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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Chai

Forget Starbucks or even your local indie café – there’s no substitute for a REAL cup of chai made right at home. All you need is the right tea, fragrant spices and a little knowhow. Homemade chai isn’t only easy to prepare, it also costs pennies on the dollar you would be spending at a coffeehouse.
Worried about not having the right equipment to achieve the frothed milk effect? Don’t fret. Here’s an insider’s secret – A fancy espresso machine isn’t necessary to prepare a homemade chai tea latte with real frothed milk. All you really need is a lidded jar and a little arm power. Instructions are included below for frothing milk using both an espresso machine and the jar shaking method.

Grab your coffee mug, stock up on spices and loose leaf tea and learn how to make the perfect cup of chai. Just be careful, your coffeemaker might get jealous.

Gather your spices and prepare for a cup of homemade perfection.

Homemade Chai Tea

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 tablespoon loose leaf black tea
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk



  • Place the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, ginger root, peppercorns and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes.
  • Return the saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil on high. Place the loose leaf tea in a teabag and add to the saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the spices and teabag while reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the saucepan and return the saucepan to the heat. Add the sugar and heat on medium, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Divide the tea between mugs.
  • Froth the milk using an espresso machine steam wand and divide the milk and froth between the cups containing the tea.
  • If you don’t own an espresso machine, pour the cold milk into a small jar. Screw the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously for 30 seconds until the milk is frothy and double in size.
  • Remove the lid and microwave the milk in the jar on high for 45 seconds. This causes the froth to rise to the top of the milk while also stabilizing the froth.
  • Divide the milk between the mugs of tea, using a spoon to hold back the froth. Divide the froth on top of each mug.
  • Serves two.

Follow these easy steps to enjoy the perfect cup of chai at home anytime. You’ll never pay the high price of coffeehouse chai again. Can’t get enough spice?