Indulge in a steaming cup of tea made with your very own homemade chai concentrate. This delightful concentrate is created by brewing Indian black tea with whole spices and is perfect for storing. Preparing it is a breeze, and you can keep it fresh in your refrigerator or freezer.
On chilly days, mix it with warm milk to create a delicious chai latte, while in the scorching heat of summer, you can cool down with a refreshing glass of iced chai tea by adding cold milk and ice cubes.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Customizable: This chai concentrate recipe is fully customizable so that you can adjust the sweetness, spiciness, and other flavors to your liking.
- Versatile: It can be used to make traditional chai tea, chai lattes, or as a base for other chai-flavored beverages and cocktails.
- Convenient: Homemade chai concentrate is a convenient option as it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
The ingredients are similar to masala chai, except there is no milk used at this stage.
Black tea: Assam tea is the most common variety. There are several brands of Indian tea that are easily available in any Indian grocery store or online store.
Whole spices: The spices I use are cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, clove, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns. I also use fresh ginger.
Sweetener: Sugar is the most common sweetener used. Other sweeteners that can be used are maple syrup and brown sugar.
Step 1: In a mortar pestle, add star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Crush them lightly.
Step 2: Take the crushed spice mixture and ginger in a saucepan and add 5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add black tea powder and sugar.
Step 5: Let the tea steep for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Strain the tea concentrate by passing it through a sieve.
How to use chai concentrate
The most common ratio used for chai concentrate-to-milk is 1:1. However, you can adjust this as per your preference. Add more concentrate for a stronger tea flavor and more milk for a subtle tea flavor. Apart from the classic masala chai tea, here are some more easy ways to use this concentrate.
Masala Chai latte: Take equal parts of concentrate and milk. Heat the concentrate until it is warm, and bring milk to a boil. Pour concentrate into a cup and add hot milk. Top it with milk foam and enjoy a hot chai latte.
Vegan chai: Replace regular milk with dairy-free milk. Oat milk and almond milk work well. It is important not to boil vegan milk. Heat it until it is warm. Heat the concentrate until it is warm and add to a serving cup. Top with warm vegan milk, and enjoy.
Iced chai tea latte: Iced latte is a great way of enjoying chai tea in summer. Take ice cubes in a serving glass and add chilled concentrate. Top it with whole milk, and enjoy. Use plant-based milk to make a vegan iced chai latte.
Chai ice cubes: Store the concentrate in ice cube trays. Add chai ice cubes to a glass of cold milk and enjoy it during hot summer days.
Vanilla chai tea: Follow this easy recipe and add one vanilla bean (cut it in half) along with spices and ginger when you are making the concentrate to enjoy a homemade vanilla chai latte.
Pumpkin chai latte: The spices used in this chai concentrate can also be used to make a delicious pumpkin chai latte.
This recipe makes 4 cups of concentrate, which can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator. You can half or double the recipe as needed.
It is best to use whole spices that are crushed lightly to make the concentrate. Powdered spices will not strain fully. Whole spices can be strained easily, and they also give a perfectly balanced flavor to the tea.
Use loose-leaf tea where possible instead of black tea bags. All Indian stores sell many brands of loose Assam tea, which is perfect for making chai.
For every cup of water, use one teaspoon of tea powder. In this recipe, I am using 5 cups of water and 5 teaspoons of Assam tea. If you want to use tea bags, use five black tea bags for this recipe.
This concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Cool it completely before storing it. Also, make sure the bottle or mason jar is clean and dry before storing it.
You can also freeze the concentrate to increase its shelf life. Pour the liquid into ice cube trays and flash freeze. Take them out once they are set and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
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Homemade Chai Concentrate
- In a mortar pestle, add star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Crush them lightly.
- Take the crushed spices and ginger in a saucepan. Add 5 cups of water.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add sugar and tea powder. Let the tea steep for another 4-5 minutes. Do not simmer for too long as this will make the concentrate bitter.
- Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea concentrate by passing it through a sieve.
- Let it cool completely before storing.