Let’s start off with a bit of clarification…

Saying, “chai tea” is the equivalent of saying, “tea tea”. Chai literally means tea. Masala chai means mixed-spice tea which is more in line with what most people refer to as chai.  

The flavourful blend of spices makes for a wonderful, warming drink. Adapting the base spices into other dishes allows you to have a chai-licious cold-weather warm-up that will have coffee lovers hankering for a bit of tea. 

The recipe below is a guide to discovering your favourite masala chai blend. You can alter the spices and flavours to create your own house blend. A friend, originally from India, adds fresh mint leaves to his house masala chai mix. He says that each family has their own special house blend.   

If you love the recipe below, keep using it! If you want to experiment to create your own house blend, enjoy the discovery.

Masala Chai

5 minutes

15 minutes

Total Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 3


6 cloves, crushed

3 bay leaves

1½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1½ cinnamon sticks, crushed

3 star anise seed pods, crushed

12 green cardamon pods, crushed

¾ tsp black peppercorns, crushed

4 cm ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tea bag black tea or 1 Tbs loose leaves

3 Tbs (45 mL) honey

½ cup (120mL) milk


  1. Boil the chai spices in 3½ cups (875 mL) water for 3 minutes, then steep 10 minutes.
  2. Add your tea bag or leaves to the pot and bring back to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Add the honey and milk and warm through.
  4. Strain through a cheesecloth.
  5. Serve immediately, or you can let it sit on the stove and simmer for 15 minutes for a stronger taste. Can be refrigerated for 3 days.

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