March 6, 2012

Simple Homemade Chai Concentrate {Powernap}

Homemade Chai Concentrate | The Naptime Chef

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

A few months ago I bookmarked the recipe for homemade chai concentrate on The Kitchn. As you all know, I am a huge chai drinker. I don’t drink it just for the caffeine either, I truly love the warm vanilla spicy flavors. I often buy my favorite chai tea at Target, but I loved the idea of making this concentrate at home. One simple scoop gives ordinary black tea an instant chai makeover. While readjusting to the post-Thailand time change last week this recipe suddenly seemed incredibly relevant. I was gulping down several cups of tea per day and was desperate for a new flavor while struggling to stay awake until 8pm.

Despite my waning energy levels I was easily able to mix up this concentrate while my daughter was at school. One tablespoon in my basic black tea created my sweet, creamy instant cup o’ chai. Maybe it was the jet-lag, but I couldn’t believe how incredibly delicious the beverage was, far less bitter (and cheaper!) than the Tazo tea from Starbucks, and not quite as sweet as the Oregon Chai mix found on most store shelves. I adjusted the spices a bit to suit my tastes and you should feel free to do the same. Best of all, the little effort I put into making this yielded enough concentrate for nearly a month’s worth of tea. The remaining half a mason jar (I drank an exceptional amount to get over the jet lag) is currently in our refrigerator. I will be having more with my breakfast tomorrow morning.


Homemade Chai Concentrate

adapted from The Oregonian

makes about 1 ½ cups


1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


1. Mix all the ingredients together and store in the refrigerator. To use, mix two teaspoons of concentrate into your preferred cup of strong black tea and enjoy.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This concentrate makes an excellent gift. Store it in a glass jar and decorate it with a bow and cinnamon stick with a label noting how to use it.

Naptime Stopwatch

2 minutes

Naptime Reviews

This tasted like the best kind of creamy hot tea to me. Even though I’ve recovered from the jet lag I am still drinking it!