Do It Yourself Chai Concentrate

soy-free, gluten-free

I love chai but they are pricey at coffee shops. It’s well worth stocking up on a few spices to make your own, and it’s super easy too. This one is exactly the way I like it, but feel free to add more or less of some spices until it mimics your favorite. If you like a licorice flavor through in one star anise, it will create a big flavor.

*This recipe requires a small 1 – 1.5 quart slow cooker.* (You can double or triple the recipe and use a larger one if you like.)

Do It Yourself Chai Concentrate

  • 6 cups (1500ml) water
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 7 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 10 teabags (black, green, or roobios)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup agave nectar (or other sweetener like maple syrup or sugar, or leave unsweetened if you prefer)

In the morning: If you can’t find cardamom seeds, you can open up cardamom pods and extract them yourself. Put water and spices in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

After cooking: Add in tea bags to the slow cooker and turn to high. Let seep 5 to 10 minutes depending on how concentrated you want the flavor to be. Remove teabags and add sweetener if desired. Take out the cinnamon sticks. Pour into a pitcher while straining out the spices through a piece of cheesecloth places in a funnel to remove the rest of the whole spice. Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.

Yields: About 6 cup (1500ml)
Total Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 5 to 8 hours

Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of the concentrate to an equal amount non-dairy milk. It’s great hot or iced!

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  1. Oh my gosh, thank you for this. We love chai but i cant see paying for those concentrates. I usually just make the tea. I can’t wait to make a big batch of this. thank you!!!

  2. Niiiice. One thing that really bothers me about those concentrates is how they are too darn sweet. This is a nice, adjustable method. Good work!

  3. Fascinating! Won’t this be fun to try–so glad you linked to Food on Fridays!

  4. Awesome, thanks! I’m going to give this a whirl.

  5. Wonderful! I am, by all means, looking for ways to always save a bit of money. Thank you!

  6. Sounds great…I have tried many kinds and can’t find one I really like plus of course they are pricey. This will be great to try over holiday break.

  7. I have all of the ingredients but they are ground rather than whole. Any suggestions?

    • Kathy Hester (geekypoet) says:

      You could give it a go with the ground spices, but they will separate on you.

      I did read an Indian recipe that used ground spices, but I have never done it myself. Please let me know how it goes and good luck!

  8. This was awesome! I didn’t add sweetener to it, instead I added 3 drops of stevia liquid to my cup. I also had to substitute the ginger and cardamon cause I didn’t have any on hand (used pickled ginger and ground cardamon). Next time I will make sure I have all the correct ingredients cause I bet that will make this wonderful concentrate SUPER wonderful! Thank you!

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