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Recipe: Warming Chai Tea for a Wintry Day

Dec 30, 2021 ● By Tiffany Hinton
A few packets of tea

Photo credit Tiffany Hinton

As the winter sets into our bones and we reach for a warm sweater or blanket to cozy up to stay warm, the flavor of chai comes to mind. This tea has been enjoyed around the world, and got its start in the world of Ayurvedic spices. These same spices can create warming in the body and immune boosting for the winter season here in Chicago.

Black pepper has been shown to reduce inflammation, having antioxidant properties, improving blood circulation and relaxing the muscles.

Ginger has powerful heating properties, making it excellent for days when it’s freezing cold outside, like on snowy winter days. It boosts blood circulation, stimulates the body and improves digestion.

Cardamom increases body heat, making it another perfect spice for the cold days, as well as the common cold and indigestion. It has a grounding effect, clears chest congestion, relieves headache, boosts energy levels and improves digestion.

These herbal remedies are combined in the chai tea recipe, which can be used today to help our bodies feel warm and cozy. This recipe is easy to make on the back burner of the stove while cooking dinner or making soup for the weekend. The chai concentrate can be used for traditional chai tea by mixing with warm milk, added to coffee to create “dirty” chai or used in a cake mix in place of the water or milk to create a chai spice cake.


Chai Tea Concentrate

yield: 2 cups or 6 servings

5 cups water

12 cardamom pods, crushed

8 whole black peppercorns

8 whole cloves

4 cinnamon sticks or 2 tsp ground cinnamon

4-inch piece fresh ginger or
    2 tsp ground ginger

2 whole star anise pods

4 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp allspice

2 Tbsp maple syrup

5 black tea bags


In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients except the tea bags to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a low, add tea bags and simmer for 20 minutes.


Remove from heat and strain through fine mesh sieve to remove solids. Store concentrate in an air-tight jar in fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Chai Tea

½ cup non-dairy milk

½ cup chai concentrate


Heat gently in saucepan until warm. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

Recipes courtesy of Tiffany Hinton, GF Mom Certified. Connect on social media