Appetizer, Drink

Homemade Chai Tea

Smashed cardamom pods are an essential ingredient to chai tea.

Whole peppercorns, sliced ginger, a star anise pod, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods,  and black tea.

Bring this to a boil and gently simmer for a bit. Add loose tea, and milk then steep.

Strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer right into your favorite mug.  Add a sweetener of your choice – I added maple syrup – to celebrate fall. If you are feeling extra chilled by the crisp fall air…add a touch of bourbon. After all, the calendar does indicate that it is officially fall.

This tea was fragrant, flavorful and so simple to make. I used almond milk which I felt added a slightly nutty touch to the spicy tea. And the touch of bourbon? It is a hearty nightcap for a cold winter night!

Note: After making this over and over I have updated the original below!

Homemade Chai Tea


  • 3 C. water
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 6 cardamom pods, smashed with the back of a spoon
  • a few peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 bags of tea, I used black english breakfast
  • 1/3 C. milk
  • sweeten with maple syrup, if feeling dubious up to this point
  • splash of half and half, if feeling decadent
  • splash of bourbon, if feeling daring


  1. In a small pan add water, ginger slices, cardamom pods, star anise, peppercorns, and a cinnamon stick. Bring this to a boil, then simmer until fragrant, for about 20 minutes. This will be reduced to about 2 cups. Add the tea bags and milk and gently steep for another 5 minutes. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a mug. Sweeten with a sweetener of your choice - I used maple syrup. If you wish add a touch of bourbon for a little pep.


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