How to Make Homemade Chai Concentrate - ChaiBag

How to Make Homemade Chai Concentrate

A chai concentrate is probably the easiest and fastest way to enjoy masala chai, hot or cold. It's essentially a very concentrated version of a cup of masala chai. It'll taste like black tea, warming spices, and in the case of popular store-bought concentrates like Oregon Chai's and Tazo Chai's, might even come with hints of vanilla or hazelnut. It's what they use in the Starbucks Chai Tea Latte as well - a few pumps of a delicious concentrate, topped with ice and milk, and you're ready to go!

The Issue with Store-Bought Concentrates

Unfortunately, there's a few issues that do come with concentrates. Firstly, they are very rarely 100% natural - some or the other preservative or flavoring is used to make the concentrate last and taste exactly like a cup of masala chai. What's more, these concentrates are usually very sweet - full of either cane sugar or alternative sweeteners. For someone who's looking to have sugar-free masala chai or enjoys less sweeteners, chai concentrates leave little choice.

That's why we want to share this easy Homemade Chai Concentrate recipe with you! It lets you prepare the flavors fresh at home, without losing the health benefits of the spices, and without any sweeteners!

How to Make a Homemade Chai Latte

The recipe is simple - it's what all commercial concentrates also use. Boil the black tea, spices, and sweeteners (optional) in a small amount of water. Let's get straight into it!

This recipe is for a 400 ml concentrate.


First off, we'll need the main spices used in Masala Chai.

Masala Chai Spices:

  • 3 Tbsp Ground Ginger Powder
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tbsp of Black Pepper
  • 6 Whole Green Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Tbsp of Ground Nutmeg
  • 4-5 Bay Leaves (Dried)
  • 5 Cloves

For the Concentrate:

  • 650 ml or 22 Oz. of Filtered Water
  • 8 Tbsp. of Black Tea, or 9-10 Black Tea Bags
  • Sugar, Honey, or any alternative sweetener (optional)
    • Usually, you'll need about 4-5 Tbsp. of sugar - we recommend brown sugar, as this blends especially well with the warming spices.
    • A sweetener is recommended because a lot of black tea can tend to become astringent to taste. To offset this bitter flavor, a sweetener is needed.
  • You can also add flavors like vanilla, hazelnut, or coffee to the concentrate.

A loose leaf chai blend that contains all of these spices will also work in place of combining the spices yourself. Our signature 11 Spices Chai Blend contains eleven different freshly-cut and dry-roasted spices, including all of the spices mentioned above and more. The blend also contains premium quality Darjeeling CTC Black Tea sourced from one of the oldest tea gardens in India.


  1. We begin by gently grinding and toasting the dry spices together. Firstly, with a mortar-and-pestle, add in the Cinnamon Sticks, Black Peppercorns, Green Cardamom, and Cloves. Crush the spices until you're left with small pieces (a fine powder isn't necessary). This helps expose the aromatic and flavor-imparting oils of the spices.
  2. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is sufficiently heated, pour in the spices from the mortar-and-pestle. Then, add in the Ground Nutmeg, Ginger Powder and Bay Leaves. The process of heating the spices further releases their natural oils, and sets them up to provide an extra-flavorful punch in your concentrate!
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mix the spices and powders around every few minutes to ensure they're evenly toasted.
  4. Add in the water to the pan, along with your sweetener of choice. Turn the heat to high.
  5. Bring the water to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, add in the black loose leaf tea or tea bags. Then, bring the heat back to medium-low and let the chai-spice brew simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Once some of the water has evaporated and the chai has become intensely dark (almost black), switch off the heat.
  8. Cover the pan and let the chai cool until it reaches room temperature.
  9. If using flavoring, add in the flavoring once the water is cooled - so as to not evaporate the extracts or syrups. Stir thoroughly to ensure the flavor is evenly distributed.
  10. Pour the chai concentrate into an air-tight glass bottle or pitcher.

The ChaiBag Way

If you're using a pre-mixed chai blend, you can essentially skip all the tedious steps above! For any of our masala chai blends, the steps to make a concentrate are:

  1. Pour the water in a saucepan. Bring the heat to high.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add in the ChaiBag Tea Bags or Loose Leaf blend. For spicing up your concentrate, we recommend trying ChaiBag’s Dirty Chai (Coffee-infused) and Saffron Masala (saffron and dried-rose infused) blends.
  3. Bring the heat to medium-low and let the chai-spice brew simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once some of the water has evaporated and the chai has become intensely dark (almost black), switch off the heat.
  5. Cover the pan and let the chai cool until it reaches room temperature.
  6. Once cooled, pour the chai concentrate into an air-tight glass bottle or pitcher. That's it!

Storage Instructions:

To store and preserve the flavors, a glass bottle is ideal. The concentrate should be kept refrigerated to prevent any temperature-changes from affecting the chai.

How Long Does Homemade Chai Concentrate Last?

While refrigerated in an air-tight container, the concentrate can last about 1-2 weeks. Beyond this, the flavors may lessen, and the chai may spoil - tasting slightly sour or too bitter.

Why is the Chai Concentrate Cloudy?

The process of cooling the tea can cause it to appear cloudy. This is because chai is full of two compounds: tannins and caffeine. When you boil the black tea, these two compounds infuse the water - giving it the signature dark-brown color. When the chai cools, the tannins and caffeine might sometimes bind together, causing a cloudy tea. On the other hand, certain compounds might separate as the chai cools, which can lead to the cloudy effect as well.

If your chai concentrate does turn cloudy, be sure to taste it first - in case it tastes sour, too bitter, or stale, it's best to dispose of it. If the taste is unchanged, then the cloudiness shouldn't be a worry!

Ways to Use a Masala Chai Concentrate

  1. For a Masala Chai, simply add the concentrate to hot water, sugar (if needed), and steamed milk.
  2. For an Iced Chai Latte, add the concentrate to cold milk, ice, along with honey.
  3. For a Dirty Chai Latte (which we just found out is Rain Spencer's go-to coffee order), add the concentrate to cold milk, a tablespoon of instant coffee or 1-2 espresso shots, and sugar.
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