I adore this recipe. It's got so much more depth than any one I’ve ever bought. I think my Mom has been making this for a decade, minimum. As written, it's well balanced and no one flavour punches out at you, but if you want it more peppery? More cinnamon? More ginger? Well then, you can do it however your heart wants.
It makes a lot, but it keeps well by freezing or canning and I’ve yet to regret having a batch of this tucked away for chilly mornings when I need a cozy cuppa.
If you have an Instant Pot, this recipe is super hands-off. Just dump everything in and let it do its thing. It's also easily made in a large pot on the stove if that's more your speed. This keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, but you can also freeze or do a water bath can if you want to store it for longer.
Some find this on the sweet side, in which case, use less sugar and see how you like it. If you know you are a "hold the sugar" in your tea type person already, I'd start with less. If using honey, try with half the amount as honey is sweeter than sugar per cup.
Kate's Chai Syrup
- 1 gallon water 4 litres
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- 20 whole peppercorns
- ⅓ cup cardamom pods
- ⅔ cup fresh chopped ginger OR I use ⅓ c “tea cut” dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups sugar can use honey or maple syrup
- ½ cup loose leaf black tea OR rooibos to make it caffeine-free*
- Bring water to a boil, and add the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger, and salt. Turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for an hour.
- Add sugar and simmer for a few minutes so it is well combined.
- Turn off the heat. Add your loose leaf tea and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Strain out all your tea and herbs.
- Add water, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger, and salt into the Instant Pot.
- Put the lid on, set knob to sealing, and set to 5 minutes pressure cook.
- After it's done, let it naturally release for approximately 30 minutes, then flip the knob to venting.
- It should still be simmering some; if not, turn on to saute, add the sugar, and stir to well combine.
- Add the loose leaf tea and let sit for 5 minutes, then strain out all your tea and herbs.
- Depending on how strong you want it, you will use 1 part Chai Syrup to 3 or 4 parts milk of your choice. Heat them both til they’re your desired temp, froth it if you’ve got a nifty little frother, and enjoy!
- I usually add a hefty splash of chai syrup into a mug, top it up with whole raw milk, then pour it into a small pot and heat over medium heat until it's steaming.
- Please note these are not official canning instructions but rough notes for you to follow.
- Wash and sterilize your jars. Soak your new lids in hot water.
- Fill your hot jars with hot syrup, wipe the rims, put on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes,
- Remove from the canner, let sit 24 hours in one draft-free place.
- Remove rings, check seals, label, and put away in the cupboard!
- I prefer to freeze liquids in yogurt containers or “32 oz reditainers” I buy off of Amazon. Simply let it cool, fill containers, label, and freeze.
- To freeze in a jar, pick straight-sided jars such as wide mouth pints, wide mouth pint and a halfs or wide mouth quarts. Fill jars with the cooled syrup, leaving 2 inches of headspace. Label and chill in the fridge for 24 hrs before moving to the freezer.
- *My best guess is this is 12-24 tea bags, depending on if your tea bags average a teaspoon of tea or much more. Loose leaf tea is very cost-effective to buy and I highly recommend it.
I'm thinking about making this without the sugar because I love the spice of chai but not the sweetness. Just have to wait till I can get out to get the spices I need.
yes! Make it however works best for you
This is THE BEST. I made it for Christmas presents for people this year and everyone is raving. We have enjoyed lots of it, too!
I made this 7 or 8 months ago, and we loved it, I ended up buying a pack of cinnamon that has sticks ~6 inches long, which prompted me to wonder if your recipe is based on 1 inch or 6 inch sticks?
Usually around 4 inches long around here.
Does it matter if you use black or green cardamom pods?
I've actually never seen black cardamom pods so i'm not sure!
I think black is more traditionally used in Chinese recipes and green in Indian, so I went with green! I just want to say...this recipe is sneakily delicious. One of those where you drink it and like it and then the next day you can't stop thinking about it. I'll definitely be making more soon!
I love chai. This was very easy in the instant pot then i canned it. Thinking about adding raspberry extract to my mug. Thanks for the recipe!
Am now making this regularly- friends at work are requesting it for chai lattes on Friday afternoons, my kids ask for chai tea after dinner, my husband adore it, etc, etc. It’s delicious. I make mine a little less sweet with about 1 3/4 c brown sugar. Also add a little star anise. Excellent.
Oh my this is good! I didn't have whole spices so I used ground and it's perfect!
I absolutely love chai tea.......this recipe is so good! I just made my second batch today. Thank you for sharing!!!!
So glad you are enjoying it!
I am having trouble sourcing whole cardamom pods. Is there a suggested adjustment for ground cardamom you'd recommend??
Thanks so much!
I'd try a tablespoon?
Wondering where you get your cardamom pods? Trying to figure out how much I need to buy to get 1/3c also!
i buy a 4oz bag and it makes a few batches. I get from omfoods.com
is the canning part safe? i'm not an avid canner, so slightly paranoid of the botulism risk over here ?
i just made a chai concentrate, but i think i definitely want to try your version
It's definitely safe to can the chai concentrate in a water bath.
I need to make it more cinnamonny and less ginger. How would I do that?
I would just play with the amounts to get it to your liking. I think you could start with just reducing the ginger and the cinnamon will automatically be more noticeable. Just use the recipe as a framework for your own preferences.
So delicious!! I have never left a comment on a recipe blog before, but this was just TOO good not to leave 5 stars! Yum yum yum.
We love it too!
I'm so excited to try this recipe and stop spending money at the coffee shops. Where do you source your dried leaf cut ginger? Thanks for sharing your life with us. You make me laugh on a regular basis. ?
I got the ginger from Organic Matters here in Canada