How to Make Super Spicy Chai

Laine Bergeson shares her super spicy chai recipe.

Spices are insanely good for you (read more about their benefits) — and an easy way to get more of them is to drink chai. I like to make my own chai so I can add as much spice as I like. What’s more, boiling the spices makes the house smell like happy childhood memories (and who couldn’t use a few more of those?!).

My recipe is super spicy, so if you’re a little tentative about spices I’d suggest cutting the amounts I suggest below by a quarter or a half to start. Then, if you like it, building up your tolerance from there.

Also, I don’t add any sweetener because I hate things that taste good. (Just kidding! I gave up sugar a few years back and now I’m accustomed to it.) But this recipe is great with a bit of honey. Just don’t go crazy with it: Remember, low blood sugar is sexy!

Laine’s Super Spicy Chai

(All measurements are approximate. Experiment with them depending on your spiciness preference!)


  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 tbs. cardamom pods (I use a mortar and pestle to crush mine)
  • 1 tbs. coriander seeds (crushed)
  • 1 tbs. cumin seeds (crushed)
  • 1 (or more) bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbs. cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg seed, partially grated
  • 1 tbs. black pepper
  • 1/2-inch to 1-inch grated raw ginger
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1/2 cup black tea
  • 12 cups water


Combine all spices and the orange peel in a large pot. Add the water. Boil for 20 minutes. Add the tea. Boil 5 more minutes. Strain. Then, unless you drink all the chai straight from the pot (an impressive feat!), store it in the fridge. (I use Weck or Mason jars.)

When you heat up a cup, add the milk of your choice. I don’t do dairy, so I use almond milk. In fact, I make my own of that, too, and you can learn how here.

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