chai tea concentrate

YOU GUYS.  i just made this chai tea concentrate and it turned out AMAZING! and that is saying something because i am a total starbucks snob and have yet to taste a chai that could compare to the one from the ‘bucks.  not even the tazo concentrate or packets you can buy in the stores.  gosh, i hate paying $3+ (and i only get a tall!) not to mention the artificial ingredients they use.  i came across this recipe thanks to the ever-fabulous pinterest and decided to give it a shot.  i was skeptical, but the ingredients list made sense and sounded like it could really be tasty.  and since i’m sticking to my personal rule of “no pumpkin spice latte until october 1st,” i was feeling the need for a spicy Fall drink.

ohmygoodness, it’s DELICIOUS!  no more $3 chai lattes for me!  and i’m thrilled because i know exactly what ingredients went into it, plus it was super inexpensive and quick to make!

spiced chai concentrate

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 stick cinnamon*
  • 1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped*
  • 7 whole cardamom pods*
  • 2 whole star anise pods*
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (i left this out – seemed a bit much to me)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (i just used the jar stuff i already had on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (i can definitely taste the hint of orange in my finished product, so if you’re not into that flavor, i’d recommend leaving this part out.  i happen to like it.)
  • 10 bags of black tea
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

prepare/combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside.  put the water on to boil.  while waiting for the water to boil, combine the brown sugar, honey and vanilla in another bowl (maybe one with a spout for easier transfer to a bottle once it’s made).

once the water is boiling, remove from heat and add the tea bags and spices.  give it a little stir to mix them all around and then let sit/steep for 15-20 minutes.  i definitely did 20 minutes because i like strong chai. 

after steeping is done, strain the mixture into the bowl with the sugar/honey/vanilla.  (you can toss the tea bags and spices.) stir until all is dissolved.  transfer to a bottle and store in the fridge!  or, make a mug of it right away, like i did.  a general guideline is: mix equal parts concentrate and milk.  i personally like more concentrate than milk.  but that’s the beauty of having your own recipe – you can make it however YOU like it! 

*i found the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods in the bulk spice section at sprouts, so i was able to just buy what i needed for like, $0.25.  i already had whole cloves, but you can also get those in the same section.  the ginger i found in the produce section at sprouts.  the star anise pods were a bit harder to track down.  i eventually found them at Whole Foods and went ahead and bought a whole jar for $5.  as skeptical as i was about the recipe working, i didn’t want to spend $3 for the smaller package of 4 pods and then love it and have to spend more.  so i spent the extra money up front and bought the jar that had like 20 pods.  seemed smarter to me.  plus, my mom reminded me, if i hated it, i could always use the anise pods to decorate for fall since they’re so pretty!  haha.  (i’ve also heard that oriental markets often sell spices like these for super cheap too)

happy fall!

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