Chai Concentrate

by Kris on December 6, 2011

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with warm drinks. I’ll drink almost anything in a mug! Chai tea is no exception. Nothing warms the soul like a cup of this fragrant Indian beverage.

I’ve always boiled the spices directly in my milk, however I decided to try making a concentrated version with water. A concentrate is much more flexible, as you can mix it with milk or soy/nut milk. You can also add it to baked goods to make chai spiced cookies, cakes, or even pie.

  • 5 cups water
  • 10 bags of black tea (I used a mixture of orange pekoe and English breakfast)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 9 cardamon pods
  • ½ Tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 star anise pods
  • ½ Tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 corriander seeds
  • ½ Tsp ground allspice
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced into discs
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (optional)

In a large pot, bring water to a rapid boil. Add tea bags, spices, orange zest and ginger. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in honey and let stand 10 minutes.

Line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain concentrate. Discard spices.

Store concentrate in a sealable container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To make Chai tea combine 1/3 cup of concentrate with warm milk(or soy/nut milk).

Concentrate can also be mixed in with a number of recipes. Try mixing it with cookie batter for chai spiced cookies or mix with seltzer water for a chai soda!


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Ishma December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hey! Great idea. But one thing, chai is Urdu for tea, therefor chai IS tea. So saying ‘chai tea’ is like saying ‘tea tea’. Redundant. Just like ‘naan’ is bread, so just call it naan. Not ‘naan bread’ as that = ‘bread bread’. No offense, just pointing out something it would be hard for anyone to know unless they knew the language.

Like the concentrate idea, though!


munchinwithmunchkin December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I didn’t know that! Thanks!


Helen December 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

a variation on the theme of ‘what is the plural/singular or panini?’ because of course in the original Italian, s=panino, p=panini. But Panini has been quite firmly adopted into the british english vernacular, that perhaps it is now a british english word…and so perhaps chai and naan, in english (rather than their original etymologies) have become adjectives, or parts of a bigger noun, requiring the clarifying detail?

saying that, in the part of Scotland I’m from it is enormously common to refer to ‘bread rolls’…which growing up, I found enormously annoying, as if rolls were ever made from anything else!


Richa@HobbyandMore December 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

love your gift ideas.. the candied ginger and this tea concentrate! the concentrate must be so fragrant!


munchinwithmunchkin December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Thanks! When I made it, my house smelled wonderful! Better than any scented candle I’ve ever had.


pencilkitchen December 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Hmm~ i’m already thinking up of ways (oh so many ways) to use this!


munchinwithmunchkin December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Let us know what you come up with! :)


spoonwithme December 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I’ve been looking for a good recipe for chai concentrate. Most of the recipes I’ve seen are for steeping the spices in milk. I’ll be making this soon!


bananamondaes December 7, 2011 at 2:57 am

This looks amazing. So glad I found this. How long does it keep for?


munchinwithmunchkin December 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

It lasts about 2 weeks if stored in a sealed container in the fridge.


Barbara Fingerle Ramina December 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I loved the idea from a chai concentrate.
For a long time I was looking for a nice Chai recipe and testing them,
but yours was long the best!!!

Thank you,


munchinwithmunchkin December 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm



Memoria December 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I have loose black tea leaves. Do you know how many leaves I would need for this recipe? How many ounces or grams, I guess? Thanks for the recipe. I have every singly ingredient!


munchinwithmunchkin December 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm

There’s roughly one tablespoon of tea in a tea bag so I would use 8-10 tablespoons of loose leaf tea.


emilymullaswilson December 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Wow–every recipe on your site looks fantastic. Will definitely be trying a lot of these things over Christmas break. You should write a cookbook!


munchinwithmunchkin December 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Thank you so much! Hopefully one day I’ll make a cookbook. :)


7cakes December 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Awesome! I’ve always wondered what all was in chai tea (totally my favorite drink) =D


Yvonne December 19, 2011 at 12:22 am

Thank you for sharing! Sounds wonderful!


hannah leona December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm

yummy i plan on making this for Christmas gifts. It looks soo good


amy December 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Found this using StumbleUpon a couple weeks ago and had to try it. I just made 3 batches and it’s DELICIOUS! Great Christmas gifts!! Way better than any store bought concentrate I’ve ever had!


Efthimia March 5, 2012 at 6:21 am

Loved it, made it, drank it, gift it. You made 5 people’s life happier this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing.


Kris March 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’m so glad you loved it and shared it with your friends. You just made my day :)


Efthimia March 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Well, I must make you happier then. BF said it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever made for him. And he tends to be harshly honest with what I cook. Thanks again!


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