Instant Chai Tea Mix

I love gifting things in jars.  Don’t you?  Edibles are always a hit – or in today’s case: drinkables!  Mmmmm.

If you love spice chai tea or have some gift recipients who do, then today’s recipe for instant chai tea is just for you. ;) One disclaimer before we begin: if your spice pantry isn’t well-stocked, you might find today’s recipe to be pretty pricey.  Spices go a long way, of course – so you are set for a really long time after the initial investment.  If you bake often (or even occasionally) you probably have most or all of these spices on-hand already.

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on allrecipes earlier this year.  I’ve made some tweaks to it to add my own flavor to it (oh yeah, we were due for a food pun).

  • 1 cup vanilla sugar** (depending on your tastes – you may want to increase or decrease by 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
  • 3/4 c. instant unsweetened tea
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • optional – 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper, if you like a little kick

 **A note about vanilla sugar before moving on: it’s very easy to make, you just need time to prepare it ahead.  You can either bury 1 whole vanilla bean into 2 cups of sugar and seal it up for 1-2 weeks, or if you don’t have that kind of time (or access to whole vanilla beans), you can also add 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract to 1 cup of sugar.  Stir it well, then spread it out on wax paper to dry for 2-3 hours.  The sugar must be dry before beginning this recipe.  It will get a little crumbly, but that’s okay – just break it up as well as you can.  It doesn’t have to be perfect to continue.

One more note about the spices… you will probably be tempted to omit the cardamom because it’s not as common a spice as the others, and it is not cheap, and it’s only 1/2 tsp.  But I assure you – it really makes the recipe.

Stir your ingredients together, and grind them in a coffee grinder or food processor until they become a fine powder.

Then, just add it to your gift jars, or your own air-tight container.

When you share, include the instructions to add 2-3 teaspoons of mix for each 1 cup of hot water.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of powdered mix once you have ground it down.  You can package it up a few ways.  My batch made:

2 – 8 oz. (half-pint) jars, and
2 – 2 oz. spice jars (I got them at World Market, but Hobby Lobby has similar ones)

You could also use 5 – 4 oz. jelly jars, 10 spice jars, or whatever jars you like.  This is just to give you an estimate of how far your recipe will go when packaging.

Then, you will want to make them pretty!  If you use ball jars, labeling is really easy.  I just printed out a label on my printer, and cut it round.

If you have a vinyl-cutting machine (oh yes, I got out my Silhouette for this project) – you can add a nice vinyl label to your spice jars.  Of course, if you don’t have a way to cut craft vinyl – a tag tied on with bakers twine would of course do the trick.


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  1. noire says

    This is so nice! I love Chai tea. I don't have all these ingredients but I'm going to save the recipe to get them. Need to make a trip to the specialty store to find some of the spices but still, I really want to make this ^^ Thanks a lot for sharing xx

  2. Meredith says

    I need to start making/gifting edible treats like this! I love those little masons too :o)

  3. Blythe says

    Yum! Just pinned this! Will be making this as soon as the Fall weather hits here in Florida!

  4. Reduce, Reuse, Renewed says

    What a great idea! Although I'm too selfish to share! lol Looking forward to trying this during the snowy weather. Thanks for posting!

  5. Becky says

    Love this idea! I'm a huge chai tea fan. And I think I have most of these ingredients already…yay!

  6. Gee Singh Newbanks says

    Chai… I grew up drinking chai (which means tea BTW) I am the daughter of a Punjabi father :-) and Chai was a staple. Now I enjoy it with my Uncle who is very dear to me.
    It's my 'go to' comfort drink ,especially when I miss my daddy.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Gee

  7. 4 You With Love says

    I have a very similar recipe for chai too! However, I've never packaged it as beautifully as you have…you've inspired me again! :D


  8. Tulip TrueAim says

    Chai is my favorite! I HAVE to have it everyday. I will definitely be making this. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  9. Sandy aka Doris the Great says

    Thank you. This will go in my Xmas gift baskets for friends. (With a little left for me, of course.)

  10. Karen says

    I just made this and am fixing to go back for another cup! It is soooo delicious! (…althought I had to use 2-3 Tbsp instead of 2-3 tsp since I like it a little strong!) This just made my afternoon! Thanks Adrianne!

  11. Pam Fields says

    I love the sound of this recipe and it would make wonderful gifts! Can't wait to give it a try. Pinned for future mixing. :)

  12. Theresa says

    Sounds yummy! I am pinning & will try to make some perfect for a brisk days hot drink. Thanks for sharing how too. Visiting from drop by anytime.

  13. Jessi says

    Just wanted to let you know that this was the most popular project at last week's Fun In Functional party!

  14. Karen at says

    Yum! Totally love chai tea! Gonna have to try a sugar free version of this yumminess :)

  15. dori says

    do you think this would work with instant coffee instead of tea, for more of a latte flavor?

  16. Mary Ann says

    I am just thrilled about this recipe and gift idea! And I am even more thrilled to get some ideas from a working mom! I appreciate all the wonderful talents people share these days. It is just exciting to see what you have that might actually fit into our family lifestyle! Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. Kaaren Lynch says

    I love chai tea, and it is very expensive, so I’m happy to have the recipe. Can’t wait to make it!

  18. says

    I love Chai. Pinning this as I have wanted to make my own instant. Found you at 4 You With Love spicy Party. Newest follower on Bloglovin.

    • says

      If you omit the milk, it won’t be as creamy, but if she’s vegan I would venture a guess that she is used to altered recipes. I’d just leave a note with the tag to say she can add soy milk when she prepares it if she wants.

  19. Erica says

    This looks great! Do all of the ingredients completely dissolve in hot water? Or are you left with sediment at the bottom of your mug?

    • says

      It’s about the same as cocoa – you’ll get just a little leftover but not like, complete sludge. :) I used to keep a jar in my desk drawer at the office and a quick rinse was all it needed at the end of the day (before the Friday night take-home-and-wash-for-real). Like that last sip won’t be grainy, but it’s got a little more to it than a mug of unseasoned steeped hot tea. Hope that answers what you’re wondering?

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