If you love the flavors of chai but are looking to avoid excess caffeine and refined sugar, this rooibos chai concentrate is just the thing you need on chilly days.
My mom doesn't consume any caffeine but what's in chocolate, so years ago we started making chai with rooibos. It really fits the flavour profile and it's a great way to make this an herbal tea. I have an original black tea, sugar sweetened version as well. This recipe is for those wanting a gentler, naturally sweetened chai latte.
I buy spices in bulk from Organic Matters (Canada) or Essential Organics (US). To buy these things in the store is quite expensive but when buying from an online spice retailer it's much more reasonable! Mountain Rose Herbs should also have all of the ingredients, but the duty was too much for me to import to Canada so I no longer order there.
Why You Need This Recipe
- A concentrate means you have a LOT of tea ready to go in the fridge without taking up a lot of space.
- Chai is traditionally caffeinated but you can use whatever tea you'd like here.
- Use the leftover spent spices as a simmer pot on the stove to add humidity and a lovely smell to your house!
- If its too much for you to use, waterbath can it!
Whole spices - No need to use a grinder here - because we are simmering the spices in the water we definitely get all the flavour we want!
Rooibos tea -Loose leaf is always more cost-effective, and allows me to make huge batches at once.
Maple syrup - I love to use maple syrup as a sweetener. It's natural, adds a great flavour, and can be customized to taste.
How to Make Chai Concentrate
Add all seasonings to the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about an hour.
Add tea and simmer five minutes longer, or however long your tea says to steep. Carefully strain this into a large bowl or jar.
Add maple syrup to taste, while the tea is still warm.
Tips and Tricks
- Strain using a lint-free tea towel for the easiest way to do the whole pot at once. You can tuck a little of the towel into the mouth of the jar to help hold the spices.
- Make yourself a mug right away to check sweetness so you can adjust the concentrate as a whole if you'd like. You can also sweeten each mug if everyone likes it a little different.
- I like to split this into quart jars so we can keep one in the fridge and the rest either canned or frozen for longer-term.
- Serving this in stoneware or pottery mugs really adds to the cozy feeling.
Use black tea, rooibos, or whatever you enjoy. Make sure and select one that will let the spices play a main role in your cup.
Absolutely - but I find it to be much more expensive because you are paying for the convenience of the tea bags to make individual mugs. My best guess is anywhere from 12 to 24 tea bags, because it depends on how much tea they have inside.
I like to do 1 part concentrate to 3-4 parts milk, and steam it on the stove into a frothy latte!
Variations and Storage
Dont want to use Maple Syrup?
Thats okay, swap for equal amount of sugar or a reduced amount of honey (honey is sweeter by volume!)
Add your water and spices to the Instant Pot and set it to cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. Let it sit for 30 minutes before releasing the pressure, if any. If it is still simmering you can add your tea, otherwise turn it to sauté for a bit to steep. Then stir in your maple syrup and strain.
Use proper canning procedures to sterilize your equipment and use new lids. I then do a water bath for quart jars for 15 minutes. Let rest for 24 hours before checking seals and storing.
Re-use store-bought yogurt quart containers or find some on Amazon. You can also use jars, but you are risking them cracking - use straight side jars and leave plenty of room for expansion. Let the concentrate cool in the fridge for 24 hours before putting in the freezer.
More Concentrated Recipes
- Bailey's Irish Cream Copycat
- Elderberry Syrup
- Black Tea Chai Concentrate
- DIY Raspberry Hibiscus Tea Blend
Maple Rooibos Chai Concentrate
- 4 litres water 1 gallon
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- 30 whole peppercorns
- ⅓ cup green cardamom pods
- ⅔ cup fresh ginger or ⅓ c chopped dried ginger I buy “tea cut”
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup loose leaf rooibos tea
- 1 - 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- Bring water, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger and salt to a boil. Turn down and let gently simmer for an hour.
- Add rooibos tea and set timer for 5 min, then strain the whole mixture with a thin tea towel over a strainer, over another pot.
- Add maple syrup, 1 cup if you want it only gently sweet, 1 ½ cups if you enjoy mildly sweet. If you were wanting a really sweet drink, I suppose you could add more.
- Following good canning practices, this can be water bathed for 15 minutes in quart jars.
- You can freeze this concentrate as well - use common sense when freezing, such as using straight-sided jars and leaving space for expansion.