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Chai Tea

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 4
Total Time 20 minutes


Unfortunately when the chai tea craze hit a few years back it spawned a lot of overly sweetened, often bitter brews. I love the chai made at Horn of Africa in Portland, Oregon, and this is my effort to duplicate it.


2 cups water
1 thumb-size knob of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 or 5 slices
2 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 tsp. loose-leaf black tea
2 tsp. honey
cups whole milk


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the ginger slices and cardamom pods; lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat, stir tea leaves and honey into water, and let steep for 3 minutes. Add milk and turn heat back on to medium; heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. To serve, strain into cups. Add more honey if desired, to taste.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 7 comments on this item
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28% recommend this recipe
1. by grateful_J on Feb 12, 2007 at 2:03 PM PST

Can anyone post a correction? I see cardamom pods (lightly crushed) listed twice.

I almost always include cinnamon...

2. by Carrie Floyd on Feb 12, 2007 at 10:15 PM PST

Thanks for the heads up — two cardamom pods is just right for this recipe!

3. by grateful_J on Mar 7, 2007 at 3:00 PM PST

Thanks, Carrie. I LOVE this simplicity of this recipe; my previous favorite chai mix calls for about six different spices. I’m now trying each ingredient separately (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, tumeric (!), etc.

I just read the article on MOOD FOOD, and tuning one’s chai to fits one’s mood or craving seems quite apt.

4. by anonymous on Dec 8, 2007 at 2:01 PM PST

cardamom is the essential ingredient in somewhat counteracts the caffeine.more is better,also,i like to bring the mix to a boil and simmer for a minute or india,most milk was unpasteurised.

5. by anonymous on Apr 15, 2008 at 6:59 PM PDT

i used to spend a lot of time in a cafe in sydney that served more of its chai than it did coffe, and it’s a really simple recipe: for each person put a teaspoon of good quality tea (and one for the pot!) a teaspoon of grated ginger, a small teaspoon of garam marsala and a teaspoon (or to taste) of rose syrup, which you can get from turkish grocers. I use a tiny drop of rose water instead cause i don’t have a sweet tooth. This is worth tinkering with and is beautiful on a cold morning for breakfast.

6. by Carrie Floyd on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM PDT

Thanks, Sydney cafe anonymous, for the suggestion. Though I’ve made spiced tea with black pepper and cloves before, I admit I was dubious about the garam masala. I followed your directions for the tea, grated ginger, garam masala and rose water, then added a big spoonful of honey (because I do have a sweet tooth) and a splash of whole milk. It’s delicious—and spicy! (I think the garam masala I used must have pepper or chili in it.)

7. by spamMichelCleark on Feb 4, 2013 at 12:22 AM PST

Simply amazing. Hot bed tea in the morning for me.

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