Homemade Chai

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2018 Mar/Apr

What’s often referred to as “chai tea” is more accurately described as “masala chai,” chai meaning tea, and masala the combination of spices used to make it.


  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 4-6 green cardamom pods
  • 4-6 peppercorns
  • 2-4 cloves
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. fennel seeds
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 teabags or 1 T. loose leaf black tea
  • 2 T. brown sugar


Roughly crush the cinnamon stick, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves with the ginger and fennel in a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, crush the cardamom pods with the flat side of a knife, and leave the other spices whole.) Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan, add the ginger and star anise, milk and a cup of water and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 5-10 minutes, then add the teabags and sugar, remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, strain into mugs and serve hot. Serves 2.