Make Ahead Spiced Chai Tea Latte

In this post we will be sharing how to brew a make ahead spiced chai tea latte. This is a simple and delicious recipe that can be served both hot and iced. Once you try making your own spiced chai tea, nothing else will quite compare!

The History of Indian Spiced Chai Tea

The word “chai” is actually what half the world calls tea. But here in the States, chai usually refers to Indian spiced tea served with milk, cream, and sweetener. 

The British brought tea to India in 1835. After its introduction by the British Raj, tea became the drink of choice in India- especially black tea. India is still a nation of tea drinkers. The tea regions of India are Assam, Nilgris, and Darjeeling.

In India they would call this drink “chai masala”. Masala means “spiced”, so it literally translates to “spiced tea”. India is the land of spices so it makes sense that they marry all those lovely spices from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan with tea. India has a rich dairy tradition, and sugar is also abundant. All of these elements combine to make a cup of magic we Americans like to call chai tea lattes!

a plate of indian spices for chai lattes life full and frugal

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My Love of Make Ahead Spiced Chai Tea

When I have a cup of chai masala, I feel a deep connection to the past and a sense of the exotic. To me, the word “chai” just sounds like another world! It’s a way to travel to a foreign land right here in my little Ohio kitchen.

My love affair with spiced chai tea started years ago. I remember the first time I ever heard of chai masala. While working at a local bistro, the pastry chef ordered Tazo Chai Masala to serve at the restaurant. It smelled absolutely divine. It made me want to learn more about food and the history of food. I wanted to learn how it has shaped our lives, and, in some ways, the whole world.

a hot cup of spiced chai tea latte

Trying Different Kinds of Chai

I have tried so many different spiced chai tea brands, including Tazo, Celestial Seasons, and the Trader Joe’s brand. My favorite store bought brand has been from Trader Joe’s. Then I got the idea to start experimenting with all the spices in my cabinet to make my own version of chai. My first couple of batches of home made spiced chai tea were good, but it needed something more.

About a year ago we went to an Indian restaurant that had an Indian grocery attached to it. I bought a bunch of spices. My big purchase was a large bag of green cardamom pods. I took all my spices home and played around again. I think that I have finally found the perfect combination for make ahead spiced chai tea!

Make Ahead Spiced Chai Tea Latte Recipe


1 large knob (or 2 small) of fresh ginger, sliced
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 crushed nutmeg seed
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
8 to 10 whole peppercorns
10 to 15 whole green cardamom pods
2 quarts of water
5 to 6 bags of black tea
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw sugar, honey, cane syrup, sucanat or palm sugar (your choice)
cream and milk
a 2.5 quart sauce pan
coconut milk and coconut cream (if you have dairy issues)
brewing indian spiced chai tea life full and frugal

Directions to Make Spiced Chai Tea 

Slice the ginger into 1/4 inch slices. In a 2.5 quart saucepan, add 2 quarts of water. Next add the sliced ginger and all of the spices to the 2 quarts of water. After that add the 5-6 bags of black tea. Place the sauce pan on a low heat stovetop for 10-15 minutes, bringing it to a gentle simmer. Do not allow it to come to a rolling boil.
When it has come to simmer turn off the heat. To the chai tea, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetener (we used coconut sugar). Place a lid on the pan and allow it to steep until cooled.
Once the spiced chai tea is cool, you can place the tea into a large mason jar and put it into the refrigerator. If you keep the spices in with the tea, it will help it last longer in the fridge and give a richer flavor. The chai tea should last in the fridge for several days. This is the beauty of “making it ahead!”
spices and chai tea in a jar life full and frugal

How to Serve the Spiced Chai Tea Latte

If you like, the make ahead spiced chai tea can be served immediately. Simply strain the tea into the desired cup, add extra sweetener (if needed- we like to add stevia), and then add cream and milk. This is an absolute treat in the winter time! It tastes like Christmas in a cup.

Since you can keep the remaining tea in the fridge, you can also warm it up gently the next day for another chai tea latte! Or share with friends! 

If you are allergic to dairy you can make the same thing with coconut milk and coconut cream and it is equally as good!

spices and a hot cup of spiced chai latte life full and frugal

Make an Iced Latte from Your “Make Ahead” Spiced Chai Tea

Prefer an iced latte? Easy! Strain some of the cooled spiced chai tea into a glass. After that, sweeten to taste, add cream and milk, and finally, add ice. All you need now is a straw! Enjoy this delicious summertime treat!

a iced chai tea latte life full and frugal

Health Benefits of Indian Spiced Chai Spices

The health benefits of the individual spices in chai masala are just astounding. Here is the list of spices in my chai masala and what their historic health benefits are.

Shop local where you can! 

We highly recommend Wildman’s Spice Company out of New Hampshire, Ohio!


Historically, the people of India and China used cardamom in their respective medicinal practices to treat lung disease, bladder disorders, and fevers. In Western medicine, it is mostly used as a remedy for gas and indigestion.


Eastern medicine uses cinnamon for a plethora of ailments. Here are just a few of the conditions cinnamon is good for: flu, digestive issues, menstrual complaints, kidney dysfunction, rheumatism, and as an overall stimulant for the body. In Western medicine, it is used to treat colicky gas and indigestion. 


This fragrant root is used specifically in Chinese medicine to treat toothache, malaria, and dysentery brought on by a bacterial infection. In Western medicine, it is mostly used as a good old fashioned remedy for indigestion.


Traditionally, nutmeg is used to treat hemorrhoids, indigestion accompanied by gas, diarrhea, upset stomach, dysentery, and rheumatism.


In Western medicine, fennel is used to strengthen the eyes, and to help the body rid itself of poisons. It has been used to treat the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and help with digestive troubles. It is also used to treat obesity, and to help stimulate the mammary glands to produce more milk.


Eastern medicine has been using pepper for over 4,000 years. In Chinese medicine white pepper was used for malaria, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, stomach issues, and digestive issues. The Indian monks have used pepper as a way of helping with stamina.


In Western medicine, cloves are used to treat scabies, athletes foot, digestive issues, and as an antiseptic for the umbilical cord. It is used to kill parasites, as well as to help with pain during labor.  It is an old fashioned remedy for a toothache. Cloves can be eaten or sucked on for nausea. In Chinese medicine, cloves are used to treat halitosis, to treat hernias, and lung issues.

Star Anise

This exotic spice is used in Chinese medicine to bring about a stimulating response in the digestive system. It is also used to help treat respiratory issues.

Feeling Inspired? Pin it for later!

make ahead spiced chat tea latte Pinterest life full and frugal

References and Reading Suggestions

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
The Food of India by Priya Wickramasinghe and Carol Selva Rajah


  1. Jennifer Mayer

    This looks so very good! I am a huge fan of iced coffees lattes, you name it!

    • Shanna

      So glad you like it! Let us know if you try it out! =)


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