Wintertime always renews my love for tea and it seems to do the same for my adult children. Amidst the gift-giving, each asks for some of my chai mix, a knock-off recipe of Starbucks’ famed Chai Tea Latte.

At the same time, it’s well-known that regular the Chai Tea at Starbucks is LOADED with sugar (more than a Snickers bar!). So, this homemade recipe not only allows me to have great chai tea at a fraction of the cost, but it allows me to significantly reduce the sugar intake, something important to me as I try to maintain a respectable diet.

So, to help us northerners usher in the winter season, here’s my recipe for Starbucks’ chai tea latte you can make at home. I like it better than any mix I have tried commercially and once you get it perfected, you’ll have a difficult time differentiating it from what you can get a Starbucks. Give it a try this next week and let me know what you think.

The Recipe

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French Vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
1.5 cups white sugar*

1 1/2 cup instant tea (plain, unsweetened. You could choose decaf, if preferable)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves*
1 teaspoon ground cardamom*


* Some use 2.5 cups of sugar, but even using 2 cups makes it too sweet for some. Sugar can always be added. I may even try this with just one cup of sugar.

* Make sure you use just the one teaspoon of cloves.

* Please don’t skip the cardamom; if you shop around a bit, you can find it reasonably, and it keeps well.


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl to be it as evenly mixed as possible.
  2. In small batches, mix in a food processor/blender (like this one) until you have a fine powder.
  3. Whisk the final total batch to ensure even consistency of ingredients.


Mix 2 heaping tablespoons with a cup of hot water (adjust to your own taste) and enjoy!

Let me know whether you like it or not.

Main photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash