Homemade Chai Latte Recipe (Hot or Iced) | Honest Food Talks

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Chai latte is a sweet spiced-infused drink that
is fancy, comforting and will warm you up. Even if you’re not fond
of spiced drinks, we guarantee that this flavourful milk tea is
worth trying. We’ve seen our friends and families fall in love with
it repeatedly.

By using the recipe below, you can create your own budget-friendly
Chai Latte that is uniquely tailored to your preferences. | Image
from Charlotte May

With the use of natural spices, it can help
improve digestion and wake you up. Instead of constantly stopping
by Starbucks for this tea concoction, we decided to learn how to
make chai latte. And we’re glad to say we’ve finally mastered the
art of making it using our improved recipe.

After playing with different spices and milk, we
found our perfect magical mix. However, we’ve included some
alternative ingredient ratios to customise them easily. Our easy
chai latte recipe also uses natural sweeteners, making it a
healthier alternative to the ones you see in coffee shops.

You don’t have to go to Starbucks for a fanciful
chai latte anymore. Instead, with just a few ingredients, you can
effortlessly make a chai tea latte at home that’s healthy and more

Jump to:
  • What is a chai latte?
  • Variations
  • Does chai latte have caffeine?
  • Chai latte calories
  • Homemade chai latte ingredients
  • How to make chai tea latte from scratch
  • Different Milk with Chai Latte
  • Frothy foam-topped chai latte
  • How long does it take to steep chai latte?
  • How to make chai latte with tea bags and chai concentrate
  • Homemade Chai Latte Recipe (Hot or Iced)

What is a chai latte?

Chai latte is made of black tea, spices like
cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, and cardamom, and a sweet syrup
served with steamed milk. Chai latte tastes sweet and creamy with a
lasting warm spiciness. However, the aromatic spices used will vary
from one coffee shop to another. Other than that, the drink usually
has a frothy foam top. While most people enjoy it hot in a mug,
many coffee shops also serve an iced chai latte.

This drink is not only pleasantly rich in taste but is also high in
antioxidants because it consists mainly of black tea and other
healthy condiments. | Image from qafeguidoline

Watch more videos on the same topic : How To
Make The Perfect Cup of Masala Chai

Video Description

#kolkatachai #masalachai nnAt Kolkata Chai,
we’re obsessive about our masala chai. Follow our co-founder Ayan
Sanyal, as he breaks down how to prepare your perfect cup. From the
ingredients, the process and what rookie mistakes to avoid, we got
you covered. nnLooking for the perfect chai blend? Our Chai Mixes
are made with 100% Organic Assam tea and world class spices:
https://kolkatachai.co/collections/all. n—nFollow Kolkata Chai:
nInstagram: http://www.instagram.com/kolkatachaiconTwitter:
http://www.kolkatachai.connVideo directed and produced by

Chai latte vs Masala Chai

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This mildly spiced drink originated in India and
took inspiration from the famous masala chai, a traditional Indian
beverage. The spiced milk tea appeared as an alternative to suit
the western palate better.

“Chai” is tea in Hindi, while “latte” is milk in
Italian. Therefore, chai latte literally means tea with milk.
Despite that, many people still need clarification on the two
drinks. It is understandable, though, as there are only slight

Both beverages have the same base ingredients,
but the primary difference is the percentage of milk used and
sweetness. Chai latte uses more milk which makes up more than half
of the drink, for a thicker and creamier consistency. Another
difference is the addition of spices, sweetener and frothy foam at
the top. While a chai latte includes all of the above, regular
masala chai is brewed with milk with optional sugar.

The advantage of making your own chai latte drink is that you can
add a certain amount of milk according to your preferences. | Image
from rejekitri

Therefore, chai latte has a similar spicy kick
to Indian masala chai but has a rich, velvety texture and sweeter
taste due to its high sugar and milk content. In fact, this sweet
and spicy flavour is what most people want when they order this

Watch more videos on the same topic : How to
Make Chai Latte in a Cafe

Video Description

In this video Jimmy teaches you how we make chai
latte here at Artisti Coffee Roastery using the four different chai
products that we stock and sell. As Jimmy says in the video


While it’s delicious on its own, you can also
use it as a tasty base for other beverages, like bubble milk tea.
Some cafes also add additional flavourings to the spiced milk tea,
such as chocolate and mint. There are also many variations,
including seasonal flavours like Eggnog and Pumpkin Spice chai

A popular variation of this beverage is the
Dirty chai latte which includes 1-2 shots of Espresso. The expresso
adds a slight bitterness to the drink and a caffeine punch.
Besides, some places offer Vanilla chai latte by adding vanilla

Does chai latte have

Caffeine is in chai latte as it contains black
tea. A typical cup of chai latte can have around 70mg of caffeine,
depending on the brew and cup size. Chai latte is a healthier, less
caffeinated drink than a regular cup of coffee with 120mg of
caffeine. Therefore, we recommend it for those limiting their
caffeine intake but still want to enjoy a hot drink that wakes them

However, the caffeine content in this spiced tea
can vary depending on several factors. Firstly, the amount of
caffeine depends on the brewing time. The longer the steeping time
for the tea, the more caffeinated it will be. It also depends on
the variation of tea leaves you use. Typically, spiced milk tea
uses Indian black tea, which has high caffeine content.

Chai latte gives a comforting and reinvigorating feeling. | Image
from daisuke_cafe_and_deli

So, you can consider using another decaffeinated
black tea or Darjeeling to reduce the caffeine. However, this will
alter the taste of your spiced milk tea. 

Apart from that, the proportion of tea leaves to
spices used in the chai latte recipe can also determine the
caffeine amount in the drink. Hence, reducing the steeping time or
using lesser tea leaves can significantly reduce the caffeine
content in your beverage. 

Chai latte calories

A serving of Starbucks chai latte contains about
240 calories. However, our homemade chai latte has only 200
calories. We can also assure you that this DIY chai latte is
healthier, with no added sugar.

Homemade chai latte

To make a homemade chai latte, you will only
need black tea, chai spices, milk, and sweetener. 

Black Tea

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The best tea to use for making chai latte is
black tea for its strong, malty flavour and rich aroma. We highly
recommend using Assam, Darjeeling or Ceylon tea. However, other
black tea blends, such as English Breakfast, Earl Gray and
decaffeinated black tea, will work wonderfully too. 

The more aromatic and stronger the tea, the better your chai latte
will turn out. | Image from Charlotte May

We also recommend using tea leaves for a more
full-bodied tea. They are generally higher quality than tea bags
and will have ​​a more robust, pronounced flavour. Tea bags might
be more convenient, but you still have to strain out the spices
later on. So, using tea bags won’t help you save a lot of time when
it comes to making the DIY chai latte. 

Despite that, you can make chai latte with tea
bags if that is all you have. In addition, you can also use ground
spices that you can mix well with the tea. With that, you wouldn’t
have to strain the tea before serving if you don’t mind the

Chai Spice 

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It is also essential to pick the right spices as
they highly influence the taste and aroma of your tea. The common
ones used in making chai latte are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger,
black peppercorns, and cloves. While we have a detailed guide on
making your chai spice mix, feel free to come up with your own.

Infuse your chai latte with fresh spices for that kick of warmth
and richness. | Image from Kim van Vuuren

As a general rule, add a little more ginger to
make your tea spicier or more cinnamon for a sweeter drink. We
recommend only adding small pinches at a time so you can slowly
find the right mix to suit you. 

While experimenting with our recipe, we couldn’t
find a way to make the black peppercorns work for us. It was too
spicy for us and didn’t taste right. So, we’ve decided to skip

If you want to add different spices than the
ones we’ve recommended, try replacing or reducing the amount of the
other chai spice ingredients. Too many spices can be overpowering.
In India, the chai latte is lightly spiced using only ginger,
cardamom or a little bit of both.

Instead of creating your own spice blend, you
can also use chai latte powder, which is an instant chai latte.
Since it takes more time to prepare from scratch, some cafes use it
to brew the beverage on demand quickly.

You can use chai latte powder if you’re still
working out what spice blend to include in your drink. However, a
powder pack is not ideal if you want to have control over the
flavour of your spiced milk tea.


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When it comes to sweetening your chai tea latte,
it is best to use a sweetener that won’t overpower the spices.
Therefore, we recommend using brown sugar syrup or maple syrup to
sweeten the beverage. This is because their caramel notes will
accentuate the drink’s spices rather than hide them.

This spiced drink is a definite must-try if you’re seeking winter
beverage recipes! | Image from ladysolen

Any other natural sweeteners like raw honey and
agave syrup are also great alternatives to those. However, you may
still use granulated sugar to sweeten your tea if you don’t have
any of those. We don’t recommend using Stevia as it adds a slightly
odd taste from our experience.

Chai Syrup Concentrate

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Places like Starbucks will use chai syrup to
make their drinks as this saves time. However, chai syrup won’t
give you a flavourful drink compared to fresh spices. You also
won’t be able to control the sweetness of your spiced milk tea.

If you want to use premade chai syrup, skip the
spices and sweetener that we mentioned in the chai latte
ingredients above.


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Whole cow’s milk is commonly used for this
recipe for its thick and creamy texture. In India, traditional
spiced milk tea is made with buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk for
religious reasons. However, full-fat cow’s milk should achieve a
similar creaminess to buffalo milk. 

There are alternative kinds of milk which you
can also use instead of cow’s milk. Our favourite milk for this
spiced drink is soy milk, but we’ll explain a few alternatives you
can use later on.

How to make chai
tea latte from scratch

You can make chai tea latte at home with a few
simple steps. 

  • Toast your spices. Add cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom in a
    saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. Then, add water and
    ginger to the saucepan and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add loose-leaf tea or tea bags, cover and steep for 4-5
    minutes. Add maple syrup and stir until dissolved. Strain the tea
    and pour it into a pitcher or teapot.
  • Pour ¾ cup of warm tea and ½ cup of the warmed milk into a
  • Stir and top it off with the remaining milk froth. Sprinkle
    with cinnamon, and enjoy.

Different Milk with Chai

You can enjoy your cup of iced chai latte with
all kinds of milk! Apart from dairy milk, you can also make our
chai latte recipe with plant-based milk. Here is the best
plant-based or non-dairy milk you can use to make vegan or
non-dairy chai latte. 

The beverage is great when enjoyed cold too! | Image from

Oat Chai Latte

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Oat milk is naturally sweet due to its high
carbohydrate content. However, it is still very neutral in taste so
it won’t tone down the flavour of the spices. It is also thicker
and creamier than dairy milk, so it is a little more complicated to
work with and takes longer to froth. Therefore, we suggest getting
a barista oat milk made for frothing for a more straightforward

Almond Milk

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Almond milk is among the best options for making
lattes, and it has a nutty flavour which goes well with the spices.
We recommend going for unsweetened almond milk to use alongside
your sweet syrup. It also has similar properties to standard dairy
milk and froths up nicely when steamed. However, it needs to be
heated higher than regular dairy milk. The best temperature to
froth almond milk is 150°F and no higher than this to avoid it from
breaking down. 

Soy Chai Latte

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Soy milk has a mild flavour adaptable to the
chai spice flavours. So, rest assured it won’t drastically affect
the taste of the spiced tea. However, soy milk is thinner than most
plant-based and dairy milk so it won’t froth as well as those.
Still, you can make a good foam with barista soy milk by heating it
at about 120-130°F.

A common substitute for cow’s milk is soy milk, a non dairy and
plant-based beverage. You can use soy milk for your Chai latte if
it’s available in your fridge. | Image from Polina

Coconut Milk

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Coconut milk and chai spices make a delicious
combination as the spices make the milk taste more sophisticated
and more decadent. In addition, coconut milk is much thinner than
dairy milk since it contains more water than dairy milk. Despite
that, the coconut fat makes it thick and creamy enough to froth
excellently. Manual frothing works best with coconut milk, so you
can even froth it by shaking it in a mason jar.

Cashew Milk

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Like almond milk, cashew milk will add an
earthy, slightly sweet and nutty flavour to your spice tea. But
cashew milk is denser than almond milk. It can create a slightly
heavier texture for your chai latte. It can froth decently, too but
be careful as it may produce large bubbles when steamed, making
your drink soapy. Due to that, we recommend steaming it at around
120-130°F or lower.

Hemp Milk 

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Hemp milk is nut-free, making it a good option
for those with dairy and nut allergies. However, it has a slightly
grassy taste and is not as creamy as other plant-based milk.
Despite that, it can make a decent froth when you heat it before
adding it to your drink. Otherwise, hemp milk can curdle if you add
it cold to the chai latte. 

Hemp milk has a naturally mild and nutty taste. | Image from Polina

Rice Milk

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Rice has a pleasant and neutral taste that will
allow the spices in the drink to shine. However, you can’t forth
rice milk well since it is very thin and has a low-fat content.
There’s no harm in using rice milk to make your chai latte, but it
will water down your drink. Therefore, we suggest you go for it
only if you prefer your spiced milk tea to be less creamy and

Flaxseed Milk 

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Flaxseed milk tastes like a combination of
almond and oat milk but is less milky. It has a mild taste that
pairs well with the chai spices. You’d want to get the one that
contains Gellan Gum or a barista flax milk for an easier frothing
process. Otherwise, the standard flaxseed milk might give you a
less foamy top for your chai tea latte.

Frothy foam-topped chai

Milk plays an essential role in making chai
latte. Not only does it contributes to the consistency of the
beverage, but also the best part of it, aka the frothing.
Therefore, it is better to use milk with more fat content for a
better froth and creamier drink. But feel free to use thinner milk
if you prefer a little less light and frothy tea. 

Combine your favourite pastry with a cup of hot chai latte for an
amazing to start to your day. | Image from

And whether you’re using plant-based or dairy
milk, you can froth them in three ways. Firstly, you can whisk it
vigorously over medium-high heat on the stovetop. We recommend
using this method for 2% dairy milk and coconut milk.

After heating it in a saucepan on low heat, you
can froth the milk with an immersion blender. This method works
best with all non-dairy milk, but you can also use it for dairy
milk. Lastly, you can heat it over medium-high heat and shake the
milk in a jar. This technique works well with nut milk and whole
dairy milk.

However, manually frothing milk manually can be
a huge pain, and it takes ages to achieve the perfect consistency.
Alternatively, you can create the froth using tools like a frothing
wand or espresso machine to get the frothy top. 

We recommend getting an electric milk frother to
save yourself from all the hassle of making milk froths. Unless you
prefer sneaking in an arm workout, this handy tool will save you a
lot of time and energy.

How long does it
take to steep chai latte?

We recommend you steep the tea leaves for no
more than 4-5 minutes. You can get a stronger and more pronounced
flavour if you want to steep it for longer. However, it can also
turn bitter quickly after this point. For a milder flavour, you can
steep the tea leaves for shorter. Feel free to experiment and find
the best moment for you.

How to make chai latte with tea bags and chai concentrate

While we prefer making chai latte from scratch
using tea leaves and our spice mix, we understand it can take a lot
of work to get your hands on loose-leaf tea and fresh spices. So
here’s our easy, quick method to make chai latte with tea bags and
a premade chai concentrate. 

This method will give you a less pronounced
flavour from the tea. Add more tea bags if you feel like the tea
needs to be stronger. To avoid a bitter taste, do not steep for
more than 4-5 minutes.

  • Add 3 black tea bags, cover and steep for 4-5 minutes. Add your
    1 tablespoon of chai concentrate and stir until dissolved.
  • Forth your milk.
  • Pour ¾ cup of warm tea and ½ cup of the warmed milk into a
  • Stir and top it off with the remaining milk froth. Sprinkle
    with cinnamon, and enjoy.

  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups preferred milk
  • 2 tbsps loose-leaf black tea
    (or 6 black tea bags)
  • 6 tbsps maple syrup
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (thinly
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Add the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom to a
    small saucepan over medium heat. Toast them by gently shaking the
    pan until fragrant. Then, brew the tea by adding water and ginger
    into the saucepan. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.

  • Turn off the heat and add the loose-leaf tea or
    tea bags. Cover the saucepan and let it steep for 5 minutes. Next,
    add the maple syrup and stir until it dissolves in the tea.

  • Strain the tea through a strainer and pour it
    into a pitcher or teapot. Discard the spices and tea leaves.

  • Create a milk froth manually or use an electric
    milk frother. If done manually, whisk the milk vigorously over
    medium-high heat.

  • Pour ¾ cup of warm tea and ½ cup of the warmed
    milk into a mug. Stir well. Then, top the beverage with a spoonful
    of milk foam. Sprinkle some cinnamon over it, serve, and enjoy.

  • You can substitute both cardamom and cloves with
  • You can substitute ginger with turmeric in the same
  • You can replace maple syrup with other sweeteners
    like honey or brown sugar.
  • Make sure to add your sweetener to the warm tea
    base before straining the tea. This is so your sweetener will melt
    and become fully incorporated.
  • Besides toasting, you can also simmer the spices in
    boiled water for a few minutes to bring out the flavours of the
    spices more.
  • You can also manually froth milk by shaking it
    vigorously in a jar besides hand whisking it. Alternatively, you
    may use an electric milk frother or a frothing wand.
  • To make a non-dairy chai latte, use non-dairy milk
    with more fat to create better foam and a thicker texture.

Calories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein:
6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 85mgPotassium:
392mgFiber: 2gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 302IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium:
295mgIron: 1mg

Calories have been
calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information
offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes
and are only rough estimations.

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