How to make your own chai tea blend or chai tea bags from scratch
Looking for a delightfully fragrant tea blend to make at home?
You’ve come to the right place with this flavorful chai tea blend recipe!
Chai tea blends are ready available to buy, but making your own chai tea blend is fun, easy, and it allows you to customize the spices to your liking.
Plus, if you put a small amount of your homemade chai blend in a cute glass or pack the blend into fillable tea bags, you’ll have a lovely holiday gift for the tea lovers in your family or among your friends!
In this post, I’ll show you how to make your own chai tea blend (or chai tea bags).
The resulting tea tastes amazing, and that means something coming from me, because I’m very selective when it comes to chai (I have a neighbor from India and she taught me how to make chai).
So, let’s dive in into this wonderfully spiced chai tea blend: it’s a great way to save money while knowing what is exactly in your cup!
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Can you make chai with teabags?
Chai, how usually masala chai is called, is traditionally made by brewing its ingredients (spices, water, black tea and milk) in a stovetop.
My neighbor, who is from India and makes delicious chai, told me that to really appreciate the spices, one should make chai from scratch and fresh every time.
And I completely see her point: making chai isn’t only about getting the drink, but also about smelling the spices and spreading that deliciousness through the kitchen during the process.
However, since chai has become popular in the whole world, many people want to make it more quickly and conveniently.
And that’s when chai tea bags come into play.
You can find pre-made chai tea bags in almost any store.
But if you want to make your own chai tea bags, it’s not that difficult at all.
And the results are amazing, much better than any chai tea bags I’ve tried so far.
Also, while you may not have every chai spice whole (not grounded), they are all quite easy to find in any well-stocked spice aisle.
And when making your own tea blends, you can use better quality teas and spices, which will make a big difference in the taste of your final cup.
And it’s probably also healthier!
In addition to that, homemade tea blends make for beautiful gifts and this luxurious chai tea blend is no exception.
Ingredients to make your own chai tea blend
Traditionally, masala chai uses Assam black tea.
Assam teas are full-bodied with malty notes and a slightly astringent finish.
However, you may use any type of black tea you like or have on hand.
You can even use decaf tea!
Just be aware that most decaf teas have a lighter taste than regular black tea.
I also have a recipe to make chai tea blend with rooibos and it also taste great!
After some trial and error, I’ve found out that the spices to tea ratio should be different whether you use black tea or rooibos tea, so if you’d prefer the caffeine-free version, be sure to check the rooibos chai blend recipe for better results.
The most common chai spices are:
- black pepper
You can also include star anise or fennel seeds.
However, you may skip some of the spices, according to your taste.
The important thing is to use fresh, whole spices (not ground spices); they will make all the difference in your chai tea blend.
You should avoid ground spices because they lose their flavor quickly, they will settle on the bottom of your container and on top of that, they are messy to strain.
Even if you use a tea bag, the spice powder will clog the bag during steeping, so it won’t result in an optimal brew.
How to make your own chai tea blend: step-by-step
Making your own chai tea blend is very easy.
Basically, you only need to mix the ingredients together and store them in an airtight container, away from light and moisture.
However, I like roasting some of the spices to release their flavor and aroma (and also because it smells awesome).
Following is a summary of the recipe.
You can get check out the exact ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the end of the post.
Time needed: 10 minutes
How to make your own chai tea bags
- Roast the spices (optional but highly recommended)
Roughly cut all the spices (except from dried ginger) and gather them in a small pan.
Roast them in medium heat for about one minute until you smell their aroma.
Be careful not to burn them.
- Bring the spices into small pieces
Once they are roasted, chop them finely with a mortar.
- Gather and store
Then add the black tea leaves and the dried ginger.
When the mix is completely cooled, place it in an airtight container.
To make chai tea bags, place the desired amount of the blend in each tea bag and store in a cool and dry place until ready to use.
You’ll need around half tablespoon of this chai blend per cup.
How to make DIY chai tea bags
Do you prefer the convenience of tea bags?
Once you have your chai tea blend, making tea bags couldn’t be easier: just place the desired amount on tea in an empty tea bags.
You’ll need about half tablespoons of the chai tea blend per cup.
Whether you store this chai blend as loose tea or in ready-to-use tea bags, always make sure you store your tea in an airtight container until ready to use.
How to prepare a cup of chai from tea bags
- Use around half tablespoon of this tea blend per cup.
- For best results, warm the cup before steeping the tea.
The best way to do this is by filling the cup to a half with hot water, rinsing the cup with it and then discharging this water.
- Steep the homemade chai tea blend in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with milk.
- Sweeten to taste and enjoy your creamy and sweet cup of chai!
Tips for a good chai blend
- You can skip the roasting step if you want, but I find that it really brings out the flavors of the spices.
- Crush your spices into coarse pieces:
- Crushed spices are easier to get evenly distributed in every serving
- When the spices are crushed, they release their flavor quickly while steeping.
This is important because black tea usually calls for only 5 minutes steeping time at most.
By using smaller pieces of spices and big, whole tea leaves, you may avoid over-steeping the tea too much.
However, try not to ground the spices into such small pieces as a grinder would, since that would make them difficult to strain and also, make it faster to loose their freshness
- If you don’t have dried ginger, you can use candied ginger as alternative.
Just make sure your ginger is dry, as should every ingredient you use for tea blends.
Moisture make tea go bad quickly!
- Have fun and feel free to experiment with the spices to find your perfect chai tea blend!
Homemade chai tea bags recipe
- Clean pan
- [This step is optional but recommended to bring out the aroma of the spices] Roughly cut the cinnamon (you can do it with your hands) and roast the spices, except for the dried ginger.Roast in a pan at medium heat for around 1 minute, until it starts to smell awesome and there is a little bit of smoke. However, don’t overdo it so the spices don’t get burned!
- Grind the spices in a mortar. If you don’t have one, you can also cut them with a knife.Try to get small pieces so they distribute evenly in the blend, but still not so tiny as grounded spices.
- Put all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container in a dry and dark place.If you want to make tea bags, put the desired amount in empty tea bags.
- To make a cup of tea, steep around ½ tablespoon of this tea blend in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten and serve with milk.
- Feel free to adapt the amount of spices to your taste (or leave any of them out)
- Grounded spices don’t work so well to make tea blends.
I hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired to make your own chai tea blend or homemade chai tea bags.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.