I’ve been pinning various online recipes of chai concentrates for MONTHS now, but only finally tried one in January. And all I have to say is WHY?! Why did I wait so goddamn long to make it? It’s easy, and it saves you about $380 Starbucks Chai Lattes. Plus hello, customization! Want it sweeter? More gingery? Less anisey? DIY, bitches.
Speaking of changing up recipes, I had a serious recipe-adaptation fail last night. I’m not sure what happened, exactly, but I went from making really delicious mashed cauliflower, which I’ve made before, to forcing everyone to eat this horribly pungent glob of what tasted pretty much like raw garlic. And that was only with 1.5 cloves added! It was disgusting, and I’m totally bitter that I used up an entire package of frozen cauliflower to make it. And dirtied the food processor.
Anyway, it’s in the fridge, and I’m not sure what to do with the rest.
But back to my obsession with all of the warm and sweet spices! If you have these ingredients on hand (I know, I know, who the hell has cardamom pods and allspice berries in their pantry?!), this is actually a very easy recipe to put together. The hardest part is zesting the orange. And did I mention cheap?? I can’t give you an exact dollar cost (if enough of you ask, though, I’ll price it out), but if you compare the hefty price tag of a 32oz container of Chai Concentrate by Tazo with the $3-4 it costs to make 5-6 cups of this at home? Uhhhh, no-brainer.
Every chai blend is slightly different. Just ask India. I looked around at a bunch of different recipes, and came up with my own version. The bonus? You can choose how sweet (or not) you want it. I always opt for sweeter, so I went with a cup of honey. But I feel slightly better that I was using honey rather than brown sugar. *pats herself on the back* I’m such a hero, aren’t I?
Homemade Chai Concentrate
- 6 cups of water
- 15 black tea bags (organic*, if possible)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped into coins
- 12 pods of green cardamom, smashed open a bit with a mortar & pestle, or the butt of a knife
- 3 whole star anise
- 14 cloves
- 8 allspice berries
- zest from 1/2 an organic* orange (approx. 2 tsp)
- 14 whole pink peppercorns
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 TBS vanilla
- 1/2-1 cup honey, to taste
- Add water and spices to medium-large saucepan, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add tea bags, steeping for another 15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and strain mixture through cheesecloth or a wire mesh strainer, into a large bowl.
- Add vanilla and honey. Stir to combine.
- Allow to cool and then pour mixture into bottles or mason jar, and place in fridge.
To enjoy, mix 1 part chai concentrate with 1 part milk of choice. Enjoy over ice, or warm that sucka up in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can also replace 1/3 cup of whatever milk you use in overnight oats with this concentrate, for pure morning deliciousness. Mixture should last up to 2 weeks, refrigerated**.
*I say organic here because pesticides, dude. Alternately, wash that orange REALLY well, okay?
**As if it will last that long!
Enjoy responsibly! I put 1/2 cup in with a banana-spinach-almond milk-chia smoothie this afternoon and it rocked my world.
Have you ever had a recipe completely flop? Did you try to salvage it? Share in the comments!