I had lived 20 years before tasting that first sip of chai tea.Then survived another three years before finding “the good stuff”. Now I’m sharing it with you. A better than the coffee-house chai tea recipe.
While dating my now husband, we visited a coffee-house. Because I had been in a coffee shop the grand total of two other times, I proudly ordered–what I ordered the other two times–a mocha frappe. (I knew I couldn’t go wrong with chocolate!)
Jason had a bit more experience with coffee shops and ordered a chai tea, of which I consumed the greater portion. I fell in love that night. Not with the young man I was with (that came later) but with chai tea.
For three years I drank the overly sweet hot drink that Americans call chai. I thought it amazing.
I married my man, lived in a cozy duplex for a year, and then we moved. Our next door neighbors are Indian. Lovely people whose words are a bit hard to understand, but we understand each others hearts perfectly. (The wife also understands how well I love to eat and thus supplies me with amazing, authentic Indian cuisine.)
I think you know where I’m going here. From her I learned that what I thought was chai, wasn’t really chai at all. Real chai is a full flavored, creamy, rich, and spicy drink that kicked my weak American chai all over the place!
I begged her to tell me what she used. Through our language barrier I learned that Indian chai was called Masala tea and it was a blend of different spices. I wasn’t able to understand what spices she said she used, so I ended up going online to find a recipe.
I found plenty and after some trial and error, found one similar to what my neighbor had given me. So today I give you my better than the coffee-house chai tea recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Better than the Coffee-House Chai Tea Recipe:
Made with both common and not-so-common spices, the blend alone is beautiful!
Simmer the spices in 5 cups of water for at least 30 minutes. Bonus: these simmer spices smell better than any candle you could ever light!
Some of the spices in this recipe are hard to find in the grocery. I’ve offered substitutes for these harder to find spices and have also linked to them on Amazon. (Affiliate links)
Love it? Send a tweet, your followers will thank you! “My taste-buds are tingling, visit @aproverbs31wife for the best Chai tea recipe! #GetInMyTummy!”
- 5 cups water
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise (or 1½ tsp anise seeds)
- 1 tablespoon black or pink peppercorns
- 60 cardamom pods
- 20 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed (ground will also work)
- 1 orange peel
- 12 regular tea bags.
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- ½ a fresh squeezed lemon
- Simmer ginger, cinnamon sticks, anise, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, coriander, and orange peel in water for 30-45 minutes.
- Pull pan away from heat source and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and strain out spices.
- Stir in honey, molasses, vanilla and lemon juice.
- Pour into quart jar and add water if needed to fill jar.
- Heat 1 cup of chai tea to boiling.
- Remove from heat and rapidly whisk in 1 cup of whole milk.
Whisking the milk into the hot mixture rather than heating the tea blend and milk together creates a frothy drink and also preserves some of the raw milk's digestive enzymes.
For a little something fun, I’ve decided to start adding a “behind the scenes” photo to each craft/recipe post. We bloggers do some funky stuff for that “perfect photo”. Here’s a snapshot of my set-up for this better than the coffee-house chai tea recipe.