Beverages

Authentic Masala Chai Tea Concentrate Recipe

This authentic chai tea recipe uses traditional Indian masala spices to create a spicy, creamy treat that blows any store-bought version out of the water.

There’s nothing like a really good cup of masala spiced chai tea to warm up your heart and your body on a chilly day. The fiery blend of seasonings combined with the sweet smoothness of vanilla and milk make chai tea a drink people all over the world revere.

During a Diwali celebration about a decade ago, a dear friend’s mom spoiled me by making me the best masala chai tea I’ve ever had. Such incredible deliciousness has made me a bit of a “chai snob,” I have to say.

So, in the quest to make something just as spicy, creamy and wonderful at home, I’ve tried just about every chai tea concentrate and teabag available on the Western market. And honestly, virtually all of the masala chai you can buy in American coffee shops and grocery stores taste bland and watery, often with far too much sugar in them to make up for the lack of flavor.

But then, most processed and packaged foods come up short compared to their traditional, homemade counterparts.

That’s why I asked my friend Nahid, an Ayurvedic nutritionist, for her favorite traditional masala chai recipe, so I could finally have the authentic tea that I fell in love with so many years ago, right in my own home.

I was not disappointed, and I know you won’t be either…

This authentic chai tea recipe uses traditional Indian masala spices to create a spicy, creamy treat that blows any store-bought version out of the water.

Authentic Masala Chai Tea Concentrate

This authentic chai tea recipe uses traditional Indian masala spices to create a spicy, creamy treat that blows any store-bought version out of the water.
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CourseBeverage
CuisineIndian, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings1 quart

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Crack the allspice, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and anise with the back of a large knife.
  • Toast the spices in a dry skillet or on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes, or until very fragrant.
  • Place the toasted spices plus all the remaining ingredients, including the tea, into a small muslin bag or cheesecloth tied up. Or add loose and be prepared to strain the tea later.
  • Boil the purified water. Add the spice/tea mixture, ginger, cinnamon sticks and vanilla. Turn the burner down to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes until reduced by about one cup.
  • Remove the muslin bag/cheesecloth or strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Stir in the sugar or honey until completely dissolved.
  • Makes about one quart. The concentrate will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week.
  • When ready to drink, gently simmer one part chai concentrate with one part organic whole milk, full-fat nut milk or full-fat coconut milk until hot.
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About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.

8 Comments

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  • Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!I made this concentrate today and it’s way better and not sour like the tazo concentrate and more aromatic than the Oregon chai but honestly pretty close in flavor. I quadrupled the spices (x4) to get an authentic Indian kick lol because I don’t like Indian food or drink “white washed”. Hehehe sorry . I found that in order to use the 1:1 ratio of milk to concentrate the quadrupling of the ingredients worked nicely. Also use caylon ( non toxic) cinnamon which is much sweeter than the fake but much stronger Vietnamese cinnamon.i also heated jars and lids at 180 in oven and canned this concentrate in jars. I left spices in it for kicks to “age”. Just take out vanilla and the Vietnamese cinnamon stick if that’s the one you used. Caylon you can leave in.

  • Hi! This looks fantastic!
    Do you know if it has a similar flavor to Tazo or Oregan Chai? If not, which spice is outstanding in flavor?

    Thanks!

  • Looks delicious. I’m confused about the ratios. It says to simmer down to 1 cup and that it makes a quart (4 cups), but later says 1 part concentrate to 1 part choice of milk. That would only make 2 cups. Thanks for any clarification.

    • You are simmering to reduce it by a cup. In other words, you are going from 5 cups of water in the recipe to about 4, or one quart of concentrate. This will make about 2 quarts of tea, though you can vary the amount of concentrate to suit your taste.

  • Yum! I’m so excited about this. I hate watery chai, and you’re right, that’s pretty much all you can find. I usually use 2 tea bags but it still isn’t enough. Making this tonight!

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