Yogi Chai Tea

Want your home to smell like holiday cheer without all the calories and food comas? Then this homemade chai tea is where it’s at.  This vibrant beverage has so many health properties that it is hard to list them all!

A little background on where this recipe came from…Eleven years ago I stepped foot in my first kundalini yoga class at The Center in downtown Harrisonburg, VA.  The class impacted my life so greatly that I’ve been practicing this style of yoga ever since.  One night after class, my kundalini yoga teacher brought in a huge thermos of this tea to share, and I was hooked and knew I needed her recipe in my life.  It is one of the best chai teas I’ve ever had, and it is so easy to prepare.  I like to think of it as one of those recipes where you do minimal work, set a timer, and walk away until it’s done!

It is important to note that the health properties don’t come from “chai tea” itself, but from the myriad of ingredients that make this tea so flavorful.

Every single ingredient in chai tea is full of antioxidants and is therefore anti-inflammatory. Chai tea contains both cinnamon and black tea, both of which may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Plus, the cinnamon and ginger in chai tea may help reduce insulin resistance and may aid in reducing blood sugar levels.  Cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and black pepper all have antibacterial properties, and ginger has an anti-nausea property.  However, studies that directly investigate the cumulative effects of all the ingredients of chai tea are still needed.

It is best to steer clear of heavily sweetened, store bought chai teas because the high amounts of sugar (up to 35g in one serving) tends to negate the blood sugar lowering properties of these powerful herbs and spices.



2 quarts filtered water
15 whole cloves
20 black peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
20 whole cardamom pods
8 fresh slices of ginger root

Plant based milk
Local honey/maple syrup to taste
Black tea bags (if you’d like to make it caffeinated)
Star anise for decoration/flavor


  1. Bring two quarts of water to a boil.
  2. Split cardamom pods by placing them on a cutting board and gently pressing them into the board with a jar or can until you hear or feel them splitting.
  3. Add cloves to boiling.  Boil for 1 minute.
  4. Add split cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger.
  5. Cover and boil for 30 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 2-3 hours (covered).
  7. Remove from heat and strain out all ingredients.
  8. Serve immediately or let cool to store in fridge.
  9. To serve immediately: Pour chai tea into your favorite mug. Add a black tea bag (steep 3-4 minutes). Add a splash of your favorite plant based milk. Add a dollop of honey.

Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC

Author Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC

More posts by Katie Abbott, MS, RDN, INHC

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