Anyone can buy syrup. But anyone can also make syrup themselves. Here, I will show you how you can make vegan chai tea latte syrup yourself. This chai concentrate is simply a blend of black tea, spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, and sugar. With it, you can easily prepare an Indian masala chai latte, by mixing it with plant-based milk. You can enjoy it by yourself, but it is also a nice DIY Christmas gift idea. Why not give away spiced tea instead of liqueur? Making chai tea from scratch is very easy, cheap, and is a delicious gift that no one voluntarily leaves to dust, gives it away, or puts it on eBay.
ChaiChai, in a wide variety of spellings, such as çay in Turkey, simply stands for tea in many countries. When Chai, in exact this spelling, or Chai Latte, is spoken of, almost certainly the spiced Indian Chai tea is meant. To be precise, we should actually be talking about Masala Chai here.
MasalaThe word “masala” means mixture, specifically, it usually means a mixture of spices, as is the case with “Garam Masala”, for example. There is no one right mix and method of preparation, as is the case with Neapolitan pizza, for example. But there are some basic components: In addition to the spice mixture, chai typically contains black tea, milk, and sugar. Prepared with plant-based milk, the chai is vegan.
My mixture is very much based on that of the “ Yogi Tea Classic“. If you’ve never drunk chai and want to know how it tastes without making gallons of syrup, then I recommend you give it a try. In Austria, it often can be found in larger supermarkets, but also at dm. Or of course at Amazon *). Starbucks chai is said to be very delicious. I haven’t tried it yet, as the syrup contains honey.
The spice mixture for this chai syrup consists of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and ginger – just like the Yogi Tea. I further added allspice. The mixture can also be enriched with fennel and/or aniseed (I’m not a big fan of either, at least not of the seeds, but I started to like fresh fennel). A touch of chili would also be possible. In any case, use whole spices, as powders, such as ground cinnamon, would end up in the bottle when strained.
Is chai tea stimulating? Yes and no. That depends entirely on the amount of tea. I would perhaps describe the variant with black tea as a bit stimulating. The recipe for chai tea concentrate lists 20 tablespoons or 100 grams of black tea. That sounds like a lot. However, this amount is for two liters of syrup. For a cup of chai latte, you need about one to two tablespoons of syrup (depending on how sweet and intense you like it). Let’s say a tablespoon and a half. If a tablespoon is about ten milliliters, you can make 133 chai lattes from two liters of syrup. So one tablespoon of black tea makes an average of six to seven chai lattes. You see, not so bad. 😉
In any case, I also drink the black tea variant in the evening – but also with the ulterior motive of staying awake a little (to work on the blog ;-)) and still not going through the nights. And if you want it to be more intense, you can use the syrup to refine your own black tea with it.
If you are quite sensitive to caffeine, you can also prepare the chai syrup entirely without black tea. The result is perfect as a good night drink. Or for children (yeah, bad sugar, but now and then, in my eyes, it is ok). I could also imagine using this syrup for dishes such as pancakes or porridge. I haven’t tried it yet. But maybe you and want to share your experience in a comment?
I would only not recommend it to sensitive pregnant women, at least not a huge amount, since it is all about contractions-inducing spices. In the week of your due date, you can then drink a lot of it and maybe help out a little, hehe.
Perfect for the forgetful
Speaking of black tea: Are you tired of forgetting to take out the teabag and “enjoy” bitter tea? Believe me, I know the feeling too well. It happens to me all the time! With herbal tea, that’s not bad at all. In my case, the bag is often still in the cup while I’ve long since drunk the tea. But black tea doesn’t necessarily get better with every additional minute. With a syrup, you only have to think about it once, namely when preparing the syrup yourself. With the amount you should, however, set a kitchen clock or an alarm clock this one time – if you are a scatterbrain like I am. You can also make the chai syrup entirely without black tea.
Hot, cold, dirty
The hot Chai Latte variant is probably the best known. The Indian spiced tea also tastes so good cold as an Iced Chai Latte, despite the very Christmas spices. And the dirty variant would be the dirty chai latte, which is a chai latte with coffee. That sounds like a lot of caffeine! Have you ever drank this? I don’t like sweetened coffee at all unless it’s black. But I love chai latte sweetly. I think that chai tea lattes are always sweet, can’t imagine them without sugar. The chai I drank in India always contained more sugar than anything else. Maybe I shall give the dirty version a try.
Ho ho ho
This homemade chai syrup, you may not only enjoy yourself but also your loved ones. It makes a wonderful DIY (Xmas) gift from the kitchen. Mom, parents, family, friends, and coworkers alike will be happy about the delicious chai syrup for a chai latte. Please make sure that you use bottles that are really tight. Swing top bottles are available in every 1 euro (dollar) shop. But I wouldn’t rely on them. I ordered mine from Amazon, namely these here *) (they don’t cost the world and are available in different sizes). The ten pieces of 200 ml each are perfect for the two liters of syrup specified in the recipe.
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to see the result. Please do not forget to tag me on Instagram: @plantbased.redhead.cooks
- 1 kg (35.2 oz or 5 cups) (brown) sugar
- 2 liters (8.5 cups) of water
- 4 sticks of cinnamon
- 8 tbsp cardamom pods
- 8 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
- 6 tbsp cloves
- 3 tbsp allspice
- 20 black peppercorns
- 20 tbsp or approx. 100 g (3.5 oz) loose black tea
- First, rinse the bottles with hot water. I do this by putting the bottles with the swing top on them (which are each open) in the sink. Then I boil water with the kettle and pour it into the bottles and also something over the caps. I'll leave it like that for a few minutes. Then I empty the bottles. Protect your hands with a tea towel as the bottles are very hot! Then let the bottles dry upside down, against the wall and leaning against each other.
- If the ginger is not organic, peel it and then cut it into slices. Put aside.
- Next, crash the spices. Use a mortar for this, or simply put them in the pot and take a thicker glass or something similar and use its base to crush the spices directly in the pot. They don't need to be ground, just lightly mashed, especially the cardamom pods, to open them up a little.
- Then roast the spices for about 1 minute while stirring so that they develop their full taste. Caution: The spices begin to smoke quickly, but are not yet burned. A heavenly scent rises. Keep an eye on them and don't roast them for much longer than a minute as they do end up burning quickly.
- Add the ginger to the spices and also the sugar and water. Bring to boil and then let them simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
- Strain the syrup, preferably with a cloth that is laid out in a sieve which is hanging over a fresh saucepan. I use my cheesecloth *) for this, which I also use to make baked almond feta.
- Let the strained liquid simmer for another 10 minutes.
- If you want to make the syrup with black tea (in the post I explain the possible uses for the different versions), add it now (otherwise skip to the next and last step). Turn off the stove and let the tea steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Strain everything back using a cheesecloth *) again. Or simply take out the tea bags if you use them instead of loose tea (see notes below).
- Pour the hot liquid into bottles using a funnel and close them.
- Instead of loose tea, you could use teabags. About 25 to 30 pieces should replace the amount of 100 g loose tea.
- The syrup is not typically thick like a syrup, but more like a concentrate. So don't be surprised if that is the case with you - everything is fine.
- Once opened, keep the chai syrup in the refrigerator. I can't say anything about the exact duration. Thanks to the sugar, it stays good for a while
- If you can't find allspice, you can use more cloves and cinnamon instead.
- Fennel seeds, star anise, and even chili would do well in syrup too. But I like it best without all of that.
- You can enjoy the syrup with either cold or warm vegan milk. I use about 1-2 tablespoons of syrup per cup/glass. By the way, you can replace half of the milk with water (mix a water-milk mixture with the syrup). It doesn't necessarily taste better, but it is still tasty and reduces milk consumption, which in turn is cheaper, and so we don't have to carry that much home.
- Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your chai latte if you like.
How do you measure the brown sugar. ( 2.2oz)