This homemade Chai Concentrate recipe features simple chai ingredients like tea, spices, and brown sugar. Follow my quick and easy method, then make all your favorite iced and hot chai drinks at home!

a bottle of homemade chai concentrate plus brown sugar and spices


The Best Chai Concentrate Recipe

This homemade Chai Concentrate recipe is so easy to make, plus it’s perfectly spiced = downright delicious! Just steep a pot of tea and combine it with a simple chai spice mixture and a little brown sugar. Then store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. A single recipe gives you enough to make at least six hot or cold chai drinks, and it’s super easy to double or triple the amount. We think this tastes just as good as, if not better than, Starbucks!

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Chai Concentrate

Our daughters regularly order an iced chai latte at coffee shops, and I like a dirty chai every now and then. So this simple recipe has become a quick favorite around here. We hope you love it as much as we do!

  • Easy to make. This recipe comes together quickly and easily, in the comfort of your pajamas without leaving home! Plus it’s easy to double or triple the recipe.
  • Costs less. Those chai drinks from the coffee shop aren’t cheap. This homemade concentrate is much more cost effective, allowing us to enjoy hot and cold chai drinks more often.
  • Tastes like Starbucks! We’ve tried a number of purchased and homemade chai concentrates, and they just don’t have the depth of flavor we’re used to with Starbucks chai drinks. So our daughters and I set out on a mission to create a chai concentrate with bold flavor, like Starbucks. And we all agree, this homemade chai concentrate is the best Starbucks copycat – SO GOOD!!
ingredients to make chai concentrate

Ingredients Needed

When it comes to chai ingredients, it’s really very simple! Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.

  • Water – For steeping the tea.
  • Chai tea – I like to use a loose leaf black tea with chai spices for even more flavor, but you could use a plain black tea if desired. You could also use tea bags instead of loose leaf tea.
  • Brown sugar – I like to use dark brown sugar for richer flavor, but light brown sugar is great too.
  • Chai spice mix – The perfect mix of chai flavors consists of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and a touch of black pepper. I also add a beautiful vanilla bean powder – but you could just add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the finished chai concentrate if you prefer, or eliminate it entirely.

What Kind of Tea is Best to Use?

When making chai concentrate, it’s best to use black tea because it’s strong enough to hold up to the spices. Plus it offers a good amount of caffeine, which is perfect for a morning pick-me-up.

I use loose leaf black teas that incorporate chai flavors for the most spiced tea flavor. You could also use plain black tea leaves, such as English Breakfast.

Other teas, such as herbal teas and green tea, are not recommended when it comes to chai. They simply aren’t strong enough to hold up to spices.

How To Make Homemade Chai Concentrate

Just steep some tea and combine it with chai spices and a bit of sweetener. That about sums it up! Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Steep the tea. Place the loose leaf tea into the strainer of a teapot (or use tea bags). Bring water to a boil and pour it into the teapot. If you don’t have a teapot, simply bring water to a boil in a saucepan, remove pan from heat, and add the tea wrapped tightly in cheesecloth (or use tea bags). Steep for 25 minutes. 
  • Add flavorings. Add the brown sugar and chai spice mix to a large mason jar. 
  • Finish. Pour tea into the jar and whisk to combine. Allow the chai concentrate to cool to room temperature, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge until ready to use.
homemade chai concentrate in a clear pot

Tips & Variations

I’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation, sharing the perfect combination of flavors with this chai concentrate recipe – but here are a few simple tips and variations:

  • Use black tea. Don’t be tempted to use anything other than black tea when making chai. Black tea is bold enough to hold up to the spices and provides just the right balance of chai flavors.
  • Shake! Always shake or whisk the concentrate right before adding it to your favorite chai drinks, as the spices will settle.
  • Double the recipe. If you’re a super fan of chai, just double or triple this chai concentrate recipe – for even more chai drinks, with less prep time!
  • Use a different sweetener. Classic chai drinks incorporate a sweetener to balance the spices and any bitterness. But you can use whatever sweetener you like, such as honey, granulated sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup. Or stir brown sugar syrup or cinnamon simple syrup into individual drinks. Just keep in mind that they all have different levels of sweetness, so you’ll want to adjust amounts accordingly.
  • Adjust the spice. If you like a spicy tea, add more ginger, cinnamon, and/or black pepper. If you’d like to tone down the spice, just use less of any of these ingredients. If you like anise, add a whole anise star to the loose leaf tea while the tea is steeping.
  • Gift it! Make a chai concentrate kit for those who like chai. Simply add the brown sugar and spices to a large mason jar, then place the loose leaf tea or tea bags into a ziploc bag. Include a copy of this recipe (or just text the link) and gift to the chai lovers in your life!
adding chai concentrate to a mug

Ways To Use Chai Concentrate

It’s easy to make your favorite iced and hot chai drinks at home with this chai concentrate recipe. I’ll soon be sharing recipes for an iced chai latte and dirty chai latte (with espresso). But in the meantime, use this chai concentrate to make a simple chai latte!

How to Make a Hot Chai Latte

My favorite way to enjoy a hot chai latte is to combine 1/2 cup chai concentrate with 3/4 cup whole milk (we also like to use Chobani Oat Milk “extra creamy” – you can also use any milk that you personally like) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Or heat in a large mug in the microwave until simmering. ENJOY!

Making hot chai tea with a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to milk is most common, but not an absolute. Feel free to use more milk (as we do) for a more subtle flavor or more concentrate for a stronger flavor.

a bottle of homemade chai concentrate plus brown sugar and spices

How to Store

Once the chai concentrate has cooled to room temperature, add a tight-fitting lid to the jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

If you won’t use all the concentrate within 2 weeks, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then use the chai ice cubes in iced chai lattes!

More Favorite Drink Recipes:

a bottle of homemade chai concentrate plus brown sugar and spices

Chai Concentrate

Yield: 3 cups
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 25 minutes
total time: 55 minutes
This homemade Chai Concentrate recipe features simple chai ingredients like tea, spices, and brown sugar. Follow my quick and easy method, then make all your favorite iced and hot chai drinks at home!
5 Stars (2 Reviews)
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Ingredients

For the Chai Concentrate (enough for at least 6 drinks)

  • tablespoons loose chai tea
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chai spice mix below

For the Chai Spice Mix (enough for 3 jars of chai concentrate)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • big pinch ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder see Notes

Instructions

  • For the chai concentrate: Place the loose leaf tea into the strainer of a teapot (or use tea bags). If you don’t have a teapot, just use a saucepan on the stovetop.
  • Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil, then pour the water into the teapot. Or add water to the saucepan and bring to a boil – then remove pan from heat and add the tea wrapped tightly in cheesecloth (or use tea bags).
  • Let tea steep at room temperature for 25 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, add the brown sugar and 2 teaspoons chai spice mix to a 1-quart mason jar. 
  • Once tea has finished steeping, pour the hot tea into the jar. Whisk to combine the chai concentrate. 
  • Allow the chai concentrate to cool completely to room temperature and then cover with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Always shake or whisk right before using as the spices will settle.
  • For the chai spice mix: Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar. You will use 2 teaspoons of this mix per jar of chai concentrate. Store this mixture in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Notes

To make a hot chai: Combine 1/2 cup chai concentrate with 3/4 cup whole milk (we also like to use Chobani Oat Milk “extra creamy” – you can also use any milk that you personally like) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Or heat in a large mug in the microwave until simmering. 

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 65kcal Carbohydrates: 17g Sodium: 10mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 15g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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