An easy spiced Chai Simple Syrup to help you make Masala Chai, Dirty Chai Latte, Chai cocktails and desserts etc in a fraction of the time! The aromatic flavor is extra delicious and warming during the fall and winter months!
Why Make This
- This Chai Syrup is deliciously spiced: Making your own DIY Chai Tea Syrup means the spices are fresher and more aromatic. No icky preservatives and you can easily customise it to your taste by adding more/ less of your favorite/ hated spices! It's so earthy, warming and flavorful, it makes a perfect Christmas homemade food gift!
- Healthier and cheaper: Instead of spending a fortune at coffee-shops, this Homemade Chai Syrup makes it more wallet friendly and healthier for you to make your own cafe-style drinks, such as Dirty Chai, Green Tea Chai, Chocolate Chai Latte and Starbucks Matcha Masala Chai Latte. No special equipment needed- if you have a pot, you can make this!
- Makes brewing a cup of Chai Tea a breeze: It keeps for a long time. Moreover, it makes brewing a cup of cold-brew Masala Chai, iced Dirty Chai Latte etc a breeze as Chai Simple Syrup mixes into cold drinks very easily!
Note: strictly speaking, this is a Masala Syrup as "Masala" means spice and "Chai" only means tea!
Some of the key ingredients that you will need are:
- Sugar: You can use different types of sugar to make simple syrup. For example, I use white sugar for matcha syrup and gula melaka for lemognrass syrup. For Homemade Chai Syrup, I feel that the caramel notes of brown sugar would go best so I make Chai Brown Sugar Syrup, However, feel free to choose your favorite sugars such as date, demerera or coconut sugar. (Use dark brown sugar instead of light if you want more of a toffee flavor.) For a simple syrup, use the same amount of water as sugar. For a richer syrup, use only half as much.
- Cinnamon, green cardamom and cloves: I consider these the must-use spices in Masala to create that aromatic spice we are all familiar with. Don't go overboard with the cloves though as the flavor is very strong!
- Fennel seeds, black peppercorns and coriander seeds: These are spices that I use when I have them, but consider optional. There are also other spices such as star anise (use if you like licorice), allspice, orange zest, black cardamom, tulsi and nutmeg etc that you can infuse into the syrup depending on your personal preferences.
- Fresh Ginger: you can substitute with dried ginger powder if you don't have fresh, but it won't taste as nice! If you don't have enough ginger, you can make the most of what you have by cutting the ginger more finely. This will create more surface area to flavor the syrup.
Substitutes & Variations:
- If you want the tea flavor infused into the Chai Syrup: substitute or supplement the spices with loose Masala Chai tea leaves or tea bags. (I recommend supplementing.) Note that this will result in a Chai Tea Syrup with caffeine.
- If doing so, add the tea to the water to brew Masala Chai Tea first, then add the sugar and bring to a boil, as per the recipe.
- For Chai Syrup with Loose Leaf Masala tea: I suggest 2.5 T of loose leaf tea. Use a tea infuser if you don't want the hassle of straining out the leaves.
- For Chai Simple Syrup with Tea Bags, use at least 3 teabags per Cup of Sugar used. You want to brew a strong tea or you won't be able to taste the flavors in the Chai Tea Syrup!
Note: do NOT use garam masala to make Masala Chai Tea Syrup! They're not the same mix of spices at all!
- Vanilla Chai Syrup: add 1 teaspoon of vanilla for every Cup of Sugar used after switching off the fire. Stir well then cool, strain and store in the fridge.
- Chai Maple Syrup: Substitute the sugar with an equal amount of maple syrup.
Chai Syrup with Honey: Honey loses its health benefits when heated, so I recommend brewing the chai in water, cooling it then stirring in the honey. As there will be more water in this Chai Spiced Syrup, it probably wont last for as long in the fridge.
- Sugar-free Chai Syrup: for sugar substitutes to sweeten Masala Chai Tea, check out this link. Note that some artificial sweeteners shouldn't be heated!
Note: Pumpkin and Apple Chai Syrup are 2 other possibilities but I've yet to experiment with them!
Sugar syrup gets very hot and can give one bad burns- handle with care!
- Optional: Gently bash the spices in a mortar and pestle to release aromas (not to crush them into a powder!)
- Use a large pot to dry toast the spices over medium-low fire. Don't use a strong flame as spices burn easily, and taste bitter when burnt.
3. Once fragrant, slowly pour in the water then the sugar. (If you add the sugar before the water, the syrup will bubble very furiously and may burn you- hot sugar syrup is much hotter than water!)
4. Boil for 5-10 minutes. (I prefer 10 as the flavor is sweeter and more full bodied.)
Note: Don't boil for too long or the syrup will become too thick and difficult to use. (If so, simply add some water to thin it out.) It may also develop a bitter aftertaste.
5. Allow the syrup to steep and cool, then sieve or strain out the spices. If you did a spectacular job bashing the spices, you may need to use a cheesecloth or nut bag.
6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tip: you can save the spices to boil again to make tea. I boil mine for 10 minutes and no one can tell it's not a freshly made Masala Chai Tea!
How to Store
Keeps in a sterilised container in the fridge for a few weeks- months.
The more sugar you use, the longer it will last. Another way to make it last a bit longer is to add a pinch of food-grade citric acid (about ¼ teaspoon)- it may even make your syrup taste a bit better!
How to freeze
You can freeze it for 6-12 months.
A Chai Simple Syrup is most likely to freeze solid, so I recommend freezing it in an ice cube tray. (You can then use 1-2 Chai cubes per drink.)
How to Use
To make no-caffeine chai tea, simply stir into hot milk. For regular Masala Chai, stir into hot, milky black tea with. (Some people like Masala Chai Green Tea.)
- Use to sweeten drinks such as coffee milk tea.
- Make lattes such as Matcha Chai Latte and Masala Latte. For the latter, mix the syrup into hot milk
- Add to pound cake to make Masala Chai Pound cake.
- Stir into Chai cocktails
- Add to club soda, sprarkling water, Seltzer or soda water
- Substitute for maple syrup and drizzle on yogurt, ice cream, waffles and pancakes
- Replace brown sugar syrup to make a Chai Brown Sugar Tiger Milk Tea!
Tip #1: For a stronger spice flavor, roughly crush the spices using a mortar and pestle. We're not trying to reduce the spices to a fine powder here- simply give them a few bangs in the mortar. (If you only have a knife, you can use the back of the knife to hit the cinnamon stick and star anise within a baking tray. This helps to keep the spices from rolling and flying everywhere.) I particularly recommend this if your spices are old and not as strong.
Tip #2: You can use this Chai Syrup to make roasted duck or even pork- the spices in Chai are actually very similar to Chinese duck spices. (My Mom actually thought I was cooking duck when the Masala Chai Syrup was simmering on the stove! If using this as a roast pork glaze, I suggest adding star anise to the Chai Syrup.)
Tip #3: If you want to buy instead of make Chai Simple Syrup, some of the famous brands are Torani and Monin.
It depends on how the Chai Spice Syrup is made. My original recipe does not as no tea is added. However, if you use Chai tea bags or loose leaf mix, those usually contain caffeinated black tea.
Yes it is! Chai Syrup is great in lots of drinks, from regular Masala Chai to coffees, lattes and cocktails. There is even a popular coffee called Dirty Chai, which is a regular Chai Latte mixed with a shot of espresso.
A too thick syrup will be difficult to use- simply stir in some more water and mix well over low heat to make it less viscous. If the syrup is too runny, boil it for a bit longer.
Recipes that Use/ Go Well with Chai
Enjoyed this Chai Simple Syrup recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & if you REALLY liked this Chai Tea Syrup for Lattes etc, a comment would make my week! Thank you and have a great day!
Chai Simple Syrup (Starbucks-inspired)
- mortar and pestle Optional. Substitute: knife with heavy handle or baking tray
- Pot and heat proof spatula
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 13 green cardamoms
- 6 cloves
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds optional
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns optional, add if you like spice
- ½-1 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
- 5 slices of fresh ginger root
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar I use brown demerera sugar but you can use white sugar, date sugar etc
Releasing the flavor of the spices
- Optional: Gently bash the spices in a mortar and pestle to release aromas (not to crush them into a powder!) Use a large pot to dry toast the spices over medium-low fire. (Don't use high fire as spices burn easily.)
Making the Chai Syrup
- Once fragrant, slowly pour in the water then the sugar. (If you add the sugar before the water, the syrup will bubble very furiously and may burn you- hot sugar syrup is much hotter than water!)
- Boil for 5-10 minutes. (I prefer 10 as the flavor is sweeter and more full bodied.) However, don't boil for too long or the syrup will become too thick and difficult to use. (If so, simply add some water to thin it out.) Boiling for too long may also develop a bitter aftertaste.
Storing the Syrup
- Allow the syrup to steep and cool, then sieve or strain out the spices. If you did a spectacular job bashing the spices, you may need to use a cheesecloth or nut bag.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a 1 week or more (if your container is sterilised.)
- Tip: you can save the spices to boil again to make tea. I boil mine for 10 minutes and no one can tell it's not a freshly made Masala Chai Tea!
Making Chai Drinks
- Dissolve the Chai Syrup into your black tea, coffee, latte etc. I like to use 1 Tablespoon per Cup of black tea, but you can vary it as per your taste!
If you've made this Spiced Chai Tea Syrup and enjoyed it, I'd love to see photos on social media! You can tag me at @greedygirlgourmet
Coriander seed is not an chai ingredient.
Hi Lisa, thanks for your feedback. I've made Masala Chai with friends from India on several occasions and have seen most of them use coriander seed. What I understand is that the choice of spices can be quite varied depending on personal taste and the particular part of India they're from 🙂 What are your preferred spices for Chai?
I love chai tea but making it can be a hassle. This syrup makes it so easy and it tastes even better than the 1 I got at my local coffeeshop!