How to make your own chai tea bags from scratch
Looking for a fragrant tea blend at home? If so, you’ll love this recipe to make your own chai tea blend. It’s easy and fun, and you can customize it to your liking. Plus, blending your chai tea bags yourself is a great way to save money while knowing what is exactly in your cup. Let’s get started!
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, it’s not that difficult at all. And the results are amazing!
Also, it’s quite easy: 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 your body will also thank you for it.
In addition to that, homemade tea blends make for beautiful gifts and this luxurious chai tea blend is no exception.
What do you need to make chai tea bags?
To make a chai tea blend you’ll only need:
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, even decaf tea (although it’s difficult to find decaf teas that taste strong enough to match the spices in chai).
The most common chai spices are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper and nutmeg.
And you can also include star anise or fennel seeds.
However, you skip some of the spices, according to your taste.
The important thing is to use fresh, whole spices, as they will make all the difference in your chai tea blend.
Ground spices lose their flavor quickly, they will settle on the bottom and they are messy to strain (or could clog the tea bag), so it’s better to avoid them to make this tea blend.
How to make your own chai tea blend
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):
How to make your own chai tea bags
- Roast the spices (optional but 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 (you’ll need half tablespoon per cup) and store in a cool and dry place until ready to use.
How to make DIY chai 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.
Then store in an airtight container until ready to use.
You’ll need about half tablespoons of the chai tea blend per cup.
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 with hot water.
- Steep the homemade chai tea blend in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes.
- Sweeten to taste.
- Serve with milk.
Tips for a good chai blend
- There are 2 reason for chopping the spices quite finely:
- To ensure the spices are evenly distributed in every serving
- So they release their flavor quickly while steeping: 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
- You can skip the roasting step if you want, but I find that it really brings out the flavors of the spices.
- You may use dried ginger or alternatively, candied ginger. Just make sure it’s dry, because moisture make tea blends go bad quickly.
- Feel free to experiment with the spices to find your perfect chai tea blend.
Homemade chai tea bags recipe
- 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.