This chai concentrate is incredibly easy to make from scratch and makes the most delicious homemade chai lattes!

This chai concentrate is our homemade answer to the $5 coffee shop chai latte!

The spice-forward drink dates back 5000+ years (although the coffee shop version was likely popularized sometime around the 1960s) – incredible, right? Originally created for use in traditional medicine practices, chai is loaded with spices and herbs and is incredibly delicious.

Mix this up at the beginning of your week and enjoy a (hot or cold) chai latte every day without ever having to leave your house!

Ingredients Needed

The list is truly pretty simple, and if you (unintentionally) collect as many spices as we do, you’re likely to have several of the ingredients in your spice cabinet already! Here’s the full list:

  • ⅓ cup of maple syrup
  • 4 cups of water 
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 2-4 large, black tea bags

Ingredient Modifications

  • Make it spicier – for a spicier chai concentrate, use a ½ teaspoon of black pepper (instead of a ¼ teaspoon).
  • Omit the sweetener – if you’re looking to go sugar-free here, feel free to omit the maple syrup or replace it with a sugar-free sweetener.
  • Use decaffeinated tea – if you want a chai latte without the caffeine, feel free to use decaffeinated black tea bags!

How to Make Chai Concentrate

Whisk in a pot with spices and water.
Pot of spices tea being poured over a mesh strainer with a cheese cloth into a mason jar.
Tea bags brewing in a white pot.
Mason jar of chai concentrate on a grey and white marble surface with a white background.
  1. Boil ingredients – place all of the ingredients (besides the tea bags) in a pot and bring the water to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  2. Add the tea bags – add the tea bags to the pot, and let steep until cooled.
  3. Strain and store – strain the chai concentrate through a cheesecloth, and store in the fridge until ready to use.

How to Make a Homemade Chai Latte

When you’re ready to enjoy a chai latte, add equal parts chai concentrate and your milk of choice (or add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream for a more decadent treat!) to a glass, stir, and enjoy! If you’d prefer a hot chai latte, simply combine the milk and chai concentrate in a small pot on the stove, and stir over medium heat until hot.

Recipe Tips

If you have a hunch that you’re going to LOVE this chai concentrate, feel free to double (or even triple) the recipe – the recipe directions won’t change at all!

A chai concentrate kit would make for the sweetest holiday gift (really similar to our chocolate chip cookie jars!). Simply add the spices to a large mason jar (this way, the jar can be easily reused for the concentrate itself), and either tie the tea bags around the neck of the jar, or pop them into the jar, too, include directions for the concentrate, and gift. 

Hand pouring chai concentrate over ice in a glass. There is a bowl of whipped cream in the background.

Storage Instructions

Store your chai concentrate in a large mason jar (or another airtight container) in the fridge for up to 10 days.

What kind of tea is used for chai?

You’ll need large (sometimes called “family-sized” or “gallon”) black tea bags for this recipe.

What sweetener is best for chai concentrate?

We used maple syrup here, but you can absolutely sub it for honey, brown sugar, or coconut sugar. You can also add more or less sweetener than the recipe calls for to suit your personal preferences!

Cup of iced chai concentrate on a grey and white marble surface. There is a large glass container with more concentrate and a bowl of whipped cream in the background. There are also tea bags, a teaspoon with spices, and a cheese cloth on the table.

Homemade Chai Concentrate

4.89 — Votes 18 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
This chai concentrate is incredibly easy to make from scratch and makes the most delicious homemade chai lattes!

Ingredients  

  • 4 cups water
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2-4 large black tea bags

Instructions 

  • Place all of the ingredients (besides the tea bags) in a pot and bring the water to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Add the tea bags to the pot and let steep until cooled.
  • Strain the chai concentrate through a cheese cloth and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Recipe Notes

  • Make it spicier – for a spicier chai concentrate, use a ½ teaspoon of black pepper (instead of a ¼ teaspoon).
  • Omit the sweetener – if you’re looking to go sugar free here, feel free to omit the maple syrup or replace it with a sugar-free sweetener.
  • Use decaffeinated tea – if you want a chai latte without the caffeine, feel free to use decaffeinated black tea bags!

Nutrition

Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.8g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 305mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 16.3g

Additional Info

Course: Drink
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 81
Keyword: chai, chai concentrate

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.


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23 Comments

  1. Hi! How long does this last in the fridge? And do you think this concentrate could be frozen, perhaps in ice cube trays, and thawed as needed? I’m wondering if I could make a larger batch and have it last longer. Thanks!

  2. Hello! Was just wondering if you triple this recipe, should you boil it longer? Seems like if there’s 3 times the amount of liquid you’d have to to get it to be as concentrated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary! You don’t need to boil it for any longer!

  3. I make my own chai concentrate and for an added layer of flavor I caramelize the maple sugar before I add it.

  4. Chai Tea Latte is m favorite! I made the chai concentrate, I can tell the taste is right but it taste a bitter. What do you think I did wrong?? Let it sit too long with the tea bags or the cheesecloth didn’t hold in all the spices? Wanted to ask for Suggestions before I try it again. Thanks

    1. Hi Gaye! Thank you so much for reaching out. We haven’t actually experienced what you’re describing, but pulling the tea bags out a little bit earlier may help! Let us know if that does the trick!

  5. My youngest LOVES this recipe!!! We make it together all the time and it is cheaper on my budget than buying at a coffee shop!

    1. Amazing, Deborah! We’re so glad to hear that. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us!

  6. If I was making this as a gift (love the idea!) are there any concerns about mixing the wet and dry ingredients (the syrup and extract with the dried spices) and still making it shelf-stable? Or if sealed in a mason jar it would be okay? Thanks!

    1. Hi Colette! When making it as a gift, we recommend putting the spices and tea bags in a large mason jar and including instructions for how to make the concentrate. The recipient would add the water, maple syrup, and vanilla to the spices and tea bags. If you’re preparing the concentrate to completion for someone, we recommend sealing in a mason jar and keeping refrigerated. -Team FF

  7. Hi! I was wondering if this could be simply done with actual chai tea bags/loose tea blend?

    1. Hi Julee, great questions! You could definitely use chai tea bags to make a concentrate, but since they are already spiced, you wouldn’t need to add the additional spices in the process. If using a loose tea blend, our best guess would be around 8-ounces of loose tea (based on the weight of the 4 standard bags we used). -Team FF

  8. I only have loose tea. Any idea on grams or ounces for the bags of tea before I go and Google it? 🙂

    1. Hi Tracey, we would use about 4 standard tea bags in this recipe, so roughly 1-2 ounces per bag would be my best guess! -Team FF

  9. I’m wanting to try this, and have everything except the big tea bags. Would it work using more of the smaller size black tea bags? Thanks!

    1. Hi Liz! You can absolutely use smaller, black tea bags. We recommend starting with 4, and you can adjust the strength of your concentrate from there. Enjoy! -Team FF

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a concentrate and tried this one first and I will look no further!! So delightful!! Taste even better from the one I get at my local coffee shop! I tried it with coconut and oat milk. The coconut milk places a tang taste but the oat milk is spot on!!! Thank you!!

    1. Aww, that is so great, Brooke! We are so happy to hear this is a recipe you already love. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. -Team FF

  11. 5 stars
    Wow, wow, wow, this is incredible! This chai concentrate is so easy to make and tastes delicious! I’ve tried premade chai concentrates before and they never taste quite how I’d like them to. This one is even better because I know the quality of the ingredients I’m using & I can adjust the sweetness. I used the concentrate to make an iced chai latte with almond milk, which is much less expensive than grabbing a chai latte at a coffee shop. I’ll be making more for family and friends. If you like chai, you have to make this!

    1. We love to hear that, Jordan! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such generous feedback. -Team F&F

  12. 5 stars
    My favorite drink at my local coffee shop is an iced oat milk chai and this was pretty much spot on with the flavor. I will definitely be making a double batch next time!

    1. We are so glad to hear that, Darcy! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. -Team F&F