DIY Chai: blending and brewing your own at home

27 May 2018
It will come as no surprise that I enjoy making things from scratch at home. Over time I've slowly built up the list of things I make myself and one of the most enjoyable (and easiest) has got to be DIY Chai tea spice mix.

I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I'm a little partial to a pot of tea. As the weather cools I really enjoy the process of making a traditionally brewed chai tea (which I'll outline down below). It becomes a touch point in the day, a way to slow down and connect to the present moment - a little mindfulness if you will.

Aromatic and warming chai.

The recipe I use was passed to me from a friend (thanks Kerry!). However I generally adapt it as needed based on what I have on hand or any extra flavours I want to include. Lately I've been adding dried orange peel to my mix which has given it a different note. So, if you don't like a particular spice just leave it out or cut it back and feel free to experiment. That's the beauty of making your own.

DIY Chai Tea Spice Mix

4 heaped tablespoons black leaf tea
3 heaped tablespoons dried ginger root
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 heaped tablespoons cardamom pods
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
2 tablespoons star anise
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground cassia bark
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks
3 heaped teaspoons ground nutmeg

If you feel so inclined you can grind the whole spices lightly or roughly in a mortar and pestle. Alternatively you can substitute for ground versions. Then simply mix all the ingredients together in a jar. That's it.

Chai mix in the jar.

Brewing Chai Tea

When you are ready to enjoy your delicious brew grab a saucepan, add 1.5 mugs of water and 1 tablespoon of Chai Tea Spice Mix. Bring to the boil and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Add 1.5 mugs of milk and bring almost to the boil on low heat. Add sugar or honey to your taste if you like a little bit of sweetness. Traditional Chai is quite sweet and my original recipe suggest 4 teaspoons of sugar - this is a little much for my palate but work with what suits you. Strain into your mug or pot and enjoy. This amount makes enough for two mugs.

Chai Tea Syrup

In the warmer months I like to make up a Chai tea syrup and keep in the fridge to make a quick iced Chai. You can also use it to make a 'quick' warm chai by adding milk and heating. However, I must admit I like the ritual of making my warm brew as I need it.

To make your Chai Tea Syrup add 3 heaped tablespoons of chai mix and 500mls of water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add sugar if desired (I generally add 1 Tablespoon). Strain and store in the fridge for up to one week. When you are ready to enjoy mix 1 part syrup with 2 parts milk and pour over ice.

Do you enjoy Chai Tea? (I know it's not for everyone)
What mindful moments do you carve out in your day?

Got the tea blending bug? Check out my post on making your own herbal tea at home


  1. Hi Laura,

    I do love a good chai tea! I make my own, too, but with the roast and grind method. Then I just add a teensy amount to a milky tea and simmer for a bit and add a smidge of honey. A little goes a long way! I like my blend quite peppery so include 2 types of pepper. When you get a blend you like at home, it will spoil your palate, so while I will still order the occasional cup in a cafe in the winter, it will invariably fail to impress!

    1. So true, once you've had it catered to your palate at home you do get spoilt. I often find them a bit too sweet when I order out. The pepper edge is so enjoyable - I'd never thought of adding different types. I think I might give white pepper a go in my next blend as I do like that flavour. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I don't think I have ever drunk Chai tea but my daughter simply loved it when she was in India. She could never find a Chai tea with a similar taste back here in Australia. I stick to coffee and tea so am in a bit of a rut but I did write out a recipe for Chai tea years ago so obviously I do hope to be more adventurous one of these days :-)

    1. It isn't for everyone Chel, but if you like Indian spices and the smell of chai then I think you should definitely give it a go.

  3. I love masala chai, especially on cold days. :)

  4. Great post Laura. I must make this lovely mixture to remind me of India. So much better than the commercial versions.

  5. Yes! Chai is the best! I don't make a blend up in advance but chuck the tea (sometimes black, sometimes rooibos leaves if I don't want caffeine) with dried spices and fresh ginger in a saucepan with water & milk. I find this way I can cater to the palates of who I'm sharing the chai with, eg leave out the black pepper and use rooibos to make it caffeine-free if it's afternoon tea with The Kid, or amping up the fennel or whatever I feel I need on the day if it's just me :) Cheers, Sally


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