Do-It-Yourself Gift Idea: An Elegant Chai Tea Kit

Wouldn't a homemade chai tea kit make a warm, cozy Christmas gift?

I'm envisioning a kit that is elegant, but useful, much like the one here:

[photo credit]
 It would be easy to do, and should cost you less than $5 each if you plan to make four kits and purchase some of your spices and containers in bulk.  For great containers (glass, plastic, or tin) you can shop around your local craft store, or order them very inexpensively from American Science & Surplus.  They have pretty little glass bottles, some in a 20 packs for only $2 or $3, and corks as well.  One 20 pack should make four gifts if you use five bottles or vials per gift.

Fill your little containers with:

Cinnamon sticks
Ground or dried ginger
Whole cloves
Ground or whole cardamom pods
Ground or whole nutmeg
Black tea or tea bags

And include a card, perhaps printed in a calligraphy font, with these directions:
In a saucepan, bring two cups of water to a simmer. Add three black tea bags. Season with one cinnamon stick, four cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, and a pinch of nutmeg. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, slightly covered. Pour in two cups of milk, and return to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, and strain through a fine sieve.  Add honey to sweeten if desired.
Arrange the items in a simple box or basket, and you have a beautiful, inexpensive gift!

I can often find the spices that are listed above near the international or Hispanic section of my supermarket.  They are sold in larger bags, and cost much less than the spices you may traditionally buy in the small containers.  For example, San Miguel Mexican Products sells 5" whole cinnamon sticks in an 8 oz bag for only $3 or so.  This would be enough to use in at least four kits.

I'll be sharing more inexpensive, do-it-yourself gift ideas in upcoming posts.  Now would be a good time to subscribe if you haven't already!

Do you have any favorite frugal gift ideas?  Share them in the comment section.  I'd love to hear about them!

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{Shared at Nourishing Gourmet}


  1. Dear Jamie,
    I have recently discovered your blog and I am enjoying it so much. This is a lovely idea ... I have made up kits before for hot chocolate in a pretty mug tied up in cellophane and festive brownie bars baking kits in jars (layer up the dry ingredients)with recipe attached and the recipients were always delighted but never thought of a chai tea kit..how lovely!
    I have a Christmas blog and there is a post there that shows how I collect little gifts throughout the year to turn into gifts. The link is on my main family blog page (eightacresofeden.com) or you can go directly to it - there are not too many posts at my Christmas blog so it should not take too long to navigate

    In His Love,

  2. Ann, I just hopped over to your Christmas blog, and your candy cone idea is so pretty... thanks for sharing a link to your ideas. And I'm glad you are enjoying this site!

  3. love this idea, and your blog. thank you so much for stopping by mine today, friend. i hope you'll join me for imperfect prose on thursdays. peace to you.

  4. does this taste anyting like the chai tea at starbucks??? I found that starbucks uses TAZO tea found in most grocery stores...you buyt the premade tea in a container and then warm it and add milk wisking it is good but I think yours would taste more fresh...thanks!

  5. Jaime, dear Jaime,

    Thank you for sharing your Chai tea recipe and this gift idea. My daughters love Chai tea, and I've never thought of trying to make it like this. I cheat and buy them a mix from Sam's that regretfully has too much sugar in it. They would love a healthier tea w/ honey.

    Thank you!

  6. My oldest daughter is in love with Chai tea - I can't wait to try to make her some!

  7. djhauk, I've only had the chai at Starbucks once, and didn't care for how strong the taste was. Mine is a bit lighter, and personally I think the taste is fresher and better, too. Hope you like it!

    Mrs. C, I'm so glad you can use the idea! This would be much healthier, and you can't beat the freshness. Thank you for taking the time to comment, too ~ you always have a sweet word of encouragement to share :)

  8. Such a cute idea! Do you know about what size of bottle the ones in the picture are? Thanks!

  9. What a wonderful idea! I want to receive a gift like this-think I may be making some for friends. Thank you:)

  10. What a great simple but sophisticated gift idea. Thanks for sharing

  11. That's a great gift idea. I would have never thought of it!

  12. I'm cracking up. I literally just had a conversation with my 7 year about making chai tea kits for people for Christmas. We served my chai tea at his birthday party and everyone loved them. I'm thinking of putting all the spices in one jar and attaching directions. Kinda like I did with my Russian Tea jars here...http://fromchapelhilltochickenville.blogspot.com/2010/11/russian-tea.html

    PS. I love your blog and am now following with GFC.

  13. That is such a cute idea! I think it would also work with maybe pampering treats or a baking box. I think people appreciate the home made gifts as there is a lot of thought and love that goes into them.



  14. help I can't find wide mouth glass jars! I went to the site u linked, they say they have them but only have the narrow 1's listed i can't figure out how to get the wide mouth ones???

  15. Anonymous, did you try calling them and asking? They should have them. Otherwise, I would use google shopping to search for glass jars; one result I found was here: http://sciencekit.com/product.asp?pn=IG0025951&mr:trackingCode=0C5F05BE-6181-DE11-8C0A-000423C27502&mr:referralID=NA .

    There are other results via google shopping as well.

    Hope that helps!


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