Learn how to make chai tea at home with simple ingredients. This massala chai tea is quick, easy, rich and flavorful and has the perfect balance of spices. It’s even BETTER than the expensive chai tea lattes we buy from coffee shops like Starbucks for example.
It’s getting more and more chilly, so here’s a delicious way to warm you up. Massala Chai is a spiced black tea with steamed milk added, a little bit like a latte but substituting spiced tea for the coffee. Imagine that the spicy tea we associate with chai lattes today was most likely used by Ayurvedic healers in South Asia to treat ailments like the common cold and digestive complaints for centuries.
A little bit of etymology and history before getting straight to the point. We often see some variation of “Chai Latte,” “Chai Tea Latte,” or “Chai Tea.”
Chai is the word for “tea” in a variety of languages (often spelled differently, but pronounced the same), but of course, we’re talking about India specifically here. What we know as “Chai Tea” is actually Masala Chai, which refers to the spices used to infuse the tea.
According to lore, masala chai’s history began thousands of years ago in an ancient royal court. Some legends say it was created 9,000 years ago, while others claim it was 5,000 years ago. There are stories that the court was located in what is now India, while others attribute masala chai to Thai origins. I’m pretty sure that like myself you believe that precision to be of vital importance, so let’s move on forget about it shall we? What is for certain is that the drink was created specifically for King as a cleansing Ayurvedic beverage.
Even early on, masala chai was made with a wide range of spices and prepared with many different methods. It was served either hot or cold as a remedy for mild ailments. At the time, the spicy-sweet drink did not contain any tea leaves and was caffeine-free.
Makes 6 cups
⭐ 4 cups milk
⭐ ½ tsp cinnamon
⭐ ¼ tsp ground cardamom
⭐ ½ tsp ground almonds
⭐ 5 tsp honey
⭐ 4 tsp Assam (or similar) black tea leaves
⭐ 2 cups boiling water
🌸 Combine milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and almonds in a sauce pan. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
🌸 Add honey just before removing from the stove.
🌸 Brew tea with boiling water for ~5 minutes
🌸 Add milk mixture and stir well
🌸 Strain and serve
3 cinnamon sticks
4 sliced knobs of ginger (size wise think of your thumb, knuckle to tip)
12 cardamom pods
5 small star anise
2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch nutmeg
A pinch black pepper
3 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons black tea
5 tablespoons red rose petals
5 tablespoons rose water
5 small thai basil leaves
5.5 cups of water
Add everything except for the basil, rose petals, rose water, honey and black tea to a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
Stir in the rose petals, black tea, honey and basil. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the rose water. If you want to drink some now, bottle what you have and leave a portion for you in the pot, add milk of choice then throw it back onto the stove. Wait for it to start simmering then remove and enjoy! You can sweeten with more honey if you’d like too!
This recipe makes 5 portions. I leave it in a jar in the fridge and bring it out, pour a glass, add whatever nut milk I’ve made and heat it up together on the stove.