Homemade Chai-Spiced Coffee

by Heather on October 23, 2012

Let’s talk Trader Joe’s for a moment, shall we?  Am I the only person who has never ever ever lived near one of these fabulous stores?  I’ve been in them – recently even – but have never lived by one.  Which, if you ask my husband, is probably a good thing since I just don’t know if our grocery budget could handle that.  Here’s a little hit of irony for you:  as much as I’ve complained with friends in Colorado about how/why there isn’t one there, they started to build one right as soon as we moved.  Awesome.


And while I will say that it’s a little frivolous to complain about that, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I’ll still be missing out on the goodness that is Trader Joe’s for a while longer.

Several months ago I saw a picture of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Spiced Chai Coffee on MamaPea’s instagram feed and just about lost it.  It just sounded SO GOOD!  But no Trader Joe’s!  I even went so far as to see how much I could buy it for online, but passed up having to pay for the product plus shipping.  No thanks.


So here I am a million months later, the weather cooling down and our back yard covered in glorious autumn color, and still no chai-spiced coffee.  Well, til now that is.  Not having actually tasted the coffee that instigated this entire post and recipe, I can’t say that it tastes JUST LIKE the Trader Joe’s version, but it’s delicious nonetheless.  Plus you get a little chai spice recipe out of it – so if coffee isn’t your cup of, um, tea (?) then you can use it in baked goods, hot tea, or just toss it in a cup to hold under your nose all day long because it SMELLS COMPLETELY AMAZING.


Let’s curl up with a hot mug and chat sometime, ok?


For the spice mixture:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk together and store in an air-tight container.


For the coffee:

This isn’t really a recipe as much as it is a process.  Just make your coffee in a standard coffee maker like you normally do, but add 1 tsp of the chai spice mixture to the ground coffee for each cup of coffee you’re making.  Then make sure you stir the ground coffee and the spice mixture together – it helps keep the water moving through the coffee grounds.  Be sure to hang out in the kitchen while it’s brewing if you want your olfactory glands to thank you ;)  Sweeten and add milk/cream as desired.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lindsay October 23, 2012

that sounds perfect right now! i love chai and coffee, so uh, can’t go wrong. haha.


2 Adam October 23, 2012

I love the idea of making drinks like this at home. It is so easy and saves so much money. Thanks for the chai tea recipe. My wife and I will have to try this.


3 axelle the french cook October 23, 2012

This is a very original idea ! Never heard about that !


4 Jody October 23, 2012

I was browsing at Tasty Kitchen and found your Homemade Chai Spice for coffee. Strange I’ve had a craving for Chai for some reason and I think I’ve had it like twice in my life. In fact I was going to make a special trip to Starbucks to get a cup of Chai tea. I don’t like their coffee. Anyway, I’m going to order these spices from Penzey’s and make several batches for me, my coffee drinking daughters and maybe for Christmas gifts. I’m also thrilled to always find another lover of God!! Thanks for this recipe.


5 Heather October 23, 2012

oh, Christmas gifts sounds like a good idea! you could layer the spices in jars – so pretty!


6 Janelle October 23, 2012


(Also, I actually live in the same city as a Trader Joe’s, but it still doesn’t feel close enough. I don’t have a car, so I always have to be able to carry everything home. As a result, I don’t go nearly as much as I thought I would! Sad.)


7 Heather October 23, 2012

i have a feeling it would be the same way for me if there was one here!


8 janetha {meals & moves} October 23, 2012

Oh, yum! I love chai and coffee–best of both worlds!


9 Lauren October 23, 2012

I used to use a chai tea mix for chai cupcakes and can no longer find the brand because it was discontinued. ( I worked in a cupcake shop and now have my own business). Chai mix is great to add to a vanilla cake mix in cupcakes, then mix in with vanilla buttercream and you have a really yummy chai cupcake. Can’t wait to try your recipe!


10 Heather October 23, 2012

oooooh those cupcakes sound divine!


11 Sarah October 23, 2012

Fabulous! And I’ll send you a can of the real deal if you want to do a side-by-side…


12 Heather October 23, 2012

mmmmmm…that would be amazing! can you imagine the caffeine high? ;)


13 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 24, 2012

Oh you are going to hate me but I have two trader joe’s within walking distance and I’m in there at least a couple days a week. Come for a visit!


14 Heather October 24, 2012

Oh Sylvie. I would love to visit! :)


15 Christie {Pepper Lynn} October 28, 2012

So sad about not being near a Trader Joe’s :(, though truth be told, I don’t get there much anymore now that I’ve got two small ones in tow. I’ve been thinking about trying homemade chai, and this sounds perfect. Thanks for the recipe, Heather!


16 Heather October 28, 2012

while i can’t wait to have more kiddos it’s crazy thinking about going to a store with more than one at a time – you’re a brave woman! :)


17 Luna October 31, 2012

I had an awesome maple chai latte recently. I’m going to try this recipe sweetened with maple syrup and see if I can replicate that. The maple flavor really added a nice extra element.


18 Heather October 31, 2012

maple sounds perfect with chai!


19 Heather November 7, 2012

Thanks for this recipe! I had everything except cardamom in my spice cabinet but I fixed that this afternoon. I am drinking a cup right now and it’s fabulous! I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight but it’s worth it for how tasty this is :) Thanks again!


20 Jeanette November 12, 2012

I love Chai spices – will have to try this for sure!


21 judy November 18, 2012

Just found out TJ;s has discontinued carrying this coffee. My very favorite. Will try your recipe…thanks


22 Kristy April 22, 2013

I am so thankful for this post! TJ’s Chai coffee is my favorite coffee to used for iced coffee and I went to TJ’s today only to discover they no longer carry it! I was despondent until I discovered your post. I’m crossing my fingers that this is just a good as TJ’s! Thanks so much for sharing!


23 Heather April 22, 2013

I heard they don’t carry it anymore! I never got to try it, but I think this version can hold me through ;)


24 Rachael September 22, 2013

Woohoo!!! I’m so excited I found this!!! I’ve been looking for clean spiced chai creamer recipes and haven’t really found much. This is perfect! I can just add cream and natural sweetener! I just mixed up a batch… but I didn’t have cardamom or coriander lol so I substituted the cardamom with cinnamon and nutmeg and the coriander I’m leaving out until I can get some. Thank you so much for this recipe!!! :)


25 Heather September 23, 2013

I’m so glad you like this Rachael!!! It’s definitely a chai-spice time of year ;)


26 Christina November 25, 2013

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My husband stopped by TJs the other day to see if they had the Chai coffee out (it was ‘seasonal last year’) – and they told him they’re not carrying it this year. Can’t wait to try this out! :)


27 Heather November 26, 2013

You’re more than welcome Christina! I hope you love it!


28 Ann April 2, 2014

A word of caution: I made this and the spices clogged up the gold mesh filter on my automatic drip machine. The water overflowed the filter and it wasn’t pretty!!! This might work fine with paper filters. I switched to brewing it in a French press, which worked beautifully. I used less than 1 tsp. spice per cup–maybe about 2/3 of that.

This tastes very much like Trader Joe’s Wintry Blend coffee (or something like that–can’t remember the exact name), which they sell, or at least used to sell, beginning around Thanksgiving and going through the winter months.


29 Melissa July 14, 2014

I’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s, or even seen one, but I love Chai and coffee so I can’t wait to try this. I use vanilla almond milk since I can’t digest milk, but I think the almond milk will be perfect with this!


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