How to Create Your Own Masala Chai Tea

Updated on December 5, 2019
Maggie Bonham profile image

MH Bonham is an award-winning author and editor. Bonham is also the author of more than 40 books as well as thousands of articles.

If you're a tea drinker, chances are you love chai tea and its various blends. But you may be thinking that you could make your own chai tea for a fraction of the cost of some of those more expensive chai teas. And you'd be right.

A friend of mine in New York City made homemade masala chai for me because she was stunned by the cost she saw at the stores. Recently, I've been drinking a lot of chai, and I decided to blend my own. Here is a recipe I've concocted that I hope you will enjoy.

What Is Chai Tea, Exactly?

Chai, or masala chai, is a type of spiced tea. "Chai" actually means just "tea," so if we say "chai tea," we're actually saying "tea tea." Masala means spiced. So masala chai is "spiced tea."

Masala chai originated in India. In 1806, the British had brought tea from China to Assam, India, in order to cultivate it. Tea was primarily exported to Britain and was expensive for those living in India. However, the British-owned Indian Tea Association recognized a market in the early 1900s in India and promoted tea drinking. Tea was still costly, so the Indians diluted the tea with milk and added spices to make up for the less robust flavor. Thus, masala chai was invented out of necessity. But, it became very popular among Indians.

By the 1960s, tea production became mechanized, lowering the costs. Masala chai became even more popular in India because of the wonderful taste and the relatively inexpensive cost. Today, India still drinks most of the tea it produces; more than 70 percent of the tea that is grown stays in the country.

Basic Chai Recipe

Basic masala chai has only six ingredients other than water and milk: black tea, ginger, cinnamon, black peppercorns, fennel, and cardamom. This basic chai version you can make again and again without worry. That being said, you can also add "flavors" to your chai tea to make it taste the way you prefer. Add sugar, if you'd like. You'll find it so easy, inexpensive, and taste better than what you can get in a mix that you may just make your own chai all the time.

The amount of the recipe is for one serving plus, but you can double it or more for more cups. You may have to adjust the spices to suit your own taste, but the recipe is a start. You may add milk and sugar, if you prefer, or drink it without either. Both ways are perfectly acceptable.

Recommended Tea

Adagio Teas Assam Melody Loose Black Tea, 16 oz.
Adagio Teas Assam Melody Loose Black Tea, 16 oz.
One Assam tea I highly recommend is a tea by Adagio. They go directly to the source to buy their tea, meaning that the farmers directly benefit. This tea tastes great, too!

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 6 min
Yields: 1 + Serving

Ingredients for 1 + Serving of Chai

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp Assam or other Indian tea, can be increased to 2 tsp
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup milk, optional
  • 1–2 tsps sugar, to taste, optional

Other Optional Ingredients

There are many versions of chai tea. Some are flavored. You can add any (or all) of the following ingredients to make the chai tea your own.

  • 1–3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 star anise, broken into pieces
  • 3–5 coriander seeds
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, broken into pieces (not ground)
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa nibs (for chocolate chai)
  • 2 inches of vanilla bean (for vanilla chai)

Instructions for Brewing Chai

  1. Add all ingredients, except milk and sugar, in a saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove.
  2. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tea is brewed to your preference.
  3. Strain into a mug. Add milk and sugar to taste, if desired. Enjoy!
5 stars from 1 rating of Masala Chai Tea

© 2018 MH Bonham


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      5 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Got to try this!

    • Maggie Bonham profile imageAUTHOR

      MH Bonham 

      20 months ago from Missoula, Montana

      Awesome! Glad I can help!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      20 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for telling us what ingredients go into the making of Chai tea. It would be easy to make at home and the ingredients could be varied to suit one's taste.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      20 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I like drinking tea, but never tried any of these teas. They sound nice though.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)