Homemade Chai Concentrate + Iced Chai Lattes

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on September 4, 2011

It’s my Mom’s birthday today. Well, actually it was Friday, but we chose to push the celebration to today.

I made my Dad a chocolate quinoa cake with vanilla buttercream icing for his birthday in June…

so the pressure was on to come up with something:

  • That didn’t involve a “baked good” because Mom doesn’t really like that kinda stuff
  • Homemade
  • Low in sugar
  • Something my Dad wouldn’t like so he wouldn’t eat it all :P

I was wracking my brain trying to come up with an idea, so I called my Mom to poke and prod at what she’d been enjoying lately. It wasn’t long until she started talking about her Starbucks Chai Latte obsession and the guilt that went along with it.

“Guilt, why?” I asked.

“Because there’s just so much sugar and ridiculous calories.” She said.

“Wouldn’t it be great if Starbucks had a lower sugar option and served it with unsweetened almond milk?”

“Yes. Oh, that would be nice. Maybe they’d do it special just for me because it’s my birthday?”

ding ding ding! I ended our conversation abruptly and headed to the kitchen.

Healthy Chai Concentrate + Iced Chai Lattes
Author: 
Allergens: Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2.75
 
Healthy Chai Concentrate
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 black tea bags – I used orange pekoe
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • ½ cup palm sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ inch section of fresh ginger [or 2 pieces of dehydrated ginger]
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods [or ¼ tsp powdered cardamom]
  • ¼ tsp aniseed
  • 8 x 6 section of cheesecloth, folded over [doubled]
  • twine
Instructions
  1. Directions
Option 1: Liquid concentrate – to be enjoyed within 7 days
  1. Lay cheesecloth flat and begin placing ingredients on top. Begin with tea bags, then vanilla bean, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and aniseed. If you’re using cardamom powder, sandwich in between 2 teabags to prevent it from dispersing into the mix. Bundle everything into cheesecloth and pinch together. Tie with twine and tie 2 cinnamon sticks with the twine.
  2. Place water and palm sugar in a medium sized saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put the cheesecloth bag in. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container [mason jars works well] and placing in the fridge to cool.
  4. To enjoy as an iced latte: combine 1 part concentrate with 3 parts non-dairy milk. Serve on ice.
Option 2: Concentrate packet – if you’re giving this away as a gift, and you’re not sure when the receiver is going to drink the concentrate, you can combine all of the dry ingredients in cheesecloth and give them instructions on how to make the concentrate when they’re ready [below]
  1. Lay cheesecloth flat and begin placing ingredients on top. Begin with tea bags, then vanilla bean, ginger [use dehydrated, or candied ginger to prevent the bag from spoiling], cloves, cardamom, and aniseed. If you’re using cardamom powder, sandwich in between 2 teabags to prevent it from dispersing into the mix. Bundle everything into cheesecloth and pinch together. Tie with twine and tie 2 cinnamon sticks with the twine.
Provide the following instructions to the recipient:
  1. To make your chai concentrate, place 3 cups of water and ½ cup palm sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the cheesecloth bag in. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container [mason jars works well] and placing in the fridge to cool. To enjoy as a iced chai latte, combine 1 part concentrate to 3 parts non-dairy milk. Serve on ice.

I ended up making 3 batches for my Mom. 1 liquid form for instant gratification, and 2 cheesecloth packets that she can use to make additional batches later.

Oh… and 1 batch for me.

;)

Share the love, earn karma points:
Pin It

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam

Cool! I bet your mom is going to adore this, such a creative idea. She’s going to give you the best ever daughter award!! :P

Reply

Heather @ Side of Sneakers

This looks amazing! I love that you turned it into a concentrate instead of having to go through that every time you want a latte. I meant to make chai latte mix as Christmas gifts last year but never got around to it…I’m definitely doing it this year! :)

Reply

Leah

What a fabulous idea, Leanne! Thanks again for a great recipe. I was wondering, in the original recipe it says 1 part concentrate to 2 parts milk and then in the low section for making a give away sash it says 1 part concentrate to 3 parts milk. I’m sure I could try it and figure out how I like it, but I wanted to let you know. I’m sure excited to try this out!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Ops! I’ll fix that. It should be 1 part concentrate to 3 part milk. Thanks for catching that :)

Reply

chickster

I love chai lattes, but love easy gift giving even more. Thanks for the great gift idea!

Reply

Priya Mahadevan

I say Boo ya to Starbucks – We are all chai lovers in our house and I brew it fresh each day – but this is ideal for a cold cuppa – And making notes to buy me some almond milk – funny how the nutty flavors make the drink so much more satisfying -
You are a sweet daughter indeed and I am sure you mom was bowled over by your thoughtfulness
Cheers,
Priya

Reply

Priya Mahadevan

I too am on a healthy/wellness pursuit which is what prompted me to start my food blog – can’t say I always walk the line, but more often than not, I try to make healthier versions of all my fav foods – do stop by sometime :) Priya

Reply

Sandi

That’s right girl, take care of mom and dad! Beautiful pictures :)

Reply

Camillia

This is awesome! Any suggestions for a caffeine free version? Even decaf black tea makes me all jittery and zoomy, ditto my lovely sister who is a new mom and could use a quick and easy treat. Cheers!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I totally know what you mean. It does the same thing to me too! You could try to use a herbal ginger, orange, or other citrus teas. They may mesh really well with the chai flavors.

Reply

Kristina @ spabettie

you are so awesome. (this is from one meaningful gift giver to another…)

sounds GOOD, too.

Reply

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

I just wish we lived closer to each other. It would make my life so much easier! This is so up my alley (although I think I say that about everything you make!)! Definitely making this one very soon!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

There’s a house for sale right across the street from me! hehe

Reply

char @ char on a mission

Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming up with this because lately I’ve also been all over those iced chai lattes from Starbucks (read: I crave them everyday), and although I get it with soy milk, I’d much rather use almond milk and yes, less sugar is always good ;) I honestly can’t wait to pick up these ingredients and make about 7 batches…to start haha

Reply

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

Leanne this is genius!! You are soooo creative and such an amazing cook. Wow!!!

I am going to remember this one b/c it’s like nothing Ive come across. Amazing!

Reply

Cara

Ahhhh, you must be reading my mind! Today felt like a Chai day–this is perfect!

Reply

Stefanie @TheNewHealthy

Ah, what a fabulous idea! I need to make this because I love chai lattes but I also don’t love the sugar and calories like your Mom. Thanks for the recipe!! :)

Reply

Jess

Love, love love chai. I make a huge batch of concentrate and freeze them into ice cubes. Then I always have a supply on hand that takes only minutes to reheat. I also use Rooibos tea instead of black tea mostly because I don’t cope well if I drink a lot of caffeine.

Reply

Holly @ The Runny Egg

This is awesome — I love chai lattes but I haven’t had one in the longest time — the $$$ is ridiculous and my stomach doesn’t like a ton of sugar in it at once, so that means no fancy coffee/sugar drinks.

So did she love it?

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

She LOVED it! Gold star for me!

Reply

Clarkie @ Beloved Green

Beautiful, what a great gift. Excited to hear how your mom enjoyed it!

Reply

Elies_Lie

I loves chai tea latte!
& yes – I also feeling guilty like ur mom when I have those! haha ha!
Tq for sharing the recipe & story Leane … Happy Birthday to ur mom dear!
*blessing*

Reply

Medeja

Lovely chai! And a great idea! Pictures are so inviting..

Reply

Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

I’ll take one of these please ;) Looks amazing!!

Reply

Lori

I love it! I am currently having an affair with iced chai lattes and this is such a great cost savings!! Sweet indeed!! One question, if I don’t have palm sugar, what else can I use? I am totally going to have to make this!!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

If you want to keep it sugar-reduced you could use stevia – maybe 1/8 tsp of the white powder. If you’re not too particular about sugar you could try it with honey, or cane sugar.

Reply

Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

Amazing!! A perfect option for me when I don’t want to drink hot tea. And what a great gift idea! I hope your mom loved it, and had a great birthday.

Reply

Cara

Okay. Seriously though. I just made a batch of Leanne’s famous chai concentrate and I am naming myself the official spokeswoman for it. Everyone try it! It is SO SUPER DUPER delicious!!! And it is far superior than the Starchucks option, in my opinion. It smells like Christmas in my house (and tastes like it in my mouth) right now.

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s so great to hear, Cara!

Reply

The Farmers Wife

Oh Leanne, this is amazing! I haven’t had fresh Chai like this is years. I will be giving this a try soon, as I’ve been craving Chai like crazy lately! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

ping

This is so great! I love chai … even in coffee. Great idea this and so handy. I always buy those chai spices in sachets and they’re so expensive. I am so going to make this … thanks for sharing! And congrats for getting to top 9 :D

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Oh interesting, I’ve never hear of it in coffee!

Reply

The Chef Doc

What an awesome daughter you are, Leanne :-) This looks absolutely wonderful! I’ve probably only had a chai latte once. I don’t think I enjoyed it very much. I never thought about it much until my friend asked her sister to make her an iced chai latte using Trader Joe’s powder mix. Perhaps I’ll have to give this a whirl for a fabulous present for her amongst her crazy master’s program studying!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I bet she would love this gift! My mom had tears in her eyes she was so happy :D

Reply

emily

I LOVE chai!!! Thank you so much for the recipe- starbucks is making me poor!

Reply

Mercedes

What a great idea and a nice treat for your mom! Thanks for sharing this.

Reply

Christi Silbaugh

I love this recipe! PERFECT! Thank you!

Reply

Ana Helena Campbell

Congratulations on your top 9!!! Your photos are fabulous and thanks for sharing your delicious recipe. Happy belated Birthday to your mom. Glad to read she liked everything!

Reply

Tracy @ Commit To Fit

How did I miss this post? I love chai lattes :)

Reply

Kelly @ Free Spirit Food

Yummmmm. Perfect for Fall! I love Chai!

Reply

Molly Ashenbaum

I was so excited to find this!!! My 21 y.o. son has a Starbucks NF iced chai addiction….no maybe worse…obsession. He drinks 2 venti sized drinks a day. Now I can make this for him! WhoooooHoooooo!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Oh wow! You could charge him $2 a drink, let him save money… and if could become a little side business for you ;) all jokes

Reply

Bobbie

I have extlacy what info I want. Check, please. Wait, it’s free? Awesome!

Reply

Malia @ Life is good girl

That looks great! My mom and I were just at Whole Foods last night and she was so disappointed because she can’t find her favorite vanilla chai tea anywhere. I will definitely have to make this for her. (And keep some for me too!)

Reply

sheila

What an awesome idea!! I just made some and I love it! Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful idea and recipe! :)

Reply

Beth @ Tasty Yummies

I made my own version of chai concentrate this weekend, using your recipe and another one as guides. I decided to try out coconut sugar and a bit of raw honey as the sweeteners. It turned out sooo good, I am drinking a mug full of it with some almond milk as I type this! The one this I noticed with my concentrate is that it is cloudy, unlike others that I have seen that seem to be more clear. I can’t tell from your photos if yours is cloudy like mine, or clear. Do you think it is because of the coconut sugar or honey? I added them in at the end, when I strained all the bits out. Maybe I should try adding them in at the beginning. Too bad I drank a huge mug full this morning before I could take photos for the blog. Just gonna have to make it again :)

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I just made a batch last night and am drinking right now, too! Heh, great minds think a like. I added my sugars at the beginning and let it simmer with the rest of the ingredients. The result should be clear, not cloudy. The palm sugar will take some time to dissolve completely, so my guess is that it’s the palm sugar. Yep, you’re going to have to make it again…. shucks!

Reply

Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Ah OK, that totally makes sense. Thanks! I will just make it again and go the route of adding the sugar and honey in at the beginning. I am so obsessed with making this now! It’s so much tastier!

Reply

Jo

Have you ever tried adding fennel to your chai mix? I add crushed fennel seeds sometimes when I have my (makeshift) chai tea at night. It’s a nice way to add a bit of different flavor to your chai!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Jo, I’ll have to try that next time. I have no doubt it’d be delicious!

Reply

Jana

I’m going to try making this tonight! To make it a hot chai tea latte, would you just heat it with the concentrate and almond milk? What about adding in a bit of nutmeg? So excited to try this! I have been searching for a great recipe for the amazing hot chai tea I had in India years ago!

Reply

Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

To make it hot, just add to heated almond milk. That, or we like to add the concentrate to a pot with some almond milk and heat on low for 5 minutes until it comes to a slight simmer. Nutmeg would be great in there too!

Reply

Kari

The concentrate is wonderful, thank you for sharing it! I also wanted to tell you that Cooking Light has a Chai cream pie recipe, I don’t know if you could adapt it for you, but your mom might enjoy that next year.

Reply

Kendra

I was searching for instructions on how to make chai concentrate today and I found your page. I was ecstatic when I saw that you made it exactly how I was intending to as well- with almond milk! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely be giving it a try.

Reply

Brittany

I am so excited about trying this! I just stumbled upon your site, but have NO DOUBT its going to be a fav!!

Thank you so much for posting this!

Britt

Reply

Farah

These are great!! I was looking for something that was cheap and easy to make for wedding favours for our wedding next summer. I think I’ve found the perfect thing!!

Reply

Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

What a great idea to gift something like this! It’s so personal and, as you said, inexpensive, too!

Reply

Stephanie O

Would this be okay for someone who is pregnant? Like once a day or every other. I am thinking about caffeine.

Reply

Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Stephanie – I’ve seen many pregnant women drink caffeine throughout their pregnancies and others avoid it. Best to check with your healthcare provider, just in case!

Reply

nancykins

i cant have black teas. can another tea be used? it’s not about the caffeine.

Reply

Kennis

Hi! This recipe looks amazing & I can not wait to try this..I do have a couple questions..I do not have a cheese cloth to put the ingredients in, can I just place all of gage ingredients loose in the sweetened water? Also I do not have fresh ginger could i substitute it with ground ginger & if so what measurement would you recommend? Thank you!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthful Pursuit Inc. provides information in respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. Read site terms here.