugar or 3 T honey (or to taste)
Mix tea blend into water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat until liquid is just simmering and leave, uncovered, for 20 minutes.Mix in sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour concentrate through a fine sieve or a piece of cheese cloth to remove the tea and spices, which can be discarded.Store concentrate in the refrigerator until ready to use. To use, blend concentrate with milk in a ratio of 1:2 or 1:1. Can be served hot or cold.
Chai Tea Concentrate (with fresh spices)
(slightly adapted from this version on Tasty Yummiesmakes about 4 cups of concentrate
- 5 cups water
- 8 bags black tea
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup organic sugar (or to taste)
- 1 – 2-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
- 10 whole cloves
- 8 cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
Remove tags from your teabags, if needed, and tie them together. If desired, you can contain your spices in a re-usable tea bag/ball or in a small piece of cheese cloth tied with twine.Bring water to a simmer at medium-high heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Add tea bags, spices, cinnamon sticks and orange zest. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Reduce from heat and remove teabags and spice bag or strain concentrate to remove solids.Store concentrate in the refrigerator until ready to use. To use, blend concentrate with milk in a ratio of 1:2 or 1:1. Can be served hot or cold.Are you a chai tea drinker? Do you like your chai spicy or sweet?To get posts like this delivered directly to your mailbox (along with my free ebook and a monthly newsletter), you can sign up right here.