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Learning how to make authentic chai at home

How To Make Authentic Chai The Easy Way!

Posted on May 31 2023, By: Chai Up

Learning how to make authentic chai at home

Learning how to make authentic chai will not only quench a thirst for warm, comforting tea but it will also provide you with so many health benefits! Learn our special masala chai recipe and you’ll be teaching others how to make chai tea from scratch in no time!

Different Chai Recipes From Around The World

According to NDTV Food, there are 8 different ways of making chai in India alone. And then there are different ways of making chai tea depending on where you are in the world. No matter where you are, you can make chai tea from scratch and copy different recipes from different regions of the world. Learn how to make authentic chai that comes from different regions in the world like India, The Himalayas, The Straits, the Far East, the Arabian Gulf, The United Kingdom, and the United States below!

Authentic masala chai from a tea stall in India

How To Make Authentic Chai: 7 Indian Tea Recipes

There are several ways of learning how to make authentic Indian chai tea because each region has a different variation and way of enjoying chai. The chai tea ingredients vary but all of them have great health benefits and are great alternatives to the famous masala chai. Here are some of the best chai recipes from all over India. 

Kashmiri or Noon Chai

While the origins of Kashmiri Chai have not been confirmed, it is said that it originated in the Kashmir Valley and can be further traced back to Yarkand in Turkestan. Kashmiris are known to drink this type of chai made with gunpowder tea and salt and is famous for having a pink hue. “Noon” in several Indian languages means “salt” which is a prominent ingredient in Kashmiri chai. Kashmiris enjoy Kashmiri or noon chai in the morning or afternoon and is accompanied by naan bread. 

There are plenty of health benefits to noon chai as well. Because the tea is rich in Vitamin C, it helps boost immunity. It can also help aid in weight loss because the polyphenols present in the tea can lower bad cholesterol. It’s also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which does wonders for the skin. Here’s how to make this pink tea:


  1. Two tablespoons of tea leaves
  2. Four to five green cardamom pods
  3. A teaspoon of salt
  4. A teaspoon of soda bicarbonate
  5. An inch of cinnamon 
  6. One star anise
  7. Two cups of milk
  8. One tablespoon of sugar
  9. Eight to ten pieces of pistachio


  1. Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the cardamom pods to the saucepan with the tea leaves, salt, soda bicarbonate, star anise, cinnamon, and stir well. Bring all the ingredients to a boil. 
  3. Add the milk and mix well. 
  4. Add the sugar last and mix until sugar is dissolved. 
  5. Strain the tea and discard the tea leaves and spices. 
  6. Pour the tea into individual cups and add finely chopped pistachios and serve while hot!

Ginger or Adrak Chai

Ginger tea is another popular type of tea enjoyed in India. It is also known as Adrak chai. This type of tea is usually served during the winter time because it is a warming drink and it can reduce inflammation and is great for soothing colds. The Gingerol present in Adrak chai, which is the bioactive ingredient in ginger, acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Other benefits of Adrak chai are reducing nausea, aiding in digestion, and relieving colds and flu. 

Here’s how to make it:


  1. Two cups of water
  2. ¼ cup of milk
  3. One tablespoon of loose-leaf tea
  4. One inch of ginger
  5. Sugar (To taste)


  1. Start by warming the milk in a saucepan in low heat then keep aside. 
  2. Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a separate saucepan along with some grated ginger. Let it boil for a few minutes. 
  3. Add the tea leaves in and let simmer for one minute. 
  4. Filter the tea with a strainer before pouring into individual cups.
  5. Add some sugar or honey to taste. 

Elaichi or Cardamom Chai

Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices and India is its second-largest producer. Elaichi chai is a cardamom-flavored tea made with black tea. In learning how to make authentic chai, you’ll see that cardamom is almost always present in the ingredients. This spice is known to help cure a loss of appetite, fatigue, and even stress. 

Other benefits of drinking cardamom or elaichi chai are curing headaches, nourishing the body of Vitamins A, B, and C, curing indigestion, boosting immunity, curing nausea, remedying colds, and ensuring great oral health. Here’s how to make it:


  1. One cup of water
  2. A half tablespoon of tea powder
  3. A half tablespoon of sugar
  4. Three crushed cardamom pods 
  5. One cup of milk


  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the tea leaves or powder, sugar, milk, and cardamom pods. Let the mixture simmer on low heat.
  3. Pour the elaichi chai into individual cups and enjoy while hot.

Small cups containing bombay cutting chai


Bombay Cutting Chai

Known as Mumbai’s chai of choice, “cutting” chai is basically masala chai that has been cut into half. It fits into a doppio-sized glass and is the tea equivalent of an espresso coffee. It has bold flavors and is very concentrated. Regardless of how hot it is, cutting chai is always served hot. Unlike other types of tea, cutting chai isn’t a type of tea you would enjoy at home. Cutting chai is mostly catered to workers who come from smaller towns and work in shops, mills, or factories. 

Here’s how to make it at home:


  1. One cup of water
  2. Three cardamom pods
  3. One inch of ginger
  4. Two teaspoons of tea powder
  5. Two teaspoons of sugar
  6. ¾ full cream milk


  1. Bring the cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. 
  2. Add the cardamom to the water.
  3. Grate one inch of ginger and add to the saucepan. 
  4. Add the tea powder.
  5. Add the sugar.
  6. Let the mixture boil for about five minutes. The longer you boil, the stronger the tea.
  7. Add the milk and boil for an additional two minutes.
  8. Filter the tea before serving and enjoy. 

Sulaimani Chai

Sulaimani chai is popular in India’s Malabar region and in the city of Hyderabad, but is said to have originated in the Arab region. The taste of Sulaimani chai can be characterized as sweet-sour. This type of chai is enjoyed after heavy meals because it has digestive properties. Its name comes from the word “Sulaiman” which translates to “Man of peace”. Legend says that the Prophet Mohammed enjoyed a beverage called “ghava” and the drink made its way to India’s Malabar coast through Arab traders. As the drink reached India, the recipe was modified with local Indian spices and used sugar instead of dates as a sweetener. When tea was added to the modified drink, Sulaimani chai was born. 

This type of chai has a moderate amount of caffeine and has citrus notes. It also has a little spice and its most highlighted health benefit is aiding in digestion. It also helps reduce your cholesterol and is great for keeping a healthy heart. 


  1. Two cups of water
  2. One teaspoon of ginger
  3. Two cloves of garlic
  4. Four pieces of ¼ inch-long cinnamon sticks
  5. Two cardamom pods
  6. One tablespoon of sugar
  7. One teaspoon of tea powder


  1. Add the two cups of water to a saucepan with the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, and sugar.
  2. Add the tea powder and let it seep until the color of the water changes. 
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat, add lemon, and let it sit for a while.
  4. Strain the spices and pour it into individual glasses.

Tulsi Chai

Tulsi is another term for “holy basil” which is native to the Indian subcontinent. It grows well in humid and tropical climates. It has been named holy basil because it has religious and spiritual significance. Its leaves are cultivated, picked, dried, and used for making tea. Tulsi or holy basil has been used for Ayurvedic purposes because it is an adaptogen that helps the body to adapt to stressors. Thus by drinking tulsi chai, you can reap health benefits like strengthening your body’s immune system, reducing stress levels, and even achieving mental clarity. 

Tulsi chai can also be drunk by menopausal women because it is great for hot flashes. Other health benefits of drinking Tulsi chai are: promoting respiratory health, promoting heart health, facilitating liver function, reducing cell and tissue damage, and even relieving inflammation caused by arthritis. Here’s how you can make it at home:

  1. One and a half cups of water
  2. 10 to 15 large holy basil leaves
  3. Three teaspoons of black tea leaves
  4. One cup of milk
  5. One or two tablespoons of jaggery


  1. Let the water boil in a saucepan.
  2. When the water starts bubbling, add the tulsi or holy basil leaves.
  3. When the water starts boiling some more, add the tea leaves.
  4. Let the tea brew for a minute.
  5. Add in a cup of milk. (You can opt to use plant-based milk)
  6. Stir in the jaggery powder and strain.
  7. Serve in individual glasses.

Lemon tea from West Bengal made at home

Lembu Chai

Most popular in West Bengal, Lembu chai is simply lemon tea. It is also one of the types of chai that can be enjoyed without milk. “Lembu” is lemon in Bengali. Even though it sounds simple enough to make, it also takes some practice to perfect. Lemon tea has incredible health benefits because it is packed with Vitamin C from the lemon.

Drinking Lembu chai can detoxify the body, boost digestive functions, enhance skin, remedy inflammation and so much more. Here’s how you can make it:


  1. Four pieces of Hajmola 
  2. Two grams of Jaljira powder
  3. Eight grams of black salt
  4. 50 grams of sugar
  5. 550 grams of water
  6. One teaspoon of tea leaves
  7. Lime juice


  1. Crush the Hajmola, jaljira, black salt, and sugar into a powder. 
  2. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. When the water starts to boil, add the tea leaves. 
  4. Let the mixture brew for a minute.
  5. Strain the tea leaves.
  6. Add a teaspoon of the powdered mixture into each glass of the tea.

Chinese herbal tea

How To Make Chai Tea From Around The World

There are also different variations of chai that are enjoyed all over the world as inspired by Indian chai tea. According to World Tea News, there are about 6 different regions in the world with their own version of chai. Here’s how to make authentic chai from different parts of the world. 

Rooibos Chai

Rooibos is an herb that grows in South Africa. Contrary to popular belief, this herb is not actually a type of tea. When the plant is harvested, dried, and infused with water, it turns into a reddish-brown herbal infusion. It has been called “African red tea” because of the color or “red bush tea” by the tea industry. In South Africa, Rooibos chai is a popular national drink. It is rich in Vitamin C, Iron, and Potassium. Its lack of caffeine is pretty much what sets it apart from other types of tea.

The flavor profiles of Rooibos chai can be characterized as sweet, smokey, or woody. Enjoy the flavors of South Africa by following this recipe: 

Karak Chai

In learning how to make authentic chai, another popular variation is very much enjoyed in many Arab countries. Karak chai is said to be somewhere in the middle of normal chai and masala chai. It is heavily inspired by masala chai but has a milder flavor profile. There are also many ways and recipes you can follow to make Karak chai. Some recipes make use of condensed milk instead of just regular milk, putting this type of chai on the sweeter side. Some recipes make use of the commonly used chai herbs like cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, and even star anise.

The black tea incorporated in Karak chai has antioxidant properties and contains polyphenols that can reduce inflammation in the body. Karak chai is also said to be good for boosting energy and is great to drink when you have the flu or a cold. Here’s a simple recipe to enjoy the Karak drunk in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.


  1. Four tablespoons of white sugar
  2. Four cups of water
  3. Two tablespoons of loose black tea
  4. Six cardamom pods
  5. Three cloves
  6. A pinch of saffron
  7. Three slices of ginger
  8. ⅔ cups of evaporated milk


  1. Caramelize the sugar in a saucepan without stirring. When the sugar turns into a caramel color, slowly add in the water. 
  2. Add the loose tea, cardamom pods, cloves, saffron, and ginger. Let the mixture boil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. When the spices turn fragrant, add the milk.
  4. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer until it becomes a little thicker. 
  5. Use a strainer before pouring into individual containers.

Thai Iced Tea

Tea wasn’t brought into Thailand until the 1980’s so it's a relatively new addition to their cuisine. Many would even argue that the Thai iced tea isn’t really a part of Thai culture but more so a result of melting cultures present in the country. Regardless, Thai iced tea has become a staple food in Thailand and has even garnered worldwide popularity. If Karak chai is a milder version of masala chai, think of Thai iced tea as the mildest version that is enjoyed over ice. 

One characteristic of Thai iced tea is its pink or orange color that comes from food coloring. Thai iced tea is considered a “dessert drink” because it is made with condensed milk which makes it quite sweet. This type of chai is really easy to make and it might surprise you. Try it out at home using this recipe:


  1. ½ cup of Thai tea mix
  2. Two and a half cups of water
  3. ¼ cup of sugar
  4. Ice
  5. A cup of milk (You can also use half and half, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, etc.)


  1. Brew the tea mix in a saucepan for about two minutes.
  2. Let the tea steep for at least 10 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to sift through any solids. Let the tea cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  3. Fill a glass with ice and pour the cool tea about two-thirds of the way and leave some space for milk.
  4. Fill the rest of the glass with milk and enjoy!

Chai Tea Latte

The Western variation of masala chai has gained worldwide popularity. So much so that it is part of large coffee chain menus that you can find in almost any corner of the world. Chai tea lattes are made with a black tea base, spices, and steamed milk. Just like Thai iced tea, it can also be served on ice or hot like the original masala chai. Recipes also vary depending on where you buy a Chai tea latte. Some cafes use a powdered chai latte mix while others use a chai concentrate. 

Without a chai powder mix or chai concentrate, making chai tea lattes at home might not taste like it's made when you buy from a cafe but it might be closer to the original thing.


Chai Concentrate

  1. Two cups of water
  2. Two black tea bags or four grams of loose-leaf tea
  3. Two whole cloves
  4. One teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  5. A half teaspoon of ground ginger
  6. A half teaspoon of ground cardamom
  7. A half teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  8. A half teaspoon of ground allspice
  9. Two tablespoons of maple syrup

Chai tea latte

  1. ½ cup of chai concentrate
  2. ¾ cup milk of your choice
  3. One tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
  4. A pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. Make the chai concentrate by heating two cups of water. Add all the ingredients of the chai concentrate and let simmer for five minutes. 
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the tea and sweetener.
  3. After five minutes, strain the concentrate.
  4. Reserve ½ cup of the concentrate to use for the latte.
  5. Warm and froth your milk of choice in a small saucepan and add the maple syrup and cinnamon.
  6. To serve, pour some of the concentrate into a mug and top it off with the frothed milk.
  7. Add ice for a cold version. Otherwise, enjoy it while it's warm.

Why it’s best to brew tea at home

Why It's Best To Make Chai Tea At Home

1. It’s cost-effective

When you get into the habit of enjoying chai, it can start to break the bank when you keep purchasing from cafes. That’s why it's important to learn how to make authentic chai. You can buy the ingredients in bulk and keep making them at home as much as you want which will be relatively cheaper in the long run.

2. You can customize the recipes

Making chai tea at home means you can experiment and customize any of the recipes above. It might be convenient to purchase a chai tea latte from your favorite cafe if you’re out and about but you’ll be better off making it at home. Chai tea lattes are packed with sugar which can eventually be more unhealthy than healthy. 

3. Choose quality ingredients

Like we said earlier, chai isn’t exactly brewed the same way it would be when bought from street vendors in India if bought from Westernized cafes. Most chai tea lattes you purchase will most likely be made with premade powdered concentrates that could be skimming you of quality ingredients. By making your chai at home, you can be rest assured that you’re only using the best ingredients.

4. Healthier alternative

You can even make your chai healthier by making it at home and tailoring it specifically to your dietary preferences. If you’re practicing veganism, making chai at home means you can use your own milk and vegan sweeteners. 

5. Ritual and relaxation

The process of brewing tea is a relaxing and even meditative experience. Just like cooking or baking, it allows you to be present in the moment and slow down. You also get to make something from scratch which is totally fulfilling. Making chai at home is a great addition to your routine and can be your new comforting hobby. 

A hot cup of masala chai topped with cinnamon and star anise


Why Chai Up Has The Best Masala Chai

If you’ve ever wondered how to make chai tea with tea bags, Chai Up has made this possible. The Chai Up Masala Chai mix contains nine premium spices that make brewing your own masala chai at home really easy. You can easily cut the prep time for making tea without compromising on any of the wonderful masala chai spices and ingredients just by using Chai Up’s masala powder mix. If you want the best recipe for how to make authentic chai, here’s Chai Up’s authentic chai tea recipe


  1. One cup water
  2. Two black tea bags or loose-leaf tea
  3. Chai Up Masala Powder Mix
  4. Milk of your choice
  5. Sugar
  6. Cinnamon


  1. Bring water to a boil on a saucepan and brew the tea as you normally would.
  2. Add in Chai Up Masala Powder Mix and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the milk and sugar as preferred.
  4. Pour the tea into individual glasses and add some cinnamon on top.
Try Chai Up’s Masala Powder Mix today so you can enjoy making masala chai at home and try your hand at how to make authentic chai.


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