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Homemade Spiced Chai Tea and Chai Latte Recipe

Yes, the weather has broken and I’m sweating bullets. At least in Atlanta. I left D.C . yesterday with a chill and absolutely perfect spring morning, kissing our noses with 45 degrees. The sun was just right. The trees were swinging, trying to find their pattern and those same roses I spoke of last week, are still looking for their consistent source of vitamins to bloom.

My mornings in D.C. were made up of sitting on the deck, admiring the dewy mint leaves in our backyard, frosty evergreen pines in our front, and saturated weeping willow stems that gently dropped condensation pellets on our feet. Most mornings anyway. There were only 3 days I recall where I felt I was back South bearing 9,500 pollen count and 85 degrees by 10:30 am.

I don’t like to live that way.

(our Weeping Willow in our backyard seeping into our deck–view from the kitchen)

My mornings are a sacred ritual. I get up, say my prayers, do my girly things, kiss my parents, make Cuban espresso — enjoyed as a double shot or café con leche — and make my way to this laptop for the slew of emails that are wating– mostly shoe sales.

The temperature can never be too hot to enjoy a blistering hot cup of espresso. You’d have to show me some scientific research indicating that it creates some chemical imbalance in the body. Since that’s not ever been a topic of concern for any real coffee drinker, let’s just stop right there.

While I never take a break from my espresso (unless I get the flu, in which case the first thing to go is my prized beverage), I do get excited about drinking Chai tea. Oh my. I remember working full-time in D.C. and escaping my miserable office to sip on 16 ounces of the best chai in the city. In fact, it’s the best chai I’ve had to date. Firehook. Yes, that was the name of the coffee shop.

Some time ago, I started playing around with making my own tea. I’m just not keen on dropping $4 at swanky casual beverage houses. Plus, with most things made from scratch, you’re always in control of the ingredients you use to make the special something. And more often than not, if you know what you’re doing, it’s better.

I found a few recipes online, but knew my base was going to be a black tea — a Darjeeling I found in Manhattan last year. I took those loose leaves and boiled it to the potency I wanted. I steeped and let it sit.

I then added my potpourri of spices: black pepper, cinnamon bark, cloves, ginger, cardamom and a few other goodies. Becuase I like mine really picante! I boiled all of those beautifully scented flavors,  added to my steeped tea, blended it all together vey well and let the marriage warm to a bliss happy.

Of course, you have to strain the mixture, but you’ll end up with a lovely cup of spicy, bold and exotic tea that acts as a fantastic break from other morning drinks.

You could take delight and make this a latte using a delicious soy milk or cream that satisfies you. I prefer frothy whole milk. And, I opt for raw sugar or honey to sweeten it.

Heavenly. Really.

Now, if only this weather weren’t so darn ridiculously imposing, I may make it more often. As with a lot of things, D.C. is better suited for this kind of enjoyment. At least in my fairytale life. For now, I’ll resort to enjoying it there or on colder days in the South — closer to October.

I guess I should have done this post last week!

Enjoy, lovelies!

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp. loose leaf black or Darjeeling tea
  • 1 cup milk, steamed (or creamer)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1.5 Tbsp. black pepper or peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. groung ginger
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar or honey


In medium bowl, bring tea to boil for about 2-3 minutes. Strain and let steep. In same bowl, boil all spices for about 3-4 minutes. Add spice mixture to steeped tea. Blend well. Strain and transfer to tea pot. Let steep and blend well for a few more minutes.  Sweeten with sugar or honey. Add milk as desired for a latte. Blend that well, too. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.

Yields 6 cups.

69 thoughts on “Homemade Spiced Chai Tea and Chai Latte Recipe

  1. love, Love, LOVE Chai Tea, whether its hot or cold!!!! Definitely will be making this recipe soon…….even tho it’s hotter here in Fl than it is in the ATL or D.C. It’s always a good time to have a Chai treat!!! :o)

  2. I love, love, love Chai! My son’s Nanny (segunda Abuela really) is from Pakistan and she makes it every afternoon when I go pick the boy up. Best part of my day 🙂 She makes it with evaporated milk. Un besote.

  3. “I get up, say my prayers, do my girly things, kiss my parents, make Cuban espresso…” So sweet! This tea seems yummy. I’m not usually a fan of tea but this one seems to have so many flavors. I love cinnamon so it works for me! And I love the cup 🙂

  4. Jon E: I’ll make you some anytime! Just say the word!

    CJ: Oh, it’s so easy! No need to always buy the retail stuff! 🙂

    Rosa: So warm out but it never hurts to enjoy a really good drink, right! hugs to you!

    Maelys: I’m glad you feel the same way as I do!

    Helena: Me too!!! I’m thinking I’m the only one in my family that does! It’s so good! I can only imagine how good it must be in India, Pakistan and other parts of Asia.

    Aly: My kind of girl! Glad it gave you some pep!!

    Sujeiry: 🙂 🙂 Thanks. It’s all true. The tea is good. Hot or cold, but preferably hot for me! The cup came from a lovely young lady that makes them with Haikus!

  5. How I love this spicy chai latte! There was a time in my life when I used to have two of those every day. Chai is so warming and comforting. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I love me some coffee. I agree with you that it’s never too hot to have some cafe in the morning. Chai tea is also good but I normally don’t make it at home. My church has a coffee shop inside and they serve the best chai tea latte with vanilla soy milk. I’ve gone to every coffee shop in town and they can’t recreate it. Have to say, some Sundays I don’t only go to hear the message. LOL 🙂

  7. wow, I love your pictures and recipes so much! there is no way to not to smell and taste the chai latte at every word and pic. beautiful post! I love chai latte, it is my favorite 🙂

  8. Peru Delights: Thanks! I love it, too. So good. I tweaked it some before I finally settled on it.

    Justice Jonsie: Funny stuff! Going to church {for drinks!}

    Ericka: Sure would. I’d take it with ice today. It’s so hot here! 🙁

    Eliana: Thanks!! 🙂 I’m glad you can smell it. It really is really musky.

    Comiendo en LA: Yup! Gracias por el pin.

    Sasha: I’m so glad all of you love it. It’s way chillier there in SF than here in Atlanta, so it’s far more appropriate for you! Make it.

  9. When a friend made me her version of chai tea last year, I was smitten. It’s not something that I drink often (especially in the summer unless it’s on ice), but it’s delicious. Her’s was strong with cardamom and thinned with almond milk, so the flavor was slightly nutty. Love your’s with the ginger!

  10. love chai tea too. I had my first chai masala in Varanasi, India where they serve them in single use clay cups.


    But I can’t have caffeine… so I’ve also created a recipe without the black tea. I actually prefer it with condensed milk so I don;t have to sweeten it afterwards and tastes as sweet as teh versions in India.


  11. I love the exotic atmosphere your recipe evokes….makes me think of spice ships traveling from the Far East. Love the ingredients, can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  12. Presley’s Pantry: Yes, girl, we are! Yay

    Ruby DW: Si, pls, pls do! 🙂 Esta riquisimo.

    The Duo Dishes: Smitten is the right word. I should have posted this last week when the temp dropped last week but I’ve been craving some. I’m loving the sound of almond milk with it.

    KarmaFree Cooking: ooh wee you had yours in India– perfect! And in a clay cup, no less. Thanks for sharing your versions.

    Silvia: I love how you describe what you feel when you read it. It’s so appropriate!

  13. Good looking chai. I can smell it! I’ve never had it as latte but I’m guess I’d love it. Thanks for the recipe. Sure beats buying a $4 cup at Starbucks!

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