Hello lovelies! I promised I would share my chai concentrate recipe this weekend and it’s now 7pm on Sunday so I suppose I should hurry it up 😉 I’ve got a teething 9 month old on my hands so it’s been a challenge to sit down and write. You know what hasn’t been a challenge though? Making litres and litres of chai concentrate! I think I’m an addict at this point. I’ve made 6 litres in about two weeks. Last week I was feeling the effects of a major head cold so a hot drink featuring warming, healing spices was the perfect remedy. And needless to say I went overboard since then and have been drinking chai nonstop.
If you’ve tried chai teabags and felt “meh” about them, me too! The fragrant, nuanced flavour you get from starting with whole spices and simmering them over the stove just can’t be contained in a teabag. Making your own chai concentrate for quick chai lattes whenever your heart desires is insanely easy! Simply crush up the whole spices with a mortar and pestle, or by placing in a plastic bag and giving them a good couple whacks with a heavy pan, simmer in water, add black tea, strain and sweeten. Tada! Then either fill half a glass with milk or milk substitute and half with the chai concentrate and drink cold or fill a mug halfway with milk or milk substitute and top off with chai concentrate and heat for a delicious warming beverage.
There are several different sweeteners you can use in this recipe but my absolute favourite is raw honey, which is best if purchased from a local beekeeper who cares for their bees. Raw honey has antibacterial properties and has been shown to effectively treat colds and sore throats, so if you’re feeling icky definitely use honey! Keep in mind that processed honey is heated to very high temperatures so it won’t have the benefits that raw honey does.
- 10 cups water
- 25 cardamom pods
- 4 star anise whole stars
- 20 cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 cinnamon sticks approx. 6" each
- 2 vanilla beans
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger coarsely chopped
- 6 black tea bags
- 1/2-1 cup organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or raw honey
Heat water in a large pot over the stove. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, crush cardamom pods, star anise, cloves, and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until fragrant. You can also place the spices in a bag and smash them with a heavy pan.
Break cinnamon sticks in half, if possible. Cut vanilla beans lengthwise down the middle.
When water has reached a boil, add crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, nutmeg, and ginger and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, then remove from heat.
Place teabags in and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain the concentrate using a fine mesh strainer into two 1-litre (1-quart) containers. Add sweetener of choice and stir to dissolve.
Let cool to room temperature then store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To serve, use 1 part concentrate to 1 part milk or milk substitute. Drink hot or cold.
Top with coconut whipped cream for extra deliciousness!
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