CrockPot Chai Tea Latte Recipe

Day 342.

I'm not a big fan of tea---it comes across as sort of bland and non-committal, but I like a Chai Tea Latte once in a while. 

I have gotten a few emails asking if I could make them in the crockpot, so yesterday I did.

 I ended up combining a few recipes because many of the ones on the Internet ask for "chai spices" or some sort of "chai concentrate" that I didn't want to buy (and it sort of seemed like cheating). 

I did have to buy cardamom pods, and was surprised at how expensive they were (they're less expensive than the ground, but oh my, this must be a luxury-spice or something.) 

I'm going to head over to Lydia's later to figure out what to do with my leftover cardamom.

The Ingredients.

--4 cups milk
--4 black tea bags
--1/4 tsp ground cloves
--1/2 tsp ginger
--4 sticks cinnamon (or 2 tsp ground)
--4 cardamom pods
--1 tsp vanilla extract
--1 T sugar (I like the Baker's because it dissolves nicely)

The Directions.

This will serve 2-4 adults, dependent on how much they like tea.

Put everything into your crockpot. I used a 4 quart. Anything over a 2 quart will work just fine. 

Float the cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods, and tea bags on top.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until heated through. 

I cooked ours on low for 2 hours and another hour on high.

Press the tea bags against the side of the crockpot with a spoon to release the last bit of tea-goodness and ladle into mugs.

The Verdict.

Out of the different hot beverages I've made this year, this was our least favorite, but it's because we just aren't fans of tea. 

Adam and I joked that a shot of espresso would really liven it up. 

But! If you like tea, and are spending $4 for a grande Chai Tea Latte a few times a week, you should give this a try. 

I put it on before we left for the town's tree lighting ceremony, and the house smelled marvelous when we returned.

next on my list to try is a gingerbread latte. mmm.

AH! added 2.5 minutes after posting: Lydia does indeed rock. 

Here's a beautifully written explanation of cardamom pods. I have a new-found respect for them.

other coffee-bar type drinks you might enjoy:

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 07, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Lattoffe yes, Latte tea Yuke cannot imagine anything more revolting!!!

  2. Thanks so much for trying this! Chai is a very occasional treat for me, but making it in the crock could mean many more occasions :)

  3. Anonymous12/07/2008

    Just a note. I also love Chai tea. There is a brand called Stash that makes Chai tea bags. It comes in a red box. Its basically just black tea and the spices, you brew it and add your own milk and honey. Very quick, easy, cheap chai tea. They also make the same thing but its Double Spice and its the best thing in the world!

  4. You can use some of your cardamom to perfume a rice pilaf. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan and sautee about 8 pods for a minute or two, along with 10 whole cloves and a stick of cinnamon. If the pan has a lid, you can use it as a shield because the pods puff up and sometimes explode, which is quite thrilling. Then dump 2 cups of basmati rice in the pan and stir for several minutes until the rice just starts to turn golden, add 4 cups of water (and if you have any saffron you can throw some of that in too) and simmer, covered, for 15minutes, then turn the heat down as low as it will go and cook another 10 minutes. If you do use saffron, take about a teaspoonful of the threads and mash them up with a spoon, then add a tablespoon or so of hot water and stir. Then add the safron water to the rice/water and stir.

    By the way, this has little to do with crockpots. It's just a way to protect you from using any of the cardamom for more crockpot chai.

  5. You know what? This made you my new favorite person! :) Sad you didn't enjoy it, but happy because I will!

  6. Anonymous12/07/2008

    Did this have a strong vanilla flavor? I'm wondering because my daughter loves Dunkin Donuts vanilla chai and I'm thinking this might be a good substitute.

  7. I'm so happy you gave this one a try. I'm a tea drinker and not a coffee gal, so this is my cup of tea.

  8. I love Chai Latte's and its been awhile since I've had one, so I should give this a try.

    With your cardamom pods you should make Slow Cooker Butter Chicken:

  9. Kindra! I'm so glad that you reminded me of this chicken recipe, I totally forgot. I'm so sorry. I don't know if I'll get to it this year, but I will try it out---it sounds amazing.

  10. I can hardly wait for gingerbread latte!

  11. This sounds great! Wish I could have given you some of my cardamom pods. I got a 1 pound bag for $4.50 at an Indian grocery store down the street from me, but I only needed 4 pods for my recipe. I highly recommend checking out ethnic grocery stores for cheap high quality spices. I got a pound for less money than a tiny jar at the regular grocery store, and they have lots of more exotic spices that are fun to try out! Can't wait to use some of my cardamom in the chai!
    LOVE your blog!

  12. Anonymous12/07/2008

    mmmmm thank you for posting this. I just came across this blog today and I am hoping you'll be continuing into next year!

  13. Gingerbread latte. Yes, please.

  14. Anonymous12/07/2008

    If you have ground cardamom - there are some incredible cookie recipes
    around - The kind of cookies that make your mouth water as they bake.

  15. I LOVE cardamom! It's my favorite spice.

    This site has the best price I've found:
    They're mostly organic and ship fast!
    Stock up on spices there, trust me. :)

  16. Anonymous12/07/2008

    I'm so glad you found some good info about cardamom in my pantry! Your recipe sounds amazing, and as I've promised to learn more about how to use my slow cooker, this is going right on my list of recipes to try.

  17. Anonymous12/07/2008

    i am also shocked at how expensive cardamom pods are!!! vanilla bean, saffron, and cardamom pods are the most expensive spices (can't remember where i learned that).

    i love vanilla bean and saffron, but i'm not willing to fork out the big bucks on caradamom- i just can't think of enough stuff to do with it.

  18. Anonymous12/07/2008

    I buy cardamom primarily to make rice-- very similar to what MCM described. It is marvelous!!

    I also use it for special holiday baked goods-- it is totally worth the price. It makes them fantastic.

  19. I am for sure trying this. I love tea!! and I must say . . . I'm kind of sad the year is almost up. What will I do every evening if I can't read about the latest crock pot adventure!!

  20. We had an open house this weekend and I made the mulled wine in my big oval crokpot. Dumped everything in around noon and by the time guests arrived id was wonderful. My Trader Joes is a no alcohol store so I bought a Box-O Wine. Franzia. it is a 5 litre and I used most of it and bought OJ with pulp floated some slices and added sugar and spice to taste. It was a big hit, Thanks

  21. Wow, I didn't know how much I didn't know about cardamom.

    I married into a Norwegian American tradition and I only know it as an ingredient in the yummy baked goods all the ladies turn out at Christmas: braided breads, muffins, cookies...Oh, I also have made a fruit salad coating that mixes vanilla, cardamom and brown sugar into sour cream. Really good on grapes!

    How interesting to me that this exotic and expensive spice found it's way into Scandinavian culinary tradition which is fondly called blond and bland (and thrifty). I guess the powdered cardamom fits the blond part better than say, cinnamon...

    And I second Alisha Joy in that I will miss checking on the daily crock pot update. Will you consider doing anything for 2009?


  22. Anonymous12/09/2008

    I'm looking forward to the gingerbread latte recipe.

    Your pumpkin latte was a HIT at Thanksgiving and our Sunday Gathering.


  23. I don't like sweetened or spiced teas myself; but, I do love flavored coffeee so I'm going to try this with individual coffee bags - folgers makes some in reg and decaf - and see what i come up with!

  24. Has anyone else tried this? I just did, and it is sooo not like the chai I am used to. Steph, I hate tea, but just in the past few weeks have become a chai addict. I am going to keep working on a chai recipe. Maybe I'll find one we both love! I tried another this evening too, and it was awful...hmm off I go to try some more things. ohhhh the wasted pods!!!

  25. I noticed in your recipe you say to squeeze the tea bag... and this may be the reason you don't like tea.

    Your tea will be bitter when you do this - we drink both coffee and teas and I learned years ago that both my hot and 'iced' tea are better tasting without the squeeze.

    I'm happy to see that so many (most) of your recipes are GF... we are learning to adjust our family recipes to accommodate my daughters change in diet. We had a lovely delicious holiday meal this week and I look forward to sending her a link to your blog. Thanks!

  26. I think most people make their tea too weak. I would try making this with a couple more tea bags, and probably more sugar.

  27. IIRC, you are fond of Thai food, so you could try using cardamom to make your own Thai iced coffee. Google will produce many recipes, but the common spices used are cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. Also, cardamom shortbread is To. Die. For. Lastly, my husband bought a 3.5 oz package of cardamom powder at an Indian grocery for $3.49, still expensive but much less than $16 (I think) for a 1-oz Spice Islands jar at the grocery store.

    Cheers, and thanks for all the inspiration!

  28. I paid about 50 cents for a handful of cardamom pods at Sprouts.

    I made this tonight, and it's now chilling out in the fridge - ready to go over ice in the morning (it's still warm here!)

  29. I am so used to buying herbs in bulk, & rarely pay more than a couple of dollars! (Mountain Rose is a great source for herbs, oils, clay, etc.

    I love to use a bit of cardamom in things, & just peel & grind the inner seeds in a wee mortar & pestal when I need to. (just used 3 in a recipe the other day)

    When I lived at a resort, one of my housemates worked in the kitchen, & would brew up fresh chai every few days, chopping fresh ginger, & using whole spices. The other housemate & I would gladly drink it, but rarely helped (he sounded like the little red hen - 'you gals could make it, too!') - it was SO good! I don't think he added the tea till later (& prob bulk, rather than bags!)

    I would try a blend of 3 tsp rooibos, 3 tsp green tea, steeping those for < 5 minutes just before drinking, steeping tea for 2 hours brings out all the tanins & makes it bitter!
    For a group, each person could steep a bag of tea of their choice in their cup of the Chai latte spices.
    & I'd use coconut milk :)

  30. Anonymous12/01/2009

    Here's an idea for using your cardamom in coffee. In the crockpot, combine a pot of strong coffee (8-10 c.), 1c. sugar, and some cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Serve with a dollop of whpped cream on top.

  31. This is way late, but you can buy a quarter pound of cardamom seeds at an Indian grocery store for about the same as one of those little jars in the supermarket. It's insane how much they rip us off on spices we are unfamiliar with!

  32. Hi Steph: I've been making this recipe every two or three days since I discovered it here a coupla months ago. The one change worth mentioning (and this is true too of the gingerbread latte) is that it works better with whole spices. Ground spices give the beverage a silty texture. Use whole spices and strain them out at the end. (Straining lets you use loose-leaf tea, too, if you prefer).

    Also: I do about double the cardamom, but I only use the seeds. Not sure it really makes a difference whether you remove the pods or not, but I do recommend the extra cardamom.

  33. I've found that my slow cooker chai goes sour if I try to store it in the fridge, or make it over night.
    Any ideas on stopping this problem?
    Also, I Adore cardamon. So good :)

  34. Anonymous7/12/2010

    Made this as it is the first time... tasted okay, so I made a few tweaks: use whole spices (like someone else recommended), take the seeds out of the cardamom pods, used 3c milk & 3c water, use 6bags of tea (will work with decaf next time) & 4 tbsp confectioner sugar (will try honey or agave next time). This one was almost as good as the ones I've been spending my $$ on... = )

    Thanks for the recipes Stephanie.. already have a few that I'm going to try. Keep up the good work.

  35. I would make a very small change, snip the strings & tags from the teabags before you add them in...

  36. Apparently adding a shot of espresso to a chai latte is called a "dirty chai". Never tried it myself but it sounds interesting.

  37. Any suggestions on using ground cardamom versus pods, since I already have ground cardamom in my cupboard? I REALLY want to try this, but I have no idea how to go about coverting it out :/