If you’re not familiar with chai, it’s an Indian drink traditionally made with strong black tea, milk, spices and lots of sugar. It has become very popular in the West in recent years and most of the large coffee houses now sell their own version which is usually made by blending a chai flavoured syrup with hot, frothy milk.
Chai concentrate is very easy to make with the added bonus that it will make your house smell amazing as it simmers on the hob. And the beauty of making your own is that you can limit the amount of sugar you add. My recipe calls for just 2 teaspoons but you can quite easily omit the sugar altogether if you prefer.
My favourite way to drink chai is to mix one part concentrate with one part milk and warm in a saucepan for a comforting drink that is perfect on a rainy afternoon. Alternatively you can pour your concentrate and milk over ice and drink cold or blend into a Banana Chai Smoothie.
- 1.5 litres water
- 8 black tea bags (I used Tick Tock Rooibos)
- 1 tsp (heaped) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp coconut sugar (or demerara sugar) - optional
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 cardamon pods
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Pour the water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium/high heat.
- When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and add all of the ingredients except the vanilla extract.
- Stir well and allow to simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the concentrate through a sieve into a large jug and allow to cool.