Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

As much as I wish San Diego would turn Fall, it doesn’t seem close to possible. It’s still 75 deg and sunny! But the nights get chilly, so I have been dreaming about warm spiced drinks for the holidays. But I do have to go on a rant about people skipping Thanksgiving now. What the hell. Thanksgiving is a grand holiday that gets people excited for Christmas but it seems like people are forgetting about it. Friends are decorating for Christmas already, stores are open on Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations are sold before Halloween now. It is getting utterly ridiculous. Like what happened to Thanksgiving ya’ll? What happened to giving thanks for what you have, not the latest TV you can buy on Thanksgiving for $100 cheaper -_-. And this is coming from a person who LOVES Christmas. I swear I will be the perfect mom because I am festive, loves Santa, and actually decorates every single year (lights all over my house, a REAL Christmas tree, day after Thanksgiving dedicated to decorating for Christmas, baking cookies, etc.). I am just mad that Christmas has become so commercial – there isn’t that slow, sweet anticipation for Christmas anymore. WE EVEN SKIP THANKSGIVING NOW. I just want everyone to take a moment and remember those times when we were kids and slowly waited for Thanksgiving to pass and then have a whole month to get ready for Christmas. I want Christmas to be cherished during that special time of the year, not make it a 4th quarterly thing. Let’s all just step back and enjoy the holidays the last quarter of the year : Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in this order.

In the meantime, I will sip my spicy hot drinks in anticipation for Thanksgiving, and then bring out the peppermint for Christmas. Anyone care to join me?

(makes about 4 cups of Chai concentrate – 4 Chai lattes)
You can get most of these ingredients for cheap when you look in the Mexican spice section of the grocery store.

5 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
3 slices of ginger
1/4 cup cardamom seeds (if you can find cardamom pods, use about 10)
3 whole star anise pods
10 whole cloves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar (more if you want the Chai to be sweet. you can use a combo of honey and brown sugar if you would like)
1 tbsp vanilla
6-8 black tea bags (I used Lipton. I will use English Breakfast next time)

1. In a medium pot, combine the water, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, and vanilla.

2. Bring to boil. Turn down the heat to low, and let simmer for 20-30 min.

3. After you turn the heat off, put the tea bags into the pot and cover. Let steep for 5-10 min.

4. Using a strainer, pour the liquid through.

5. Store in a jar. Place in the fridge.


6. When making a chai tea latte, use a 1:1 ratio of chai concentrate and milk. More or less to your preference 🙂


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