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DIY Fireside Chai Tea

A not-too-sweet spicy version made from scratch for crisp November nights outdoors

By: Emily Hlaváč Green + Save to a List

Our last trip north of New York City invited a whole new perspective on upstate camping. The mountains are a sea of orange and yellow and the crisp nights set in much earlier. It's beanie and jacket weather and that campfire heat feels even more welcoming after hiking the hills. If you are brave enough to rug up and venture out, the fleeting fall is an ideal time as the trails are quiet and camping under the more sparse trees leaves room to view the stars.

Jordan makes his Chai at home for us often so we decided to turn this into a portable recipe to make over the fire. The flavor is rich and earthy, without being like one of those super sweet cafe chai. It is easy to make, adaptable to taste, and is really just a few things thrown into a bag to add to water later.

Jordan's Spicy Chai Tea

Ingredients (for 2)      

  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Star Anise
  • 1 Tbsp Cardamon Pods, scored
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Black Teabag
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • About 1/2c Almond milk
  • 2 1/2c water


Day before camping out: 

  1. Place all ingredients into a small Ziploc EXCEPT Teabag, Almond Milk and Water

At the camp: 

  1. Heat water over campfire in saucepan and bring to boil. 
  2. Add spices from the Ziploc bag and almond milk and simmer for 45 mins to an hour.
  3. Right before serving add the teabag, stir and pour.

Recipe by Jordan Wisniewski
Images By Emily Hlavac Green & Jordan Wisniewski

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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