Hot Scratch Masala Chai

Sweater weather calls for mugs filled with homemade tea. Over the past few months, my taste buds have appreciated more spice in its life – cayenne, red pepper, black pepper and jalepenos. So it was fitting that on the first official “cold” SoCal morning, I made a run to my local grocers to buy ingredients for scratch masala chai. 

In the Indian language, “chai” translates to tea and “masala” translates to spices. Sure you can buy ready-to-use tea bags but there’s something special about the process of making tea from scratch. And, it just tastes better!  So, if you have some time to give some tender love and care to tea making, go for it! There are many versions of masala you can use. And, there are many milk alternatives you can add. For this recipe, I use common Indian spices, almond milk and honey as my sweetener.


  • Green cardamom (pods and seeds)
  • Cloves
  • Fresh organic ginger
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Nutmeg
  • Whole black peppercorn
  • Pinch of salf
  • Black tea – in this recipe, I used English Breakfast
  • Almond milk
  • Honey
  • Water

I don’t use measurements for homemade tea because I find it so easy to adjust its taste to my liking. Do you want a strong concentrated tea? Something a little lighter? Something more creamy and heavy?

Here are my simple home-made tea guidelines:

  • The more spices you add, the more spicy and flavorful the tea will be
  • The more milk you add, the more creamy and neutral the tea becomes
  • Use water to boil the spices and tea in a way to make a concentrate, the more water used, the lighter it will taste
  • My go to sweetener is always honey


  1. Coarsely grind your spices together: cardamom pods and seeds, clover, cinnamon stick, black pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Ginger: wash, peel and thinly slice.
  3. Bring water to rolling boil.
  4. Add spices + ginger. Gently boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Add black tea. Gently boil for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add desired amount of milk + honey. Gently boil for another 5 minutes.
  7. Strain and serve.

A little bit of caffeine, a little bit of honey, milk and spice and everything just comes out so nice. Enjoy!

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