How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

– courtesy of the hathi cooks

NOTE – THERE ARE SOOO MANY VERSIONS with slight variations, but BASIC SPICES ARE OBVIOUS & add your favorites. I’ve perfected my own method (w/coffee filter, spices, tea & a stapler) 😉

Just sayin ♡

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

November 28, 2011

Chai has always been an integral part of our daily lives as well as our get togethers with friends and family.  At family reunions, my father had the honorary title of “chai master” and mine was “junior chai master.”  We used to joke about how when we were all sick of being doctors, we would retire and open up a small cafe called “Good Chai” and stock it with the best chai in the world and some mighty delicious snacks.  That way we could continue the tradition of people coming to our house and sipping mug after mug of chai and letting their problems melt away in the delicious warmth of this wonderful drink.


The Basics of Chai

Chai is a ubiquitous drink in India.  It is made across the country and is drunk both at home and at tiny tea stalls on road sides everywhere.  Interestingly, this beverage that so many people associate with India was actually not consumed until the time of the British Raj.  India grew a large amount of tea in areas such as Assam and Darjeeling, however the majority of Indians consumed coffee.  The British East India Company became concerned as they realized they were losing a vast source of income to the Chinese, who had a virtual monopoly on tea sales.  Thus, the East India Company began promoting tea to Indians.  At first, the Indians were skeptical, and did not want to abandon their strongly flavored coffee.  But eventually someone added strongly flavored spices to a sweet and milky tea and masala chai took off!  The chai is sweet and spicy with a subtle burn at the back of the throat.  It is, in a word, wonderful.

The Tea Leaves

The tea used in chai is very crucial to the final flavor of the tea.  Many people assume that they have to use the best quality tea available and use whole leaf Darjeeling or Assam tea, and end up with chai that does not taste quite right.  The tea for masala chai is a variety known as “mamri” or “little grain” tea.  It is cheap and strong and holds its own against the strong spices in the chai.  I recommend making a trip to an Indian grocery store to buy brands such as Lipton Yellow Label TeaJivraj No. 9, or Taj Mahal Tea.  If you do not have an Indian store nearby, buy Lipton or some other similarly cheap and strong black tea bags from the grocery store.  This tea will probably become your “chai only” tea, as it is not necessarily the best to drink plain, but is absolutely wonderful with milk, spices, and sugar.

The Masala


Much like the recipe for garam masala, this recipe also comes from my paternal great-great grandmother and has been passed down through the generations, giving all of us some pretty incredible chai.  While I am obviously biased I really do believe our masala is what makes our chai so special.  The chai masala is a delicious blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.  All of the spices add a delicious warmth to the chai, and the black pepper and ginger add a subtle heat as well.   We have a specific ratio that we follow to make the spice blend, but feel free to adjust it as you deem fit.  If you’d like less burn, decrease the black pepper, if you love cardamom, bump that up.  The recipe is a great guideline, but feel free to change it as the seasons and your mood change!

Warning–Nerdy science note:  The flavors that make spices taste delicious are all aromatic compounds.  Aromatic compounds are made of molecules that contain a structure known as a benzene ring, meaning they dissolve best in alcohols or fats.  You may have notices this when making drinks, that adding a twist of lemon to a martini adds significantly more flavor in a shorter amount of time than adding a twist of flavor to a glass of water.  Similarly, if you make this chai with a non-fat milk, you won’t extract as many flavors from the spices as if you make it with a milk that has some fat.  So do your spices a flavor, and don’t make this with skim milk.  Nerdy science note done.

Making the Chai

There are many ways to make chai.  Some start by boiling ingredients sequentially, and others have strict rules about only stirring the chai 3 times in clockwise circles.  The way that my family makes chai is relatively straightforward.  We dump all the ingredients in the pot and let it come to a slow boil until it turns a beautiful, rich color.  We use loose leaf tea, so it is necessary to strain the tea once it is fully cooked (having a spouted pot will really help decrease spills).  Strain the tea, sit back, and enjoy.


How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 5 minutes Yield: 1 eight oz serving of chai, makes about 3 cups of masala

Delicious, authentic chai, passed down from my great-great grandmother. Spicy and sweet and absolutely wonderful!

You’ll Need…

  • For the chai:
  • 1/2 cup milk (not skim milk, see nerdy science note above)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 1 tsp. loose tea leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chai masala depending on your spice preference, see recipe below
  • For the chai masala:
  • **Please see additional notes below before proceeding regarding the total amount to make as well as the amount of black pepper**
  • 160 g. whole black peppercorn (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 cup + 7 Tbsp)
  • 125 g. whole dried ginger or ginger powder(Volume: 1 cup + 8 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. cinnamon sticks (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. whole cardamom seeds (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. whole cloves (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. nutmeg (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)


  1. For the chai:
  2. Pour all ingredients into a (preferably spouted) saucepan. Place over medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the milk. Stir the chai, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Bring to a boil once again, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Strain carefully into a cup, and serve.
  3. For the chai masala:
  4. If you are using whole spices, weigh out the appropriate amount, place in spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Mix all the spices together, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry part of your kitchen. Do not expose to too much sunlight.

Additional Notes

The recipe was passed down in grams, I’ve tried to convert it into conventional measurements, but please be aware that the conventional measurements are of the finely ground not the whole spices. Please note, you will get best results if you weigh the spices, it’s most accurate. 

The masala recipe makes a LOT of masala. Feel free to make 1/5 of the recipe, that’s the easiest number to divide if you have an accurate scale. 

Some have said that the recipe is a bit spicy for them. For those of you who are finding the recipe a bit too spicy, feel free to decrease the black pepper. Perhaps start by cutting the amount in half (80g) and then making a cup, if you can think you can tolerate more black pepper start adding in 10 additional grams of black pepper until you get to your perfect spice level!

Homemade Coconut Chai Tea Latte

Homemade Coconut Chai Tea Latte

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay



  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 2 -inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced, optional
  • 6 black tea bags
  • 1 cup whole or 2-percent milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened regular or low fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup loosely packed light brown muscovado sugar

Directions ~



    Lightly crush the peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, and put in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger, if using. Add 6 cups cold water to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Let them steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, and let steep another 10 minutes.Put the milks and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to simmer. Strain the tea mixture into the milk mixture and heat through for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until frothy. Pour the tea into 4 mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Show: Brunch @ Bobby’s










Although I’m posting this version (because it’s all things good – Bobby Flay, chai tea AND coconut)…I’ve gotta say, I’m lucky to have Vietnamese friends/ spa people, who make their Chai Tea & bring it in to spa all the time; And SHARE! 😀

They do dispute over who makes it better; I’ll take any.








How to make sun tea


Read & believe what you will…i personally have been enjoying sun tea for over 40 years…with NO problems. ..of any kind.
It is my drink of choice ♡






Lou Murray's Green World

There are so many different ways to save energy. Making sun tea is just one of them. Frankly, I think it tastes better too.

It couldn’t be easier.

Find a nice lidded quart container, like a glass canning jar. I use antique blue Ball jars that I inherited from my grandmother. I suspect these jars date back to the 1930s.

Place two tea bags normally used to make one cup of hot tea into a quart of water at room temperature..

Fill the jar with room temperature tap water. If you want to take out the organics and chlorine, you can use water that has been through a Brita filter. Not necessary, but again, I think it tastes better. Add two tea bags. Let the jar sit for a couple of hours. It doesn’t have to be in the sun at all. I love the way the afternoon sun filters through the blue jars, so I set mine on the windowsill.

After about two hours, you have tea.

You can pour…

View original post 284 more words

Orange & Rosemary Shortbread Cookies!


One of my favorite times and places is right outside on the patio with English Breakfast Tea and Orange shortbread cookies 😀

at anytime; not just for breakfast or brunch.
Here’s an easy recipe for delicious delightful shortbread cookies that go perfectly with tea.

Orange Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

– 1 cup of flour
– 1/2 stick of butter
– 3 tablespoons of honey
– zest of 1 orange
– 3 tsp of fresh rosemary chopped up (or sub 2 tsp of dried)
– pinch of salt

1. Crumb the flour, salt, butter, rosemary, honey and orange zest together until you’ve got a nice wet sand consistency.
2. Work it into a dough
3. Chill it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes until it’s firm enough to roll out
4. Roll it out to about 1/4″ thick and punch out into your desired shape
5. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.

adapted from Jason’s Bites

Furthermore ~
“But anywho, thought I’d share the recipe for my orange and rosemary shortbread cookies today! There is nothing simpler than shortbread cookies, and when you use quality ingredients, you really don’t have to feel bad about eating a whole bunch of them in a sitting with a good cuppa tea!
PS. If you’re looking for a good butter, Kerrygold is an amazing brand that is grassfed and found at Costco so you can buy like… lots and lots and lots and lots and feel like you’ve done some good” 😉
via Jason’s Bites




A zen bed & breakfast in Tucson is the only place better?










Or this…→ lemony cookies with Sun tea 😉

Lemon Poppyseed Tea Cookies  ~


At the above link #YUMM


Jason's Bites


One of the questions I get asked the most often is “How on earth do you watch so many cooking shows Jason?! Seriously!” and I really don’t know the answer to that! I mean, lets just quickly go through a list of the shows I enjoy watching religiously:

– anything Nigella freaking Lawson related (Express, Kitchen, Nigellissima, Bites, Christmas, etc)

– anything Jamie Oliver related (especially 15/30 minute meals)

– Masterchef Australia (my everything! PS. Team Daniel and Lynton!)

– anything Chuck Hughes, Anna Olson, Michael Smith

– French Food at Home w/ Laura Calder

……. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

However, I’ve most recently been obsessed with the Great British Bake Off which leads into the whole point of this post. I’ve been baking non stop for the past two weeks. It is RIDICULOUS the amount of random things I’ve made! Cookies, tarts, cakes, and I…

View original post 275 more words