My gift to you: A warm cup of homemade Chai

December 19, 2011 in recipes

If I knew your name, and your phone number, I would invite you over for some chai. A warm cup of brown tea, made with milk and spices that once were exotic. I grew up drinking chai long before it made its way into the sugar sweetened version found in coffee shops today. My best friend was Indian and his mother would serve the delicious stuff. I never knew what it was called but I still long for the rich flavor she served. After serving you my imitation Chai, we would chat and if God granted, sit on the couches, moving inch by inch with the hours to stay in the sunny spots. Or perhaps you’d prefer grandpa’s leather rocker, the one he used to sit in while I snuggled in his lap. Either way, come in, let’s chat and get to know one another better.

Thank you for reading my thoughts this fall and winter. Because I am grateful, I am sharing my favorite recipe of instant spiced Chai mix. It is a winter staple around here, beloved by even my girls. And if you really want to make your girls feel special, add a mountain of whip cream (the real kind where you and your daughter do the whipping) and some chocolate sprinkles and put it in a pretty cup. Sometimes it is good to indulge the princesses.

And if you need last minute gifts for neighbors or friends or teachers, pour a bunch in a mason jar, tie with a ribbon and add a pretty tag with instructions.

This forgiving recipe can be played with until you find the mix you love the most. I go heavy on the spices but you can decrease their amounts.

Instant Chai Mix

  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar (or Splenda)*
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, decaffeinated  instant tea
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • *I’ve used 1/4 cup Stevia powder too. 


  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
  2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water.
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