Chai Iced Tea


If we met in real life, like face-to-face, I might be kinda shy at first. Not like first grade shy, but a little shy. Like I’d probably smile a lot and not speak for a while. I might study you a bit…might look at your shoes…I might even be jellz of your pretty hair cut…or think you look like this friend of mine from back home or something, but I won’t say any of this…until I get to know you a little more. I’m just kind of shy at first–it’s super annoying, mostly to me.

Cut to: yesterday at Whole Foods. I’m standing there in line, minding my own business, just checking my phone when this girl–who I don’t know–starts waving at me. Soooo…you know, I’m polite so I hesitantly wave back thinking…this girl knows me and I’m sort of a jerk for not knowing her, but whatevs, I’m gonna play this off and just wave back and it’ll be over soon.

Dude. This girl didn’t stop waving…she just kept going, as if we knew each other so well that I should’ve probably gotten out of line to say hi. At this point I was just in straight panic mode…so I just kept waving…and smiling…

And thennn…I turn to my left and realize she has been waving to the person behind me…The. Entire. Time.

Yeah, so that happened. Please tell me this has happened to you…I need this.

Awkward encounters like that dampen my already introverted spirit. They really do.

Luckily I was at WF to buy a few spices for this chai iced tea.

This thing hit the spot.

It’s spicy, has a good amount of caffeine (due to the black tea), is milky and sweet, and most important, it’s cold.

The sweetened condensed milk is major. If you don’t have a can in your cupboard, and don’t want to buy one, then milk and sugar are totally a workable substitute.

This is officially replacing my afternoon cup of coffee.

Anyway, I’m gonna go hide now.


Spiced Chai Iced Tea

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Print this recipe!

1 star anise

14 cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

12 peppercorns

4 cardamom pods, opened

2 cups water

4 tablespoons of strong black tea

4 1/2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk

In a medium saucepan, add spices to 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat; let steep for 5-20 minutes, depending on how strong a spice flavor you want.

Add the sweetened condensed milk to the water/spice mixture.  Bring the milk and spice mixture just to a boil and remove from heat.

Add the tea to the milk and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes to taste. (Option at this point – reheat to a simmer and remove from heat.)

Strain into a pitcher and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until cool. Serve over ice.

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  • Reply Naomi June 22, 2011 at 3:42 am

    That’s happened to me too many times. It’s made worse by the fact that I rarely wear my glasses so can’t tell if I actually do know the person who’s waving at me, which = many awkward moments. This chai iced tea though looks perfect, even without my glasses!

    (By the way – I think you have your cloves and cardamom mixed up up there)

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Oh gosh! I can’t go anywhere without my contacts. I’m suuuuper blind. It’s all fixed now! 🙂

  • Reply Jessica @ How Sweet June 22, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Hahahah that has definitely happened to me before. Embarrassing!

  • Reply Abby June 22, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Well at least you did not run into someone you knew and they did not remember YOU! I saw someone I knew from high school and he apparently was unaqware of my existance. EM–BARE–ASS–SING!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Tami Anderson June 22, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I have had a person say hi, i thought to me and I said hi back only to realize they were talking to the person behind me. It was terrible! I’m a total warm you up shy person. I usually take 2-3 visits before I can talk. Its hard cause my 2 year old doesn’t know what shy is and draws me into many conversations with strangers especially when we are grocery shopping and she’s in the cart yelling at her “friends”.

    I love chai. I can’t wait to make this!

  • Reply Sarah June 22, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Heck. YES!

  • Reply Cooking Foodie June 22, 2011 at 5:49 am

    That has happened to me.. even worse there have been times when people have recognized me, waved at me, talked to me and I have no clue who they are… Its bad…

    And I love your Chai tea… delicious…

    (Cloves are cardamom are mixed up – maybe you were thinking about the waving episode :))

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna June 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      This is what happens when I write posts at 3am. All good now! 🙂

  • Reply keishua June 22, 2011 at 6:14 am

    That has totally happened to me. Or sometimes, they are waving at me but I don’t know them. I am loving your chai recipe, looks yummy. I’ll have to try it soon.

  • Reply DessertForTwo June 22, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Oh wow. That’s embarrassing. Good thing is, she was waving so intensely to the other girl that she probalby didn’t even notice you. Probably…yeah…so love this idea for cold chai tea! I’ve been wanting to make my own chai, but now that it’s so hot out, it doesn’t sound good. But iced? Yes, please!!

  • Reply Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook June 22, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Hahahah. That has happened to me before. It’s the worst feeling when you turn around and realize it’s the person behind you they are waving at. Makes you feel invisible.

    This recipe looks delicious. My wife is a chai tea fan. I’ll have to try this for her 🙂

  • Reply sarah June 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

    MMMMM. This looks nice and dark. I don’t like weak tea so I really haven’t tried many chia recipes. I can’t wait to wrangle spices together for this.

    I’m always that person in the middle of awkward happenings wondering “why is this happening to me?” I usually just pretend it didn’t happen and pretend that everyone else is pretending the same thing.

  • Reply Heidi @ Food Doodles June 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Haha, that’s happened to me before. Awful!
    That tea looks delicious. I don’t often make coffee at home but I love iced coffees, but I haven’t done it with tea which I do make for myself at home all the time. And chai tea is like my favorite!! I gotta try this soon 😀

  • Reply Elle June 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

    This might be a dumb question, but what is sof water?

    • Reply Lylas Mommy June 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      I think its just a typo. It should be “cups of water” not “cup sof water”.

      • Adrianna
        Reply Adrianna June 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

        Just fixed it! Thanks for letting me know. I hate typos.

  • Reply Katrina June 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    This looks so tasty. Chai lattes are my favorite drink! Yum!

  • Reply Dawn June 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I need some of this tea in my life!

    Also, if I had a nickel for every time the mistaken wave happened to me, then I’d honestly have 7 or 8 nickels. I usually try to laugh it off, but it’s pretty mortifying!

  • Reply Stephanie June 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Oh, this looks wonderful for summer — and perfect for lazy afternoons when I need a simultaneous wake-me-up and relaxing moment.

    Yes, I have been the wrong girl waving many times. And smiling. And saying hello. And responding to questions not directed at me. And being incredibly mortified.

    Hey, at least we’re polite. One day, I truly believe it will serve us well.

  • Reply NicoleD June 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    This looks completely delicious!! I’m pretty sure many of us have had this sort of encounter. If it makes you feel any better, the reason this happens is because we’re nice and don’t want to be rude, you know, just in case they meant to wave at us 🙂

  • Reply pooja June 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Oh, that happened to me yesterday too, maybe it was just one of those days…thanks for all the yumminess that you provide!

  • Reply Tammy June 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    This is my morning indulgence. Hot in the winter and iced in the summer. I’ve nevered tried making this from scratch. I’ve always bought the Tazo concentration and mixed it 1/2 and 1/2 with regular milk or if I’m super indulgent half and half. Costco has the best prices on Tazo concentrate that I’ve been able to find.

  • Reply Sara June 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This looks delicious! If you are caffeine free, what do you suggest you substitute for the black tea?

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna June 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      I know that Tazo makes decaf black tea.

  • Reply bianca June 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Delicious. I love my caffeine hits cold!

  • Reply Nicole June 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Well, this just made my afternoon. It’s a bit late for me now – but, tomorrow – it’s ON! 🙂

  • Reply St. Audrey « "That's a dancer's leg, Margaret!" June 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    […] Delicious! Chai Iced Tea […]

  • Reply Abby June 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    That has happened to me many times! What’s even more awkward is when you’re shy and you work up the courage to wave at someone you’ve met several times and they don’t recognize you. I was at a wedding and did that — the girl I waved to didn’t recognize me at all. She later told me that she didn’t recognize me with my new haircut and glasses!

  • Reply Dana June 24, 2011 at 6:09 am

    I love love love home made chai. This one looks so good.

    I know exactly how you feel about the waving, I always feel like such a dork when that happens.

  • Reply Katelyn June 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I made this but the store was out of star anise so I had to make it without. The tea is good, but it kind of has a weird flavor; sort of like it’s too strong but flat tasting at the same time. Do you think it’s because I left the star anise out?

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna June 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      Hmm…maybe? Mine was pretty spicy. 🙁 Maybe next time over compensate and add more spices and let it boil for a bit longer.

  • Reply Lyndsey Brown July 8, 2011 at 2:51 am

    This looks like a great recipe. I’ve missed making hot chai in the winter (as it’s 100 degrees here), so I’m excited to bust out my anise and cardamom again. Can’t say I’ve found much of a use for them elsewhere. Thanks again!

  • Reply Mikelle G. July 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    oh yeah! this happens to me all the time, especially at the airport, or maybe that’s my most vivid memory of it 🙂 your definitely not alone! i’ll definitely have to try this recipe soon 🙂

  • Reply amanda@seegirlcook July 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    ahhhh this tea looks perfect. i’m seriously going to make it now. yummmm!

  • Reply Kimberlee July 21, 2011 at 1:36 am

    I just make this and it was FAB-U-LOUS! I had a lot of trouble finding the star anise and cardamom pods locally but made the drive to Whole Foods and it was totally worth it! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    • Adrianna
      Reply Adrianna July 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

      Yay! This makes me happy.

  • Reply frankie @ July 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    sister, you are not alone! lol. i love that you kept waving! – Frankie

    blogAuthor of:

  • Reply Stacey E February 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I love that one of your sentences was just Dude. Because like, I’m soooo not a dude. (and I’m pretty sure guys won’t be looking for iced chai tea recipes-but–Dude–you never know).

  • Reply Stacey E February 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Odd that there’s no ginger in this recipe. I’m so used to making the hot version by slicing off a chunk of ginger. I tried cinnamon bark and you wouldn’t believe how superior it is to those little rolled things you can find anywhere. I found cardamom seeds and cinnamon bark at a little Arabic store for a lot cheaper than you could find them in regular stores or Whole Foods. It’s ridiculous how expensive cardamom is if you don’t know there are other options. In fact, that store actually sold tea bags that were cardamom flavored.
    The main point is that rolled cinnamon sticks are pathetic and weak.

  • Reply ~kelly April 6, 2012 at 5:30 am

    thank you… stunningly beautiful tea. i added a little twisty vanilla bean goodness to mine and that was lovely too. i adore everything i find on this site. like so many people who come here creating amazing food for the people i love -is- my happy place. and the goodness i find shared here regularly puts a smile on my face and a super geeky bounce of excited anticipation in my step. really… thank god for food obsessed bloggers.
    oh by the way… try shamefully (and speedily) scampering away after waving not simply to some total stranger but to your own damn reflection. definate slightly hysterical giggle/face-palm moment. it starts off you think she looks so familiar… oh crap she’s looking… just wave and smile and then you can continue on your way…….>………..>..blink..>………..>………..> oooooooh crapohgodohhellohno. um. run.

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