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Iced Ginger Chai

iced chai tea dairy-free homemade recipe

I love a good cool, yet spicy drink in the summer.  This Iced Ginger Chai recipe is based on one of my favorite products, Bhakti Chai.  It’s heavy on the ginger, cardamom and black pepper which I love.

While I love Bhakti Chai, it does not like me; there is way too much caffeine in this drink for my body type (vata). Even the decaffeinated product contains small amounts of caffeine, so in my version, I use roiboos tea as the base, to get that black tea flavor without the caffeine.

There are many ways that you could adapt this recipe, more spices, less spices, different spices, ground spices –feel free to experiment with it, and if you do, please be sure to stop back by, join the conversation, let us know what changes you made and how well they worked.

Iced Ginger Chai


  • 2 quarts water
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh ginger (I leave the skin on)
  • 10 pods cardamon
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ cup organic loose rooibos tea
  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil
  2. Reduce and leave pot on stove with mixture at a rolling simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Turn off heat; allow mixture to remain in pot overnight to continue steeping without heat
  4. Strain mixture into a 1 quart mason jar –you will have between 3-4 cups of chai concentrate
  5. Fill a glass with ice, 1 cup chai concentrate and ¼ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  6. Add stevia (or agave nectar or honey) to taste (optional)
  7. Serve

In my extensive cache of gluten free recipes, I do have a recipe for a hot chai which you may enjoy.  I haven’t yet tried to serve it over ice and am not sure how that would work.  I love serving either of my chai recipes with gluten free biscotti and have 4 recipes for healthy high protein biscotti below:

Here are some more cold chai recipes from other food bloggers:
-Sweet Hemp Milk Chai Latte from Kelly of The Spunky Coconut
-Masala Chai from Judith of Dance While You Cook
-Dairy Free Frozen Orange Ginger Tea Latte from Alea of My Real Food Life

posted on July 7, 2011, 34 comments

  1. Shirley @ gfe @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    How lovely, Elana! I really like the sound of this tea. Cooling is needed here right now. ;-)


  2. Lori @ Laurel of Leaves @ laurelofleaves.com

    This sounds really delicious! I’ve become a recent addict to roiboos tea. I love the black tea flavor without the bitterness and the jitters from the caffeine.

  3. alea@MyRealFoodLife @ myrealfoodlife.com

    Elana- thank you so much for the link to my drink recipe- you are too kind. Big thanks!! :) alea

  4. I’ve got a recipe for coconut milk chai concentrate on my blog (http://letospassion.blogspot.com/2011/04/coconut-milk-chai-marsala.html) but I’m interested to cross it with your recipe here. There is no such thing as too much chai!

  5. Hannah Holistic @ HannahHolistic.blogspot.com


    This sounds lovely. I liked Bhakti chai when it first came out but recently they did something to their formula and now it just tastes like pure ginger juice. Seriously weird. I will definitely try this, maybe go a touch lighter on the ginger. Thanks for the recipe. :)


  6. I have this steeping right now! I followed the recipe, using 4 black tea bags and added a cinnamon stick and 1/2 a star anise. Smells great! Will taste it tomorrow :)

  7. Judy

    This is very close to my hot chai recipe except for I use a gallon of water and two 3-inch cinnamon sticks. I like mine with a touch of honey with the stevia. The honey makes it taste more like what I get at the Indian restaurant we go to.

  8. Hi Elana!
    Re: too much caffeine. Think I saw a decaf version of Bhakti Chai. Your version sounds even better with all the cardamom. Is there a good black tea to use if I like having the caffeine?
    A hot cup sounds good on a rainy evening like tonight!
    Lisa Elstun

  9. Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy @ quickeasycheaphealthy.com

    Usually, I’m an iced coffee kind of girl, but that sounds so yummy right now!

  10. There’s nothing more refreshing than an iced chai! And I love the addition of all the ginger :)

  11. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods @ keepitsimplefoods.com

    This looks so tasty! I love chai!

  12. Caroline @ theoilshoppe.com

    Sounds wonderful. Add an oolong tea twist for the weight loss benefits. I love chai spices. My website features alot of teas as well as terrific essential oils. Rooibos is definitely a fantastic tea! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks Elana!!

  13. Good Morning Elana,
    Thanks for including the link to my iced masala chai on your yummy ginger chai post. I developed my recipe based on the deep love I have for Bhakti Chai as well. One taste of Bhakti and I have been a chai devotee ever since!

  14. I starred this in my google reader because it sounded so amazing! Now I really need a cold drink!

  15. Oh, that sounds delicious! I adore rooibos and chai, yum!

  16. Victoria @ Gluten/Dairy Freedom @ glutendairyfreedom.net

    Oooooooooohhh, its so nice to have a refreshing summer drink. I haven’t thought about making my own Chai mix, but this has inspired me! Along similar lines, have people tried Avocado shakes/smoothies? I’m so in love with this faux “milkshake” right now. I put together my version on my blog at http://www.glutendairyfreedom.net/2010/11/avocado-smoothieshake.html and I’m thinking there might be a way to have a Chai-shake…. Yum!

  17. Yum! That looks delicious… and the biscotti links make me want to walk out of my office early so that I can go home and bake all weekend.

    If I lose my job over this I’m going to site extenuating blog reading circumstances. (I kid…)

  18. For some weird reason I was expecting a recipe from you today–must be my psychic powers? :)

    Anything with rooibos and I’m on board. It looks as though this beverage is full of antioxidants–awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Oh, yum. I love making chai…. though it’s been a while! I’m always looking (and adjusting) for the perfect ratio of spices…. definitely trying your suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Stephanie

    Hi! i love your recipes!! For your Ginger Chai recipe, can you use black tea in the same proportions as rooibos?, and can you boil it for 30 minutes?

    Steph Dem.

  21. This sounds so unique and refreshing. The heat continues here in the upper Midwest, so I’ll definitely be giving this a try! I love that it steeps overnight, too. Perfect to throw together quickly in the morning after a walk or run. :)

  22. The Newlywed Chefs @ thenewlywedchefs.com

    We love ginger- how wonderful to incorporate it in this recipe! Thanks!

  23. this looks delicious! i think i’ll have one as i gaze at the pacific today. i just discovered your blog and it’s really something i’ve been looking for – gluten free, tempting recipes, without all the regular white rice and starch. thank you :)

  24. RolyPoly

    I made this last night and I’m loving it! I went on an Indian spice shopping spree not too long ago and I ended up with some things I didn’t really know what to do with. This gave me the perfect reason to put those cardamon pods to use :-)

  25. wow! looks greattttt!!! I love chai tea

  26. Elana, I too love the flavors in chai tea. The only problem is my vata personality has learned to live with waaaayy too much caffeine. How is your summer going?

  27. Elana, I like rooibos tea and I like chai tea but I never thought to put them together and serving it chilled…sounds like a perfect summer pick me up.

  28. Jennafer

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it in the morning on our rare cold and rainy day and drank it in the evening. I didn’t have cardamom pods, so I used 5 tsp of cardamom seeds. And because it was cold, I drank it hot. I filled my cup 3/4 full of chai and 1/4 milk then dumped it in a pot and heated it. I like it spicy! It turned out great!

  29. Wow, looks great. I’ve been drinking turmeric tea this week (made with coconut milk beverage, fresh ginger, pepper, cinnamon, a little honey, and coconut oil) and it’s so good. It makes me think that adding turmeric to this would take advantage of the synergy with black pepper that it has, and still keep it native, so to speak.

  30. prem


    I am an asian and i am exposed to not only indian medicine but also the chinese . not really an expert but in asia , the chinese never advocates that tea is served with ice . The combination will somehow lead to the development of “wind” in the legs , kidney , stomach and upper back . but i guess its for those who are drinking it regularly . So just sharing what i know .

  31. prem

    sorry , forgot to add that “ice” is deemed heaty by the chinese . if you need to cool down , drinking of luke warm water will help with body heat altough it may not help with the throat and tongue . Ice is always misconceived as a cooling item

  32. Leigh

    This is just what I needed! I never got really into my ayruvedic disposition, but I know enough to know I am vata. Makes so much sense now that the black tea I’ve been drinking in the mornings has been making me cook! I just made this and it is soooo refreshing. Thanks for sharing fellow vata!

  33. rhianne

    Dear Elana,
    I am just getting into Ayurveda, I too am a Vata, and as much as I love the raw food movement (life foods) my digestive system has gotten weaker as of late, and i need to get myself fired up, with warmer foods.
    I notice you are a Vata, and wonder if you have any of your goodies that would be better for vata dosha than others, I do love my sweets I must admit. I see that maple syrup is a good sweetner for vata, any other comments or suggestions?
    thanks for all your amazing work, I am so inspired and delighted by your recipes..

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