August 23, 2011

Spiced Chai Concentrate

Chai

I've had this recipe for homemade spiced chai concentrate bookmarked since January, but I finally got around to making up a batch this morning. The verdict? Delicious. It's easy to make and smells delicious, too. I only made a couple of changes to the recipe, reducing the amount of sugar and ginger to suit my tastes.

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
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
10 bags of black tea
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla

Prepare the spices and the tea, and set aside. Bring the water to a boil, and remove from heat. Add the spices and the tea bags, and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes.

Homemade Chai Concentrate

Strain the mixture into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large bowl, discarding the spices. Add the sugar, honey and the vanilla, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk. Heat for a warm beverage, or pour over ice to enjoy cold.

From TheCatNipCat's recipe on the Tasty Kitchen Blog.

52 comments:

Sherri B. said...

This sounds sooo good and I think I picked up some of those spices when I did one of your Indian recipes!

It's getting close to your wedding, I bet you are getting really excited now!!!! xo

Rachel Beyer said...

Ooh! That looks delicious! You should order labels for it! :)

Jeanna said...

Where did you get the bottle for this? What a fantastic gift idea!!

Lindsay Jewell said...

I bought the bottle at Ikea a couple years ago. They probably still sell them, or you might be able to find something similar at a thrift store. I see them there all the time. :)

Becca said...

Are these family tea bags or the smaller ones?

Monica said...

I felt like this was smell-o-vision and the aromas lit up my home!! Just in time for football and fall weather. Love the bottle. So...if you were to use this to make an adult beverage, what would you use? Thank you and keep 'em coming!!

Jenn said...

I wish there was a way to conveniently print out your recipes. Even though I bookmark them- I can never find it again! Thanks though it looks lovely. Now I just need to go spice shopping...

Lindsay Jewell said...

@Becca - I just used the regular sized black tea bags.

@Monica - Hmm, good question! Kahlua, chocolate liquor, or maybe brandy? If you find something that works, let me know. :)

@Jenn - Haha, yeah. I have that problem with other blogs and their recipes too. Pinterest has been SUPER helpful in that department!

South Main Avenue said...

Do you keep it in the fridge? And how long do you think it will last?

Lindsay Jewell said...

Yes, definitely refrigerate the concentrate. I'll actually edit the post to add that fact. As for how long... a week or two, at least. Perhaps longer, but we usually go through it within a week here, so I've never really had the chance to test its longevity.

In the comments on the source page, someone suggested freezing some of it in an ice cube tray. That sounds like an interesting idea, and would probably last a couple months before losing flavor.

Jill (http:stocktoncrafts.typepad.com) said...

Hi Lindsay... thanks for this...I have always wondered what is in spiced chai!

NB: Jenn: If you get the recipe on your screen so that you can see it, just press 'Prt Sc' button at the top of your keyboard - then open a new Word document or similar, and go to 'edit' then 'paste' - your recipe will appear like a photograph in the Word document, you can then save it in your documents or wherever you want! Just repeat the process if you can't get it all on one page :)x

Michelle Clement said...

Ohmygosh - I *need* to make this!! Any tips for finding cardamom and anise? I'll be stumped if Whole Foods doesn't have em...he he. thanks for sharing this!

stephrudolph said...

Hi Lindsay - thank you SO much for this post! It has gotten me so excited for the cooler months approaching. It was so beautifully photographed too, I had to share it with my readers!
Congratulations on your wedding too!

Jen @ Paisley Print Shoes said...

this looks so delicious! i love chai!

Rachel said...

If you don't have spices available locally, I can highly recomment Penzey's Spices online: http://www.penzeys.com/

Cheap and very good quality.

They opened a brick-and-mortar store in my home town last year. LOVE.

jjmcgaffey said...

I make something like this, but cold-brewed - which takes longer, but extracts more flavor with less bitterness, I think.
I have a sun-tea jar (gallon glass jar with a dispenser on the side); I put in assorted spices (whole spices cracked in a mortar, for strongest flavor) in a big mesh ball (sold as a spice-ball for stews), plus 8 tea bags, and fill it up and leave it on the counter overnight or up to 48 hours. Then I pour the brewed chai into bottles (mine are boring, small Tejava bottles (12 oz) with screwtops) and store them in the fridge. It's usually 8 bottles, and a bit with spices floating in it that gets thrown away.
They keep more than a month - that's as long as they've lasted, so I don't know how long they would keep. I don't sweeten until I'm ready to use a bottle, which helps - sugar feeds molds best. I use agave syrup at the moment - could use malt syrup, or simple syrup, or whatever. It needs to be liquid, though, for easy mixing.
The spices I use are: (amounts approximate)
cinnamon (sticks, 5 inches), cloves (8), allspice (5), cardamom (8 pods), star anise (1-2 stars), dried orange peel (ground, tablespoon), and sometimes fresh ginger buds (my fresh ginger keeps budding on the counter - break off a finger-tip sized bud and squash it slightly in the mortar; I use 2-3 buds).
I mix it about a quarter with milk - I'll have to try it half-and-half, too. I normally heat it but occasionally drink it cold.

Rachel - I'm jealous, though I've got a Penzey's within driving distance (still 20+ miles away, though). Wonderful stuff.
And yes, Whole Foods normally has these spices - look at the little green boxes (I forget the brand name). Though here in northern California, so does Safeway.

jjmcgaffey said...

Oh, I knew I'd forgotten one of the spices! Nutmeg - half a nut, cracked in the mortar (I keep half-nuts after I've fresh-ground some for another recipe). Hmmm, I'll have to try it with a few peppercorns as well.

Erin said...

I would seriously hug you if I could for sharing such a brilliant idea!

SumofMind said...

This is amazing. I might have read over it, but how long can the concentrate be preserved?

Lindsay Jewell said...

SumofMind - I'm not really sure. I've had it last two weeks in my refrigerator without any problem, but I've never had the opportunity to test longer durations because we tend to drink it so fast.

I imagine it's about the same as keeping sweetened iced tea in the refrigerator, which is only supposed to last for 5-7 days.

April May Junior said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aprilmayjunior said...

Ah! Will try recipe this weekend. Hope mine comes out tasty because you are right, chai can be so expensive!

Mrs. Jane Doe said...

I just tried the recipe and I can´t even start to describe how amazing it tastes. I love chai tea and this one is just perfect. Thank you!

hugs from argentina!

Miss Kate said...

Oh wow! Thank you for sharing this recipe; I can't wait to try it. I also fall back in love with chai as the temperatures begin to dip. Do you think this recipe would translate well as an unsweetened variety?

Kate

Lindsay Jewell said...

Kate - it might! Only one way to know for sure. :)

Rebecca Runyon said...

I just made this and it's wonderful! Just wondered, can you double/triple the water with the same amount of spices? Or do you need to double those too? Thanks for sharing!

Lindsay Jewell said...

Hi Rebecca,

I've tried it, and it kind of works (the spices come through a bit weaker), but you'll want to alter the number of tea bags, sugar and honey.

Marieke said...

@Monica - Irish Cream works really well with chai, especially when it's in concentrate form like this recipe. Just sub some of the milk with the Cream.

Monica said...

@Marieke, thanks. Will definitely try this!!

tracylee said...

Thanks so much for this recipe! We bought a big box of decaf black tea for the same price as a single chai at the coffee shop. I also can never find decaf chai, so it's awesome to make it at home! Making my second batch of concentrate now.

Ruth @ Hammer and Thread said...

This is so delicious. I'm so excited that it is finally cooling down here in Texas. This is totally my new winter drink.

Becky @ the Mixing Bowl Diary said...

this is going to be a hit at my house for sure. i think i will make some of this up for Christmas presents also!!! love this recipe. thanks!!!

misplaced.hoosier said...

I was unable to find cardamom pods or star anise and I noticed someone recommended Penzey's Spice website...however, when I look up Cardamom pods, there are three different colors! Which one do I want?

Lindsay Jewell said...

Hi Misplaced,

I use the green ones. :)

Lindsay

misplaced.hoosier said...

Thanks for the quick response! I'm ordering now! Can't wait to try this! I have all the other ingredients. I buy Chai concentrate for my tea every morning..and it adds up!

Lindsey said...

found this on pinterest and just made it - soooo delicious! this will definitely be a staple for me, thanks!

Jamie R said...

I also found this on pinterest and will be making it soon! I can't wait!

I couldn't find the cardamom pods at the store though. I looked at 2 places. Is there a replacement ingredient for it, or would it be okay to just not include it?

Thanks for the post! Can't wait to make it!

Lindsay Jewell said...

Hi Jamie. Yeah, I think you could leave the cardamom out and still come up with something really tasty, but it might be worth your time to buy it from the internet (Penzey's or Amazon, perhaps). I'm a huge fan of cardamom, myself, and would really miss the taste and aroma if I didn't have it.

Hope that helps! :)

Anonymous said...

Really like the glass bottle is that a 32oz. grolsch style Ez cap? where did you get it? Thanks, Brian

Lindsay Jewell said...

Hi Brian,

It's a SLOM bottle with stopper from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50108908/

Hope that helps!

Lindsay

nic said...

thank you so much for sharing!

i tried it myself and i really love it...

http://luziapimpinella.blogspot.com/2012/01/chai-love.html

nic

Anonymous said...

Hi! I loved this, it was delicious, my only request was that it be a bit more spicy. I like my chai spicy so just the one cinnamon stick I thought wasn't enough, but then I added a second whole stick to the actual jar that I have stored in my refrigerator but I feel like it still could use more spice! Any suggestions?

Thanks for sharing!!! Beautiful recipe and pictures!!

Anonymous said...

I love chai tea. I buy a condensed bottled one from Azure standard, but would like to make mine with red tea since I have a sensitivity to caffeine. Thanks so much for the recipe. You can also fine the spices from Azure standard. But your source is probably good. The condensed bottled chai that I get keeps for several months. It is sweetened. I don't know if that would give you an indication of how this would also keep or not. I would think that it would keep very well. Cheryl

Yivinns said...

Hi Lindsay, I found your delicious recipe through Pinterest, and I'm so glad I did! I made this for my husband and me last week, and we both loved it! Thank you for posting this great find. :)

Yvonne

CraftsOnABudget said...

Oh, I can't wait to try this!

Monica, no idea how to tag you in this comment, but I always enjoyed having Hot Damn! in my hot chai tea. It's a cinnamon alcohol, which is a good compliment to the chai. Hope this helps. :D

Gretchen said...

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe I've made it twice- tweaked it a tiny bit to suit my tastes and it's brilliant. So much nicer than the chai I've bought or made before. Thanks again
Gretchen

SheyB said...

Wondering how similar this tastes to Starbucks' Chai? Their's is the only Chai I like... super spicy. Just wanted to check. :) shealynn@gmail.com

Thanks!

Lindsay Jewel said...

Hi Shey - It's pretty similar, but it also just depends on the spices you use. :)

Melinda said...

Found you through Erica's blog! Can't wait to try this out!

GingerInk said...

My daughter introduced me to Starbucks' chai by way of a "double-white chocolate chai latte" which is totally fabulous. I've been making my own version at home by opening up the "spiced chai" tea bag and adding a quarter-teaspoon of ground cardamom and almost that much ground ginger...then adding the white chocolate syrup and cream after steeping the tea. It's a hassle, but so good. I'll be interested to try this chai concentrate. Thanks for the recipe!

Crystal said...

My daughter just sent this to me today and I had everything to make it. It's wonderful!! Much better than any others I've tried! I'm so glad I have your recipe - it's going on my 'to share' for Christmas list. And I pinned it too :)

Sara Sears said...

I just made this Chai and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Thank you so much for the recipe! I did a second brew with the spices and tea bags (I usually brew my tea bag twice anyway)with less water the second time. It still works, just a little less spicy, like you mentioned. Also, I didnt toss out the spices even after 2nd brew. I added a full pot of water to the spices and let it simmer away on the stove. It made my house smell divine :)