Verdant Tea

How to Brew Chai at Home

How to Brew Chai at Home

How to Brew Chai at Home

February 21, 2022

A rich cup of chai, blended with just the right spices, is a beautiful thing.

Learning how to brew chai tea at home with the right balance of black tea, spices, milk and honey gives you the tools to recreate your coffee shop favorites on demand.

There’s no single right answer for how to prepare chai tea, but we’ll aim to give you everything you need to create your own ideal blended milk chai using a few simple rules. 


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It all comes down to making a concentrated tea brew and combining it with the cream and sweetener of your choice. This way, you won’t dilute the flavor of your spices and tea. Your spice blend might change with the seasons, but the most important ingredient is the tea itself.

Start with good tea, and you’ll have a great chai latte.

our favorite chai spice blendour favorite chai spice blend
our favorite chai spice blend

What is Chai? Where Does it Come From?   

The word “chai” just means tea, but for many of us, it evokes a creamy and spiced chai latte. The Yuan Dynasty inspired the modern English and Indian milk tea tradition that grew into the chai latte of today. Should you put milk in chai? Milk tea is nearly as old as tea itself - do what tastes best to you!

Chai is often made with strong-brewed Assam black tea, but we find that malty, chocolatey, and flavorful black teas like Laoshan Black yield rich results. These base teas are paired with spices like cardamom and clove, then mixed with milk and sweetener like honey.

a cozy mug of spiced chai milk teaa cozy mug of spiced chai milk tea
a cozy mug of spiced chai milk tea

Making Chai Tea: How to Craft Your Own Blend

Ready to make your own spice blend for the perfect chai? It’s all about balance!

When you start, every spice has its own smell, but a successful blend comes together to form something new - an integrated sensation that exceeds its parts. The freshness and origin of your spices will make a huge difference to proportion, so take the time to source good ingredients and experiment with proportions!

If you want a caffeine-free chai spice, avoid herbal tisanes like cocoa, guayusa, and more.

After years of working to find the perfect spice blend to complement our favorite chocolatey black tea, we created our Auburn chai spice recipe. Our blend includes over 15 different spices, including unique “secret” additions like saffron and tulsi.

Classic Chai Spice Recommendations

For a basic chai spice, start with the classic spices below and balance them to your liking. They are listed in recommended order from the most to least by weight, so include more of the spices at the top (cinnamon, ginger) and less of the spices at the bottom (peppercorn, clove). 

  • Cinnamon

  • Ginger

  • Cardamom

  • • Peppercorn

  • • Clove

if you're making your own chai spice blend, take care to source good ingredients!if you're making your own chai spice blend, take care to source good ingredients!
if you're making your own chai spice blend, take care to source good ingredients!

How to Choose a Base Tea for Your Chai

The best base tea for a spice chai blend needs to taste great on its own! 

For best results, a loose leaf chai tea base should have flavor that stands out even with milk, and it should be rich enough to bring together all the spices. A chai tea base should not be bitter or drying. Blended chai isn’t about covering up your tea; it's about your tea boosting the spices, the milk, and the honey.

Choose teas that have been sourced with care and stored properly.

Some of our favorite teas for chai include: