Making chai tea in a microwave (youtube)

This is a scrappy version of chai tea I made in an office microwave with things available in the pantry - a (black) tea bag and hot water and milk from the coffee machine. It did not come anywhere close to the real thing. How do I improve my method?

  • 5
    To my mind, getting a proper "chai" involves a number of spices and no amount of technique can turn plain tea leaves, plain milk, and plain water into a lovely spiced cup of tea.
    – DotCounter
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 23:30
  • 3
    What aspects of the result are you trying to improve? What was wrong with it? As it is you are saying 'I didn't like my tea, how do I fix it', which is impossible to answer.
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 11:14
  • The flavor ran away because it heard you call it "chai tea". Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


"Chai tea" usually refers to masala chai, which would be brewed with a lot of spices. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get closer to that, you can add cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and/or star anise to your tea (or buy a box of commercial "chai tea" teabags). (Personally I would say the ginger and the cardamom make the largest difference, especially if you add fresh ginger).

If you're just looking for black tea brewed in a specific way (i.e., simmered) then I think you might need to give up on your microwave/electric kettle setup. You want a consistent heat source so that you can keep the water at a boiling temperature and simmer it with the black tea. I'm guessing you were trying to use the microwave to simulate that, but in my experience microwaved tea is uniformly terrible.

If you want fancy tea at work, you could make it at home the night before, bring your cold milk tea in a thermos, and then add some boiling water to warm it up.

  • +1 for mentioning (masala) chai teabags.  There are many brands available — they make it very easy, and some are very good (IMO).  Since they all use slightly different blends of spices, each has a different taste, and so it's well worth trying several different ones to see which you prefer.  (As with all black teas, the water needs to be boiling, not merely hot, for it to brew properly.)
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 9:41

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