Homemade Chai Tea: First Steps

By , August 24, 2010

I love chai tea. I especially love the packaged mixes like Oregon Chai, Pacific Chai and Enchanted Chai. They are each a little different blend of spices, but I like them all. I have been on a mission to make my own blend though, and hopefully make it healthier.

Last winter I found a recipe on TheFrugalGirl.com to make my own dry chai tea mix. It required a couple ingredients I couldn’t find in town. I needed vanilla coffee creamer, but the label had so much high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup solids, I didn’t really want that in my mix. I also wanted decaffeinated instant tea. I have found this everywhere before, and now it has disappeared from the store shelves. We couldn’t even find it out of town.

I toyed with using vanilla pudding mix instead of coffee  creamer. A couple of sites online talk about this. They used non-flavored creamer and instant vanilla pudding mix.

I finally gave up on the decaf. I’ll just have to drink it less often. My sister-in-law gave me some sugar free vanilla creamer that didn’t have the HFC, so I tried a 1/2 recipe with regular instant tea.

The recipe is the standard one you can find anywhere on the internet. I didn’t go back far enough in Frugal Girl’s archives to find her version. This one happens to be from AllRecipes.Com.

Chai Tea Mix


1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer

1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered

non-dairy creamer

2 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cardamom


  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
  2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water.

You may choose to omit the French vanilla creamer, and use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead. To do so, mix the vanilla into the sugar, let it dry, then break the sugar into small lumps. Follow the same procedure as above.

You can spice it up even further by adding 1 teaspoon nutmeg and allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com

Okay, so I tweaked it a little. I don’t follow recipes very well.  I doubled the amount of milk powder and halved the creamer. I also used half the amount of cloves, as my daughter finds that spice overwhelming. I blended the basic recipe,  and tried a cup. It was very sweet and was “missing something.” I ground some pepper into my cup and found the illusive flavor.

So I put part of the mix back in the blender and added some pepper, reblended, then stirred that well with the remaining mix. This morning’s cup was much better. I think the spices are melding together and this will continue to improve.

Next time I will use less sugar. I may also use the instant vanilla pudding. It seems to have a healthier ingredient list. For now, I’m really enjoying my “personal blend.”

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