Almost Instant Chai

By • September 7, 2013 5 Comments

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Author Notes: This is the perfect blend of warming spices for a cup of spicy, sweet chai. The dried orange peel is hardly an authentic chai ingredient, but I love the little citrus kick it gives. Brew a cup of this to combat a chilly autumn day, a head cold, or the blues. You'll feel almost instantly better.petitbleu

Makes about 3/4 cup

Chai Masala

  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper (about 1/3 cup peppercorns)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (about four 5-inch cinnamon sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cardamom (about 1/4 cup whole green cardamom pods)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves (about 18 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg (about 1 whole nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried orange peel, optional
  1. Grind each spice individually in a spice or coffee grinder. Be sure to grind them as finely as possible to avoid chunks of whole spices in your tea.
  2. Sift each spice with a fine-mesh sifter and return any large pieces of spices to the grinder to powder them further.
  3. Combine the ground spices in a bowl and store in an airtight jar or container.


  • 1/2 teaspoon chai masala, above
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (coconut milk is especially nice)
  • 2 teaspoons black tea, such as Ceylon or Assam
  • Sweetener to taste
  1. Bring the water, milk, masala, and tea to a slow simmer. Cover and remove from the heat. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain carefully into a cup and sweeten to taste.

More Great Recipes: Breakfast & Brunch|Booze-Free Drinks|Coconut|Breakfast

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Comments (5) Questions (0)


3 months ago Deborah M Vera Fausset

Thank You, that was very helpful.


3 months ago M Jacob

This is a wonderful blend, but after reducing the black pepper by half I also had to practically double the cinnamon (I used Vietnamese) to counter the heat from the ginger and cardamom upon testing this.

Thus, I would use equal parts black pepper and cardomom (2 slightly rounded T of each, ground), 1/4 cup cinammon, along with the other spices in the amounts listed above.

In addition, I brewed a strong, black tea with the spice mixture BEFORE adding milk. This seemed to allow for optimal steeping.


3 months ago Deborah M Vera Fausset

How much pepper do one of you recommend, since it was too much?


8 months ago Bob

This is awful. I just wasted so many beautiful spices making this. I went against my better judgement thinking "this has too much pepper" but added the amount called for anyway. It needs less pepper and more of the other spices. So disappointing. I'm now going to attempt to salvage this catastrophe......


over 1 year ago Kt4

WAAYY too much pepper for me. Other than that, the chai came together quite nicely. I need to get an orange so I can try it that way too. I also like to add vanilla with a touch of sugar. Congratulations on your well deserved Community Pick!