Yogi Tea Chai

Chai tea with spices
Keiko Iwabuchi / Getty Images
Total Time: 185 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 180 min
Servings: 8 (1 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

0 calories
0g fat
0g carbs
0g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (1 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

At Yoga Yoga in Austin, Texas, students are served a delicious yogi tea (also called chai) after each class. The recipe they use is adapted from Yogi Bhajan, who introduced Kundalini Yoga to western students in the late 1960s. Yogi Bhajan's recipe was also the inspiration behind the creation of the "Yogi Tea" company, a popular herbal tea brand that is easy to find in health food stores.

It's effortless to make this tea at home, and it fills your house with its wonderful aroma as it simmers for several hours. Unless you do a lot of Indian cooking, you'll probably have to pick up the whole spices to create that distinctive chai flavor. Once you have the ingredients, it's as simple as boiling water.

The spices that are used to infuse chai with flavor are also good for you. Ginger, in particular, settles the stomach and is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves are all also good for digestion. Tea is a known antioxidant. Drinking chai when you're sick or have seasonal allergy symptoms often makes you feel better, which might be because ginger and black pepper can provide pain relief.

There are lots of chai teas on the market, but many of them are over-sweetened. By making your own, you can control the amount of sugar for a healthier drink.


  • 2 quarts water
  • 15 cloves, whole
  • 20 cardamom pods
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 8 slices ginger, 1/4" thick, no need to peel
  • 1/2 tsp black tea leaves, regular or decaf (approximately 2 tea bags)


  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.

  2. Add the cloves and boil one minute.

  3. Split the cardamom pods first by gently squashing them with the side of a knife. Add the cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger to the saucepan. Cover and boil for 30 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for two to three hours.

  5. Remove the pot from the heat, add the black tea, and let it cool.

  6. Strain all the spices and tea leaves out, discard them, and serve hot.

Variations and Substitutions

You can substitute some dried, powdered spices, like ginger, if necessary, but the flavor won't be as full.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Chai is traditionally served with milk. You can use dairy milk or a non-dairy alternative like coconut milk.
  • Though wonderfully delicious on its own, you may add a sweetener of choice. A little honey or agave both pair well with this tea.
  • You can store brewed tea in the refrigerator if not serving immediately. Simply reheat when ready to enjoy.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Anh NH, Kim SJ, Long NP, et al. Ginger on human health: A comprehensive systematic review of 109 randomized controlled trialsNutrients. 2020;12(1):157. doi:10.3390/nu12010157

  2. Kumar V. Seven spices of India—from kitchen to clinic. Journal of Ethnic Foods. 2020;7(1). doi:10.1186/s42779-020-00058-0

  3. Yan Z, Zhong Y, Duan Y, Chen Q, Li F. Antioxidant mechanism of tea polyphenols and its impact on health benefits. Animal Nutrition. 2020;6(2):115-123. doi:10.1016/j.aninu.2020.01.001

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.