Black Masala Chai (Dairy-Free Tea Latte)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Some chai recipes skip the fennel, which adds complementary licorice notes. We like the flavor it provides, but you can omit the fennel if you really aren't a fan.
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 black or green cardamom pods
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 small piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (6-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons Darjeeling (black) tea (can use decaffeinated)
  • 2 cups unsweetened dairy-free creamer or milk beverage (see Creamer note below)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey, or to taste
  1. Pour the water into a small saucepan.
  2. Put the fennel seed, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in a large tea ball. (See below for tea ball alternative.) Place the tea ball in the saucepan. Add the ginger and cinnamon stick.
  3. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes or longer. The longer you let it sit, the better it gets.
  5. Bring the water back to a boil, add the tea, reduce the heat to low, and let the tea simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the tea ball, and strain the masala chai to remove the tea, ginger, and cinnamon.
  7. Return the tea to your saucepan, and stir in the creamer and sweetener.
Tea Ball Alternatives: You can place the spices in the center of a small square of cheesecloth, bring the corners together, and tie into a bag with twine. Or simply add the spices to the water. You're going to strain it anyway, and should catch the spices with a fine mesh sieve.

Creamer Alternatives: You can use a dairy-free barista milk, or your favorite milk alternative for this tea. Soymilk goes very well with masala chai, but some prefer almond milk or coconut milk. If using milk beverage, instead of creamer, warm it slightly before adding to the tea to help avoid curdling. If you don't want a creamy finish, add hot water until the chai is diluted to your desired spiciness.

Single Serving Option: Once you've brewed the masala chai, pour a scant ⅔ cup into your mug, and stir in ½ tablespoon sweetener and ½ cup creamer or milk beverage. Store the remaining masala chai in an container in the refrigerator. It will keep for a week or so.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 57 Fat: 2g Saturated fat: .2g Carbohydrates: 10.5g Sugar: 8.6g Sodium: 92mg Fiber: 1.1g Protein: .8g
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at