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Whip up this homemade chai concentrate to keep in the fridge so you can enjoy a delicious chai latte whenever the craving strikes! Save time and money and avoid a trip to Starbucks with this easy copycat recipe!
Made with black tea, classic chai spices like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, and just a bit of sweetness this chai concentrate recipe is so delicious you’ll never want to spend $5 on one drink again!
Ingredients for homemade chai concentrate
- Chai Teabags (I use Tazo, the same brand Starbucks used for ages)
- Chai Spice Blend (this contains cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves)
How to make chai concentrate at home
This is just a brief overview, find detail instructions in the recipe card below!
- Bring the water to a boil. In a sauce pot that’s big enough to hold the water and sugar.
- Add the sugar. Stirring until it dissolves.
- Steep the tea. Pour the sweetened water over the teabags and spices and let brew for 30 minutes.
- Store the chai concentrate. Remove the teabags and discard before refrigerating the concentrate.
Chai Concentrate Without Whole Spices
This recipe is very quick and easy to make! It’s not time intensive and is meant for people who enjoy the various Chai drinks Starbucks offers on their menu.
Because of this, I use a homemade chai spice blend that’s made of ground spices instead of whole. While the flavor of whole, toasted spices is unbeatable, the ease of using ground, pre-made spice blends is really what we’re focusing on here!
If desired, you can use whole spices, toast them, and then steep them with the teabags instead of using ground. By doing this, you’ll avoid the settling that can happen with the ground spices. Just be sure to discard the spices before storing.
What Chai Concentrate Does Starbucks Use?
Starbucks used Tazo tea for ages before selling it in 2017. All the teas used in their drinks and sold in their stores were Tazo until that time and this is the same for all of their Chai-based drinks!
Now, Starbucks’s Chai Concentrate contains: water, black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, natural flavors, star anise, sugar, honey, ginger juice, vanilla, and citric acid.
By using Tazo Classic Chai Tea Bags our homemade dupe recipe contains: black tea, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and star anise. All the same good stuff! Without the weird “natural flavors” or preservatives!
Buying Chai Concentrate
If you don’t want to make your own concentrate (even though it is SO easy and inexpensive) to enjoy drinks like a pumpkin chai latte, there are plenty of brands around that make a chai latte concentrate you can purchase.
Tazo has a concentrate you can purchase at Target and other grocery stores. There’s also a Trader Joe’s brand that’s been very popular lately. I’ve used both Oregon Chai and Third Street’s concentrates when I worked at coffee shops.
In my opinion, Third Street Dragon Tongue Ginger Chai concentrate is the best in terms of store-bought. It’s so delightfully spicy!
One of the best reasons for making chai concentrate yourself is that you can control the flavor profile.
- Ginger Juice – want a spicier concentrate? Add ¼ cup of ginger juice to the water when steeping the tea. So spicy!
- Brown Sugar – to add even more depth of flavor, swap out the white granulated sugar for warmer, richer brown sugar. (And see more sweetener substitutions below!)
- Vanilla Extract – add 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract to make a delicious vanilla chai concentrate that would make a stunning dirty chai latte. (I also have recipes for a hot vanilla chai latte and an iced vanilla chai latte!)
- Decaf – as someone who is sensitive to caffeine, I love making my own tea and coffee recipes at home so I can control how much caffeine they contain. Look for decaf chai tea bags to make this delicious recipe caffeine free.
Storing the concentrate
This recipe makes 7 perfect servings – meaning it’s great to make on a Sunday and enjoy all week long. But sometimes things don’t work out that way.
Leftovers can be stored in a large glass jar with a lid for up to ten days. Settling is natural, because of the ground spices, so be sure to mix the concentrate well before using.
Naturally Sweetened Chai Latte Concentrate
If you'd prefer your chai latte concentrate be sweetened with something else besides granulated sugar you can use any one of the following sweeteners in place of the sugar:
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup agave
Of course, if you'd like your tea concentrate less sweet, opt for doing ⅓ cup or ¼ cup of whichever sweetener you choose!
Ways to Use Chai Latte Concentrate
- Classic Chai Latte
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Pumpkin Chai Latte
- Iced Chai Latte with Pumpkin Cold Foam
- Hot Vanilla Chai Latte
- Iced Vanilla Chai
Watch the recipe video!
Homemade Chai Concentrate (Starbucks Copycat)
- Sauce Pot
- Large glass measuring cup
- Large glass jar with a lid, for storage
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup granulated sugar (or less, to taste)
- 16 chai teabags
- 1 tsp. chai spice blend
- Place water in a sauce pot and set over heat to boil. While the water is heating, tie the teabags together and place in a large glass measuring cup and add 1 tsp. of chai spice blend, set aside.
- When water boils, stir in ½ cup sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour the sweetened water over the teabags and spices.
- Allow tea to steep for 30 minutes before draining bags and discarding.
- Allow concentrate to cool to room temperature before covering and storing in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- Refer to post for notes on sugar substitutions and spice additions.
- For a less-sweet concentrate, use only ¼ to ⅓ cup sweetener.
- Makes 3 ½ cups concentrate.