+ Well Nourished | Immune Boosting Chai Tea Latte

Immune Boosting Chai Tea Latte

I think it’s wonderful how food memories are formed – I have many but one of my most vivid is for Chai Tea Latte (the fancy ‘cafe’ name) given to India’s national beverage – Masala Chai, or just Chai.

My husband and I spent over 6 months living in our most favourite country (besides Australia of course) and definitely sampled our fair-share of Chai. Almost every town we visited claimed ‘the best chai in India’ – though some of the best we had were from the chai wallah pacing the length of the trains (at all hours) with an urn on his head crying ‘chaiiiiyyyy, chaiiiyyyy….’ over and over. It was almost always sold in a small terracotta cup which when done, you threw out of the train window or smashed on the pathway (not a takeaway or foam cup in sight).

Like coffee, there was good and the not so good. Some chai brews were SO sweet that my husband called them ‘hot soft drink’.

The origins of Chai tea is steeped in Indian history and the ancient medicinal philosophy of Ayurveda. So traditionally, each family would have their own recipe based on the constitutions of family members. The blend of spices contains medicinal and healing properties such as relaxing the digestive tract, elevating the metabolism, and increasing waste and toxin excretion.

So on my stove top, far removed from the most fascinating and diverse country I have ever visited, I thought I’d introduce you to my recipe for a delicious, healing chai – and one of my most favourite hot drinks. This is a far cry from a chai tea bag or the flavoured syrups used in coffee shops in Australia – way more delicious and actually healing. It is also something my kids really love and something I believe helps to keep us well through winter.

Why is it healthy?
The spices are all wonderfully supportive to digestion and the respiratory tract so perfect for winter sickness:
Cloves – anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, calming and soothing to the gut and lungs
Cinnamon – anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improves circulation, balances blood-sugar levels
Cardamon – anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improves circulation, calming and soothing to the gut
Ginger – improves circulation, anti-inflammatory especially to the gut, respiratory and muscular-skeletal systems
Turmeric – powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and supports liver function (and, therefore, digestion)
Coconut oil – anti-microbial and offers immune support. It also helps to support the assimilation of the fat-soluble nutrients in the spices.
Vanilla –  anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory

Makes 1 cup

250ml full-fat organic, unhomogenised milk (in India it was always raw), or half milk, half water (see variations for dairy-free)
2 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
3 cardamon pods, bruised by pressing with a knife or fork handle
2 slices fresh ginger root
1 tea bag (fair-trade black, white or green tea or rooibos tea for caffeine-free)*
Pinch turmeric powder (or a slice of fresh root if you have it), optional but strongly recommended
½-1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil,  or ghee (optional)
Pinch of vanilla powder, optional
Honey or rice malt syrup, to taste

*Rooibos tea is available from the tea aisle of supermarkets or health food stores. It is what I chose mostly (I’m a bit caffeine sensitive), always my choice for my kids.


  • In a small pot, place your milk, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and ginger and bring to a very low simmer for 5 minutes. If you are using the fresh root of turmeric, add this now too.
  • Add the tea bag and continue to simmer very gently for a few more minutes.
  • I just use a spoon to hold the solids aside as I pour the delicious liquid into a cup to enjoy.
  • Sweeten to taste and mix in the optional turmeric powder, coconut oil, ghee and vanilla powder.

Substitute the milk for either almond milk (home made is best, otherwise choose a vegetable oil and sugar-free brand). You could also use a mix of almond milk and coconut milk for a creamier chai.

Sweeten with rice malt syrup.


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  • Cherrylussh

    Looks wonderful, except for one thing. I just can’t drink milky tea! Love the idea of all the other flavours, though, so what can I substitute for tea? Will be forever grateful if you can solve this dilemma, as I often want Chai as I love the sound of it!

    • If the milk is the problem, then it is also delicious black (sub the milk with water). If you don’t like tea, you can try the rooibos or green (or you could also leave out the tea altogether too) and enjoy a lovely spice blend G x

      • Cherrylussh

        Many thanks. I love tea and I love milk – just not together, so I’ll try these combos. Looking forward to them now the cold weather has finally struck in the GC.

  • Ellen

    Yum! This is the way I learnt to make chai in India, minus the turmeric and coconut oil. I usually use half water half milk. A few peppercorns are lovely in it too if you like it spicier. This is definitely one of my favourites and I brew up a big batch and keep it in the fridge to reheat quickly whenever I want some. I’ll try turmeric and coconut oil in my next batch to up the immune boost. Thanks Georgia.

    • Yes Ellen the turmeric and coconut oil are my editions – certainly not traditional, just me trying to health-it-up even more. Agree with the peppercorns, love them too. G x

  • Amy

    This was so nice! The flavours are so delicate and subtle compared with the super sweet Chai lattes you buy. Will definitely be making this again.

    • Yes, I could never drink chai ‘flavoured’ tea after having the real thing. Glad you liked it Amy G x

  • Linda Robinson

    Oh so, so nice! and I hate commercial chai tea, very sickly and weird tasting to me.

    • Agree Linda Robinson, once you’ve had the real deal, you’d never consider the syrup G x

  • Nicole H

    Would rice milk also work? I might give it a try on the weekend 🙂

    • Sure will Nicole (sorry for the delayed response, I’ve been on holiday) G x

  • Loren

    If I wanted to make a big batch, would I just double or triple the ingredients?

    • I actually just add a few more cardamon pods and if you like a stronger tea, another tea bag too. I just simmer it a bit longer for a bigger batch. I find the cinnamon and ginger are strong enough with a longer simmer (for my taste) but you can play around yourself. G x

  • Loren

    If I wanted to make a big batch, would I just double or triple the ingredients?

  • Villia

    I just made this and gave it a little whir with my stick blender to give it a little froth and its Devine 🙂

  • Sam

    I am wondering if I make a large batch, can I store it??
    I loveee this however making 1 cup each morning is hard work. Any options? Thanku 🙂

    • Hi Sam. yes you can make up a batch. If I make it for 4 of us, I increase the liquid (4 cups), but not the spices. Sometimes I just might add in an extra tea or Rooibos bag, but the spices will keep on releasing for an increased volume of liquid (perhaps just simmer and extra 5 minutes). Enjoy G x

  • Sharene

    I just made this as I wanted something comforting to nurse my current head cold. It was just perfect! Flavours hut the spot and now I am ready to curl up for bed. What I love about your sharing of these recipes is that there are no “buy this product,” just plain simple ingredients that are accessible to everyone to promote good health. Thanks Georgia x

    • Hope you feel better soon Sharene. I do my best to make health simple and accessible, thanks for your comment G x

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