Homemade Vanilla Chai

This chai can be served hot, with steamed milk, or cold, over ice.

Homemade Vanilla Chai

Homemade Vanilla Chai


  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 knob ginger 1 1/2 inches long
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed or fennel seeds
  • 10 whole allspice
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 cloves
  • 1/4 cup black tea leaves
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup honey


  1. Place water and milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to lowest setting. (Mixture should not even be simmering.)
  2. Crush the cardamom pods to release the seeds and add both the pods and seeds to the pot. Peel ginger, slice thinly and add to pot. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a paring knife, scrape seeds into pot, then add vanilla bean to pot as well. Add aniseed or fennel, allspice, nutmeg, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves and tea. Let spices steep for 15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the honey. Taste. Add more honey 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture reaches desired sweetness. (Mixture can always be adjusted later with more milk or honey.)
  3. Place a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl. Pour mixture through strainer, pressing spices against the mesh to release all of the liquid. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. For hot chai tea, heat 1/2 cup chai with 1/2 cup milk in saucepan or microwave until simmering. For iced chai, pour 1/2 cup chai and 1/2 cup milk into ice-filled glass. Taste, and add more milk, chai or honey if necessary.
  5. Serves 16


For a chai latte - Place 1/2 cup milk in the carafe of a Nespresso Aeroccino and froth. Place 1/2 cup chai in mug (or pot) and heat in the microwave (or stovetop) until simmering. Spoon frothed milk onto hot chai and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

For step-by-step instructions for this recipe and more, visit Alexandra's Kitchen.


Author: Alexandra's Kitchen

Recipe and photo courtesy Alexandra's Kitchen.

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