Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chai Green Tea

Sometimes when it is really cold outside all I want is chai tea, but I don’t want to bundle up to go somewhere to buy it. A few years ago I started making my own chai green tea and now I find that I prefer it to what I can buy at coffee shops.

This recipe is very simple and quick. Best of all you can make a big batch (I usually make a double recipe) and keep it the refrigerator and then warm it up on the stove or in the microwave when you want a mug.

When the chai tea is cooking the aroma is so wonderful. It smells like Christmas baking to me. I don’t think my recipe is traditional since I have tweaked it over time and added things that we like. Here is how I make chai tea.

Chai Green Tea
Makes 4 - 1 cup servings


5 allspice berries
½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
6 whole cloves
6 green cardamom pods (or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom)
1 cinnamon stick (approximately 3 inches)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 orange, zest removed in strips (strips are easier to remove)
3 cups water
4 green tea bags (or other tea)
1 cup soy or almond milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
agave or stevia, to taste


Place the allspice, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom pod in your mortar and pestle and break up the spices to release their flavor. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can put all the spices on your cutting board and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of skillet.

In a saucepan combine the all the spices, orange zest, and water and bring to a boil. Simmer the liquid for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Add the green tea bags and steep for 10 minutes. I know most tea producers recommend a shorter steeping time but science has shown that you get the maximum EGCG from green tea that has been steeped for 10 minutes, so that is what I do.

After 10 minutes strain the beverage through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a damp paper towel. You can refrigerate the chai tea now and add the milk and sweetener when you are serving, which is what I do. I like to keep this in the refrigerator when the weather is cool. The flavor of this tea is so bold, and the aroma is intoxicating. It warms me up just smelling it.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 31.48
Calories From Fat (30%) - 9.41

Total Fat - 1.07g
Saturated Fat - 0.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 53.47mg
Potassium - 178.65mg
Total Carbohydrates - 6.23g
Fiber - 2.81g
Sugar - 0.11g
Protein - 0.61g

The nutritional numbers above assume you used unsweetened almond milk, and does not include a sweetener.


When this is cooking the entire house smells like holiday spice. I adore the aroma of this tea.

This tea is equally good with orange pekoe or English Breakfast tea. When you use a black tea the resulting chai will be a more traditional light brown color, compared to the very light green color of my tea. Don’t let the light color of this tea fool you into thinking it has a mellow flavor. This tea packs a nice flavor punch, which is how we like it.

I have kept the tea base in the refrigerator for a week without any problems. It will probably keep longer than that, but we always drink ours quickly when it is in the refrigerator.

Unrelated note:

I need to get a few things done this afternoon. But I will be back late this afternoon with a couple of recipes. I hope you are all having a great day.


  1. Wow, Have some Chai left..I'm coming over. It will be worth the drive. YOur Chai/Green tea looks very inviting and beautiful Click. I normally make traditional Black tea brewed with fresh ginger and some home made Chai masala. Add sugar and milk. Will try ur version. Ur Chai looks Very festive..and its all we need on this cold wintry day.

  2. Dolly,

    Thanks! :) Did this Italian girl manage to approximate something authentic? I hope so. I used to make it with black tea but green is so much better for you now I use it exclusively.

    Happy Holidays!

  3. I have a recipe for an instant chai mix, made with powedered soy milk (using powdered rice milk when I make it). However, I can't seem to find any powdered green tea or even plain tea that is not an ice tea mix, so its on hold. Maybe I should just shell out the money for some matcha powder.

  4. I've never been a big Chai fan, but your post just may convert me! Your photo is stunning!

    I just found your blog (through My Face is on Fire) and have been enjoying it very much!

  5. snugglebunny,

    I haven't seen instant green tea before. But if I do, I will jot down the name and let you know. If any of your friends have a membership to Costco that is where I buy my matcha. They have the best price I have seen.


    Thanks for the compliment on the photo. That was very sweet of you. :)

    I love chai tea, probably because many years ago my best friend in college was from India so I learned to love all Indian food and drink. The smell of the tea may be my favorite part.

    Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying my blog. Also, thanks for letting me know how you found me. Sounds like another blog I should check out.


  6. You should check out Michael Greger MD, a health-oriented vegan. He has interesting annual DVDs summarizing current nutrition research. I don't see him mentioned on your blog, he has a simple web site you can get to googling him. I thought of this because he suggests a veganized green tea chai as the healthiest beverage.

  7. Darn, my best college friend was from Boston, so I just developed a love of Sam Adams Brown Ale! ;-) I'm wild about Indian food (discovered long after college, alas) and share your love of the smell of Chai. Just not so much the flavor for some reason. But it may be time to give it another whirl, and your recipe looks enticing! And you're most welcome for the compliment on your photo... it truly looks professional, and should grace a magazine cover. My food pics come out "meh" at best. Guess my specialty is the critter pics! ;-)

  8. Elisabeth,

    Thanks for the tip on Michael Greger. I had not heard of him before, but I will definitely look him up.


    Sounds like it was much more fun to have your college best friend! ;)

    Your critter pictures are marvelous! I particularly liked the punky deer. Too sweet!

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Elisabeth,

    Thanks again for the tip on Dr. Greger. I just ordered the three most recent DVD's. It looks like something that I will love. I don't know how I missed this before.

    If you have any other suggestions please feel free to share.

    thanks again and happy holidays,

  10. so.. i finally tried tea....i had the celestial brand fruit kind, i think like "berry zinger"? i put stevia in needed it. but i know you had told me to just try it so just wanted to let you know. im going to try something like what you are making here.

  11. Michelle,

    Yay! Green tea is so good for you it is worth cultivating a taste for it. I am happy to hear you are trying. It took me a while to enjoy it too, but now I love it.

    Merry Christmas!


  12. Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

    Green Tea Weight Loss


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