How To Make Pink Tea – Kashmiri Chai + The Best Store Bought Brands

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Aaaah, there is nothing quite like a refreshing cup of tea! Tea fanatics will know that there are a myriad of different teas available, all with their own subtle blend of flavors.

But if you have ever come across pink tea in your local café, you might be thinking about how to recreate this at home.

But what is pink tea, and is it easy to make at home? Pink tea, also known as Kashmiri chai, is made from a careful blend of green tea, salt, baking soda, and milk. The green tea leaves are simmered slowly to infuse the water, which is then combined with the other ingredients to make a creamy, pink tea with subtle and complex flavors.

Want to try making Kashmiri chai but not sure where to start? We’re here to help with the ultimate guide to this healthy and refreshing tea! We’ve also found the best store-bought brands of pink tea to help you find the right one for you.

What Is Pink Tea (Kashmiri Chai)?

Pink tea is very unusual, and not like any other tea blend out there! This flavorsome drink is more correctly known as Kashmiri chai and originates from the Kashmir Valley.

You may also see it referred to as noon chai or pink chai. The word noon means salt, and this reveals the first rather unusual ingredient in Kashmiri chai.

Yes, this tea contains salt, but when combined with the other ingredients it tastes far better than you might think!

The other unusual thing about pink tea is that this chai is made from green tea, rather than black tea.

Normally, black tea is used for drinks where milk is added, and green tea for those without milk. But when it comes to Kashmiri chai, green tea and milk are combined to create something really quite special!

When it comes to the delicate pink color of Kashmiri chai, you will be surprised to hear that it comes entirely from the green tea leaves.

This is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when baking soda is added to boiling tea leaves. Milk is then added to give a beautiful pink milkshake color to this traditional hot drink.

So, that is the basic idea behind pink tea, but as with most things there are a myriad of tweaks to the traditional recipe! Some people like to add spices and other flavors, whilst others think they overwhelm the delicate flavor of pink tea.

Most pink teas have both salt and sugar added, but some people prefer to leave these out altogether.

The vital part of making pink tea is to get the right type of tea to start with. Kashmiri chai is made using green tea leaves from the Kashmir Valley.

You can also get good results with green tea from other regions, however light green or roasted green tea leaves are not suitable for making pink tea.

How To Make Pink Tea – Kashmiri Chai

There are many variations and techniques used to make Kashmiri chai, but here we have narrowed down the selection to give you a recipe that is as close to the traditional method as possible.


  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri loose tea leaves (or use green tea leaves as an alternative)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch baking sods
  • 1 cup of full fat or semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed pistachio nuts


  • Add the tea leaves, salt, and water to a small saucepan
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer
  • Add the baking soda and stir well
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will need to add more water as it reduces.
  • When you see a deep reddish color to the water, add a cup of ice-cold water.
  • Add the milk and sugar and stir well
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes
  • Pour the tea into cups, straining it as you do so.
  • Top each cup with a generous pinch of crushed pistachios.
Pink Tea - Kashmiri Chai

Pink Tea - Kashmiri Chai

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Make delicious pink Kashmiri chai tea the easy way!


  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri loose tea leaves (or use green tea leaves as an alternative)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda (also called baking soda)
  • 1 cup of full fat or semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed pistachio nuts


  1. Add the tea leaves, salt, and water to a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the baking soda and stir well.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will need to add more water as it reduces.
  5. When you see a deep reddish color to the water, add a cup of ice-cold water.
  6. Add the milk and sugar and stir well.
  7. Bring to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes.
  8. Pour the tea into cups, straining it as you do so.
  9. Top each cup with a generous pinch of crushed pistachios.

Recipe Variations

Now if this recipe isn’t quite your cup of tea (pardon the pun), then there are a few tweaks that might make the flavor more enjoyable for you.

Firstly, many people are put off by the thought of salty tea. The salt is not essential to get the color, so this can be left out altogether.

However, the amount of salt used is very small, and it does help to bring out the other flavors in the tea. It is not as pronounced as in some other salted teas, such as Tibetan tea, and the milk and sugar do help to hide the salty flavor.

If you want to play about with flavors, then spices can be added to the water at the start of the brewing process. We’d advise using whole spices where possible, to give a richer flavor and avoid any grainy residue at the bottom of your drink.

The best spices to mix with pink tea are those with warm, woody flavors. We’d suggest trying a cinnamon stick, a pinch of cloves, a couple of star anise, or two lightly crushed cardamom pods.

If you want an alternative to dairy milk products, opt for a creamy milk such as cashew or hazelnut. Unsurprisingly, the flavor of pistachio milk works really well when whisked into a hot cup of Kashmiri tea!

If you don’t have any pistachio nuts, then many other types of crushed nuts will also work well with noon tea. We particularly like crushed almonds, hazelnuts, or pecan nuts on top of a steaming cup of pink tea. 

What Is The Best Kashmiri Chai Or Pink Tea?

So, will you try your hand at making Kashmiri chai at home? The good news is that there are a range of different options available to you, from authentic Kashmiri tea leaves through to a speedy pre-made Kashmiri tea mixture.

To be true to the original recipe, you should buy loose Kashmiri tea leaves if possible. However, these can be quite expensive, and many people have good results with other types of green tea.

Roasted green tea and light green tea should be avoided, as they will not give the delicate pink color we are hoping to achieve.

In our busy lives, we don’t always have the time to spend nearly an hour making a cup of tea! In this case, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying an easier option such as a pre-made pink tea.

Most of these contain added spices and flavorings, as well as other ingredients designed to create an intense pink color.

Let’s take a look at the best store-bought options for making Kashmiri chai at home!

1. Dharma Alif Premium Kashmiri Namkeen Tea

Check Current Price On Amazon

Our top choice is one for the purists out there! This is a 100% pure Kashmiri chai, used to brew pink tea using the traditional method.

If you want to make pink chai the way it is made in Kashmir, this is the type of tea leaves you need to buy.

The great thing about this product is that it comes with full instructions on how to brew Kashmiri chai, complete with hints to help you along the way, and delicious serving suggestions.

It comes in a resealable package to retain freshness and has a shelf life of 18 months.

2. Naturevibe Botanicals Kashmiri Tea Blend

Check Current Price On Amazon

Produced in India, this tea blend combines green tea with spices to give an authentic Kashmiri chai flavor.

The combination of green tea with cardamom, cinnamon, saffron & almonds can be brewed using the pink tea method outlined above and will give you a drink with an exciting blend of flavors.

This tea comes in a resealable container and will stay fresh for two years from the date of manufacture. To keep it at its best, it should be stored in a cool, dark place.

3. Austin Chai Wala Kashmiri Tea 

Check Current Price On Amazon

If you don’t have hours to stand over the stove but want an authentic flavor of pink tea, this is a great alternative.

The base for this tea is a pre-brewed tea concentrate, so someone else has done the hard work for you!

Austin Chai Wala Kashmiri Tea is a concentrate of brewed green tea, with star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon.

This is boiled in a pan with milk until heated through, then poured into a cup. It even comes with a packet of crushed nuts, ready to sprinkle on top!

4. FGO Organic Green Tea Bags

Check Current Price On Amazon

Tracking down Kashmiri loose tea can be a bit of a mission, especially if you want to stick to organic tea.

A good solution is to use a standard organic green tea, such as this innovative brand.

Making pink tea using teabags also makes the process much easier, as you don’t have to strain the tea at the end.

You might not get the same intense pink color as you’d expect with loose leaf tea, but the flavor will still be incredible.

5. Royal Chai Premium Instant Kashmiri Chai Tea

Check Current Price On Amazon

Now we know it should be all about making tea using the authentic, traditional methods, but quite frankly we all have busy lives and sometimes just want a quick treat!

If you want to experience Kashmiri chai without the hassle, then these instant pink tea sachets are the ones for you.

Each sachet contains a careful combination of green tea extract, skimmed milk powder, sugar, natural cardamom, ginger, black pepper, beetroot, fennel, and saffron.

All the ingredients are 100% natural, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

To make this tea simply empty the contents of the sachet into a cup, top with hot milk, and stir. Add a sprinkle of chopped pistachio for a truly authentic flavor, and enjoy!

What Does Kashmiri Chai Taste Like?

Kashmiri pink tea has a flavor unlike any other, thanks to the delicate blend of subtle green tea leaves, milk, salt, and sugar.

We are all accustomed to milky tea tasting bold and punchy, but this delicate tea gives a completely different experience, with an aromatic delightfulness and a light and refreshing flavor.

It is hard to accurately describe the flavor of pink tea, but the closest would be to say it tastes like a creamy, milky, citrus drink infused with flowers. 

Spices are sometimes added to Kashmiri pink tea, but these are kept as subtle and delicate as possible to avoid overpowering the delicate chai flavors. Popular additions include a small pinch of cinnamon or cardamom.

The flavor of Kashmiri chai pairs really well with cakes and pastries that have a light, caramel flavor. A delicious piece of shortbread or raisin cookie will taste sublime alongside a hot cup of fresh pink tea!

How Is Kashmiri Chai Made?

There are many variations on the procedure involved in making Kashmiri Chai, but all follow the same principle. The aim is to gently simmer loose-leaf green tea, then a series of steps are required to create the unique pink coloring.

Making pink tea will require some patience, and it is not a fast procedure. However, the best things come to those that wait, and that includes tea!

The tea-making process starts by gently simmering Kashmiri loose green tea leaves in lightly salted water to release their delicate flavor.

Once the tea is well-brewed, the baking soda is added. The addition of baking soda to freshly brewed green tea has an interesting effect. It reacts with the chlorophyll in the tea leaves, turning the color from green to pink. Clever stuff!

This means that the color of pink tea comes entirely from the tea leaves themselves, without any artificial or natural additives.

Interestingly, the most traditional form of this recipe omits the baking soda, and instead simmers and reduces the tea for many hours before beating the liquid with a hand whisk to aerate it.

This is a serious workout and only suitable for the most dedicated tea drinkers out there!

The next important step is to add ice cold water to the tea. We’re not sure what kind of mystical chemistry is at work here, but this is said to ‘shock’ the brewed pink tea and seal in the color.

But does this mean that pink tea is consumed as a cold beverage? Well, the tea-making process does not end here! After the cold water is added, the tea is reheated to a gentle simmer, with the addition of milk and sugar at this stage.

The final part of the process is to strain the tea and serve it in cups topped with crushed pistachios.

We did warn you that this was going to be a lengthy process, but it is worth the effort! And the time spent watching your tea simmering away gently is a great opportunity to practice some mindfulness before a relaxing cup of tea.

You may find that the color of your pink tea might not turn out quite as you expected, and it can take some practice to get it exactly right. However, you will still have a delicious drink no matter what color it is, so all that effort will not have gone to waste!

Related Articles

Beautiful Pink Fruit (For Your Next Party)

What Does A Chai Latte Taste Like?

Milk Chai Tea Ice Cream

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *