Chai, pronounced with a long "i" as in the word tie, is the actual word for tea in many countries. It is also called masala chai Masala meaning "spiced"). It is a centuries-old beverage from India which is basically black tea brewed with selected spices and milk. The spices vary from recipe to recipe, but is traditionally consumed hot and sweet. Play with the flavors and make this tea your own! This is a great alternative to coffee.

Chai Tea - Masala Chai - Spiced Milk Tea

Recipe Type: Beverages, Tea Drinks

Yields: 3 cups Prep time: 15 min


2 cups water 3 black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose organic black tea* 1 cinnamon stick 6 whole green cardamom pods, crushed or about 1/4 teaspoon seeds 4 whole cloves Dash nutmeg 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced 1 (6-inch) piece vanilla bean (cut up into 1-inch pieces) or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 black peppercorns 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 cups low fat or whole milk

  • Decaffeinated tea leaves can also be used, but increase the amount of tea by either 1 teaspoon loose tea or 1 tea bag to make up for the loss in flavor.


In a large saucepan, add the water, tea bags, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla bean, peppercorns and brown sugar. Bring just to a boil; then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for approximately 5 minutes depending on how strong a spice flavor you want. Add milk and slowly bring just to simmer (do not boil the milk), then remove from heat. Strain mixture through strainer or coffee filters; press on the spices and tea with a spoon to extract all the fragrant liquids.

NOTE: Many people make the tea base ahead of time, adding the milk when they are ready to serve.

Serve hot or in a tall glass filled with ice.

Store unused portion in the refrigerator.

Makes 3 cups.