Steph Payne


For about a litre, you will need...

1 tblsp Black Tea Leaves

1 quill Cinnamon (or less)

1/4th of a Nutmeg

8-10 Cloves

6 Cardamom pods

1 small knob Ginger

1 tblsp Honey

500ml Water

500ml Soy Milk


Put water and soy milk in a pot, cold. Add tea leaves, nutmeg broken up (don't crush it too much or it will be all you can taste- nutmeg is super strong!), cloves lightly smashed, 1 large piece cinnamon, roughly crushed.

Turn the stove on low and let it slowly warm up, stirring often, as the milk can burn or stick to the pot.

Towards the end, add cardamom pods, broken open so the seeds are coming out, the crushed ginger and the honey. Adding cardamom and ginger at the last minute is key to it's flavour, which dissipates if you put it in earlier.

The brew is ready when as you stir it, steam starts to rise from it. You don't want it to boil. Strain and serve! Mmmm!


Quantities are quite experimental!

Spices vary in strength and freshness. It may take a few pots to get the balance just right. Luckily, even the unbalanced ones are quite nice! I've had some lovely accidental nutmeg teas in my time.

If you really like ginger or a particular spice, add as much as you like! Variations include adding a few black pepper corns or star anise.


If you aren’t drinking the whole batch immediately, strain it all anyway. The tea leaves will make the blend bitter and strong if left in.

The freshest and cheapest spices are from places like Indian Supermarkets. You'll usually find the people are very happy to give you chai making advice.

Long leaf black tea leaves are great - much easier to strain and slightly less processed. Short leaf teas are fine though.

In the Indian Supermarkets you can get lovely little stainless steel spice mortar and pestles for under $14. They are more of a cup shape. They are really great for this job, though the traditional ones will do too or just a rolling pin hitting a bag of spices.

If you don't want soy milk, experiment with cow's milk or other substitutes. You can't taste the soy at all though. Use fresh soy milk rather than the UHT long life soy or you get a skin. Ew!

Hope you enjoy the ritual of brewing up a fresh chai tea as much as I do.

Have fun!

Just because it’s Steph’s favourite way to share the love.

Chai Recipe