Indian Spiced Chai Tea

In January of 2008, I spent three weeks in Pune, India on a study abroad trip and one of the things I have missed most from my trip is the chai tea. Everywhere you went you were offered a small cup of this warm, creamy, delicious drink and nothing you can buy at Starbucks or any coffee shop really compares. I've been scouring the internet for different takes on homemade chai and created an adaptation of them all that comes pretty close to what I've been missing so much.

At Home Indian Chai Tea

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 inch stem of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp Darjeeling Tea (or other black tea) leaves (about 3 tea bags)
  • 1 cup milk (the richer, the better)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (or more if desired)
  • Vanilla extract, chocolate syrups, coffee flavorings, etc. (optional)


1. Put water, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger into a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the tea and allow to infuse for recommended brewing time (usually 3-5 minutes).
4. Remove tea and spices.
5. Add milk and heat on high until just about to boil. Then reduce heat, and add sugar and any additional syrups, extracts, or flavorings (though these extras will sacrifice the authentic Indian-ness of the tea - but in all honesty, I added a little cinnamon).
6. Give a stir and serve warm or chilled! (Makes about 2 cups)

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