I love chai tea, and lately I’ve been drinking it every morning. For some unknown reason, I alternate between craving it and an iced coffee. I like having it at home, and it’s so much cheaper to make your own. You also get to choose the sweetener you want to use and the kind of tea you’d like to use. This recipe is slightly adapted from the one in The Vegan Slow Cooker, but the only change is to use cardamom pods instead of the seeds. Why? I’ve been told they are hard to find and either works!
This week my batch is made with green tea, and I left it unsweetened since I’m using a sweetened vanilla creamer. Last week it was regular tea sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.
Today I’m sharing my chai recipe with preparations for making it on the stove-top or in the slow cooker. Just use the method that fits in best with your day.
I have exact amounts for you in the recipe, but I have to admit that often I throw mine together without measuring. Maybe I’m in the mood for more ginger or a stronger flavor of cardamom. So once you try the recipe, tweak it so it’s perfect for you.
Lately, I’ve been making my chai in my 4th burner pot. You can see a photo of it above. It’s stainless steel, has a basket that’s great to steam asparagus in or to can a super small batch of jam. It’s one of my favorite all-purpose pots.
We won’t use the basket for this recipe, but I had to let you know why I’m charmed by it. The lid is what works its magic with the chai concentrate recipe. There are two sizes of draining holes on the lid. For the chai, I just turn the smaller holes to the front and pour out the concentrate into the pitcher I will keep it in. It’s less to wash up and good use of my 4th burner pot.
You can also make this in your Instant Pot by watching the video above!
Homemade Chai Concentrate
Add the water and all the spices to a pot. (see note 1) Heat over high heat until it just comes to a boil, them turn heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and take off the heat.
Add in the tea bags and let steep 5 to 10 minutes depending on how concentrated you want the flavor to be. Remove tea bags and add sweetener of choice if desired.
Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze in ice cubes for later.
Note 1: If you have a 4th burner pot you can easily strain through the small holes in the lid. Or you can use a normal pot and use a large tea ball or muslin tea bag to hold the spices. You can also just pour the tea through a fine mesh strainer to remove the spices.
Slow Cooker Directions
In the morning: Put water and spices (or spice bag) in your 4 quart slow cooker. You can use a large tea ball or muslin tea bag to make straining easier or you can strain out at the end with a fine mesh strainer. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
After cooking: Add in tea bags to the slow cooker and turn to high. Let steep 5 to 10 minutes depending on how concentrated you want the flavor to be. Remove tea bags and add sweetener if desired. Take out the cinnamon sticks. If you didn't use a spice bag, pour into a pitcher while straining out the spices through a piece of cheesecloth placed in a funnel to remove the rest of the whole spice.
Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. It can be frozen as well.
Instant Pot Directions
For the IP chai you add in the tea bags with everything else (with strings and tags removed.). Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully manually release the pressure. Remove tea bags and add sweetener to taste.
I like to leave the spices in until it cools to infuse more. Then strain and refrigerate