How to Prepare Chai at Home (In the Western World)


Earlier in the week I posted a recipe for Chai written by a dear friend of mine overseas. It was a traditional Indian version of how to make this yummy milk tea. However, what works in an Indian kitchen, doesn’t always translate to an American one.

Since being back in the US I’ve developed my own version of Chai preparation in a Western kitchen. Unless you have a tea strainer and loose tea on hand…DSC05327…you might want to try this easy version.

All you need is: Milk (2% works best), sugar and a teabag (black tea.) That’s it!


If you want to go fancy and yummy – add one or a combo of the following: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick or slice of fresh ginger (not pictured).


However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, before we dive in we need to address the issue of American-sized mugs compared to Indian-sized teacups. 


Two Indian tea cups full of Chai fit into One American sized mug. The following instructions will be for making ONE American sized mug of Chai. Double the recipe according to how many mugs of delicious Chai you are making. 


  • 1 mug of 2% milk
  • 1 teabag (black tea)
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • spices (optional)

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and place on Medium High heat.


Allow ingredients to come to a boil (milk WILL boil over, you must watch it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Once milk comes to a full boil adjust the heat to keep milk at a low boil for about 3 minutes. Color should turn light brown. I suggest swirling the pan occasionally to mix the ingredients, using a spoon to stir often tears open the tea bag and then you’re gonna need that strainer anyway. 


Isn’t that pretty?

I suggest that you do not rush Chai – it’s better when you allow it to take its time. The entire process takes about 5 minutes. Once done, turn off the heat, remove teabag and any spices and throw them away (unless you lived during the Depression, then you can wash them off and reuse. As you wish.)

Drink! Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

I recommend experimenting with spices til you find your favorite. One cardamom pod is perfect for me.

If you are interested in learning how to make authentic Chai you can visit my earlier post, The Art of Chai or visit the original post by A Living Flame.

FYI: Your homemade Chai will most likely form a milk skin on top as it cools. Don’t be afraid! It’s just milk. You can either: A. slurp it down. B. slurp it into your mouth and chew it up C. blow it over to the side of your cup and let it stick there D. use your finger or spoon to lift it off and discard.

Which do you think I prefer?


Milk skin. Nothing to fear.

One thought on “How to Prepare Chai at Home (In the Western World)

  1. Mentioning the milk skin- best idea yet! I usually take mine off and put it on the side of the cup and other times I just slurp it down when I am too lazy to do that 🙂 Fun post, thanks!


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