Homemade Chai Recipe

I had big plans for this holiday week spent at home.
Not just big. HUGE.

I was going to get tons of house cleaning done. I was going to get all my computer files and photos in order. I was going to exercise, cook, and take lots of photos for future blog posts. I was going to clean out my email inbox.

Well, most of the week is gone and not too much of this has happened. Sigh.

There’s been a little cleaning and a little organizing, yes. But I really can’t put my finger on where the rest of the time has gone. Another sigh. At least I’ve gotten to enjoy the snow and lots of hot drinks.

Homemade Chai | Healthy Green Kitchen

I made this homemade chai recipe a couple of afternoons ago and fell head over heels. It’s sweet and spicy with the perfect amount of milk; it’s also a great accompaniment to these unbelievably adorable mini gingerbread house cup toppers that I saw on Not Martha last year (and simply had to make).

I adapted this chai from The Kitchn and I like it because it’s very flexible…use more or less of the herbs/spices based on what you have on hand and your fondness for each ingredient. I sweetened it with ginger syrup leftover from making my crystallized ginger (which gave it an added ginger-y zing), but honey, agave, or organic sugar would all work. Feel free not to use the full 1/4 cup of sweetener if you’d prefer; use more if you like your chai very sweet.

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I really should be getting back to my inbox now…but I think I’ll go make some more chai instead.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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Recipe for Chai Tea

Makes 6 cups (approx. 3-4 servings)


  • *2 organic English Breakfast tea bags
  • *3 cups milk preferably raw (my choice) or organic (or try coconut milk or your favorite non-dairy milk for a vegan chai)
  • *3 cups water
  • *6 cardamom pods
  • *6 whole cloves
  • *4 whole star anise
  • *4-6 small cinnamon sticks
  • *4-6 slices fresh ginger about 1/4 inch each
  • *1/4 cup ginger syrup leftover from making crystallized ginger, raw honey, agave syrup, or organic sugar


  • 1. Heat water and milk to the point just before boiling.
  • 2. Add the tea bags and all of the herbs/spices and turn off the heat.
  • 3. Allow to infuse for 20-30 minutes, then add the sweetener and reheat before serving.
  • 4. Pour chai through a fine mesh strainer into mugs. Serve on its own (or with the mini-gingerbread mug toppers which, by the way, are a really fun project to do with kids).

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30 thoughts on “Homemade Chai Recipe”

  1. My oh my, I give you kudos for this amazing Chai recipe. Originally from India, the land of chai, I must say, there are few recipes for chai that blow me away, and this is definitely one of them. Great job Winnie. Thanks for sharing!

    [An easy, peasy chai recipe that I make, when short of time, and out of ingredients is….. 1 cup black tea brewed to perfection, 1 drop Thieves essential oil, coconut/almond milk to taste, some agave]. Who’s have thunk? LOL

  2. I just think this is wonderful. I have a list of homemade beverages I’d love to make and chai is up at the top. This looks so lovely and not nearly as complicated as I thought it would be.

  3. @Mariko, try rooibis tea, it’s a very good substitute, and caffeine-free.

    Mmmm this has inspired me, and today is the perfect kind of day for chai! Grey and drizzly :)

  4. I adore chai.. I wonder if I could find a suitable not caffeinated tea to make with this.
    Your week sounds so much like mine.

  5. Ohmi ohmi ohmi! I remember seeing those little gingerbread houses last year as well! I have no idea where I found that though! What a cute cute cute idea. I love chai tea. I’m living in Peru and don’t have chai as an option going to the local market and/or cafe… but I do have most of the other things listed! I will be booooookmarking this!

  6. Hi, there. I saw you on Foodbuzz and came over to check out your blog. The name caught my eye. I, too, try to keep an eco-minded approach to my cooking as well as my every day life. I like meeting others who have the same mindset!

    Your chai tea looks delicious! Everything about it is done to perfection. The little gingerbread house is such a charming touch. Happy New Year!

  7. Oh my gosh, this is too cute! I love the mason jar, and the gingerbread house is absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing such a creative, festive idea!

  8. I feel the exact same way about this week off! I’ll try to make the most of the next two days but I’ll just embrace the time that I’ve had to chill out.

    The chai sounds fantastic!

  9. Lol I had the same plans. It’s Saturday and I swear yesterday was Monday with heaps of time ahead of me to get ready for the new year! That gingerbread house is too cute btw!!

  10. When do you add the tea? I’m assuming that it’s when you add all the other herbs/spices but checking in case anyone else had the same question.

    Also, I’ve made my own chai (and I LOVE IT) and have had a lot of success make a huge batch. Upsize everything (probably keeping these proportions for the liquid but only going like 1.5 each time you double the spices( although the tea you can really go a lot more or less, it’s weird) in your biggest pot and then refrigerate it all, warming by stove or microwave when you want to drink. I store it in old Newman’s sauce jars for a while, at least a week but I think I’ve done it up to 3. I’ve also then brewed tea and used the chai as a creamer/sweetener or just heated it and drank it full strength. I also use black pepper and sometimes I smash all the herbage to bits and sometimes I use them whole. Tasting through the process is a good way to figure out the exact right spice combination for you.

  11. I’m in love with the gingerbread house perched atop the cup’s rim. But then again, I love all things miniature.

    The chai tea sounds like the perfect thing to warm up with in the midst of this cold winter. And it’s full of spices – that’s my kind of tea!

  12. The little house perched on the edge is too cute! Perfect for us in California, too, who live in earthquake country. LOL!
    Wishing you a spectacular and delicious New Year!

  13. Winnie – I am going to try more tea/chai and less coffee in 2011 but since I really do not enjoy star anise, can you refer me to another recipe OR maybe other ingredients I should increase to compensate for the lack of anise?

  14. I LOVE chai, but I love those gingerbread house toppers even more :D Amazing! I’m going to go look it up from Not Martha now, because I have a hankering for some awesome mini houses and some chai!

    Happy New Year, lovely, have a good one!

    Jax x

  15. Cute little gingerbread house!! Yummy! :) I’ve been making chai for years and I’ve never tried it with star anise. I’m probably missing out. I’m inspired by your post and shall try! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  16. Hi Winnie. I love love love your blog, it’s both informative and inspiring, and pretty too.
    Oh, and the Ginger Bread House toppers are genius!

  17. Your photo is a winner, Winnie! Join the club re where-did-this-week-go efforts NOT made. Sometimes we all need to recharge our batteries, I always rationalize. See you next year ;) Liz

  18. Oh, Winnie, this chai tea is calling my name! Especially with that gingerbread house topper–too cute and appealing! Must check out how to make those. That’s much more style than a full-size gingerbread house. ;-)

    Happy New Year, dear!