Basic Black Chai Recipe

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Photo by Howard Lee Puckett
Derived from the Chinese chá, “chai” means tea in much of the world, including Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa and Brazil.


  • 1-1⁄2 cups cold water
  • One 2-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken
  • 2 heaping teaspoons black tea
  • Seeds of 3 cardamom pods
  • One 1⁄4-inch-thick slice fresh ginger
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or sugar


  • Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add cinnamon, cover, remove from heat; steep 2 minutes. Return pan to heat; bring to a boil. Add tea, spices, milk, and honey or sugar; cover, and remove from heat. Steep 3 minutes.
  • Pour mixture through fine wire-mesh strainer into warm teapot, discarding solids. Garnish with cinnamon sticks. Discover more healing teas in Tea Time: 10 Herbal Teas for Health.

Chai contains some of the world’s healthiest spices, including cinnamon, ginger and cloves. If you prefer, omit the milk and honey and offer them separately.

Basic Black Chai Recipe

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