Assorted chai tea spices on a table

How To Make A Chai Tea Latte At Home

A chai tea latte combines the natural healing powers of chai with the delicious creaminess of milk to create a sweet and spicy coffee drink that can be enjoyed hot or iced. 

For centuries, people in India have cherished the delicious and natural healing powers of chai tea. With a tasty blend of spices and herbs that is said to help fight inflammation and boost the immune system, chai has been a traditional and natural source of energy and relief for many generations.

What is a Chai Tea Latte?

In India, the word “chai” literally means tea, so to set the record straight: a chai tea latte is actually calling it a tea tea latte. That being said, it’s what we commonly call it in America, so that is what we will talk about today in our blog. 

Simply put, a chai tea latte is a combination of tea and milk. Traditional chai tea lattes are made with black tea and hot milk (any kind of milk will suffice), but there are many other versions of this drink that include other toppings and spices, including: 

  • Adrak Chai: Tea, milk, and ginger
  • Saunf Wali Chai: Tea, milk, and fennel seeds
  • Masala Chai: Tea, milk, and spices (like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove)

Masala Chai is the flavor most of us think of when we order a chai tea latte. It’s warm, inviting, and reminds us slightly of the holidays without the intrusive relatives and post-feast bloating. Plus, it’s delicious!

There are also chai tea latte cartons available at grocery stores or coffee shops across the United States. These versions are made from concentrate and are much sweeter than the traditional Masala Chai, but are still tasty nonetheless.

Caffeine

With black tea as the main ingredient, there is a decent amount of caffeine in a chai tea latte. According to the Mayo Clinic, 8 oz of black tea has between 25-48 mg of caffeine, so a lot less than a cup of coffee which averages between 95-165 mg of caffeine per serving.

But how much caffeine is in a chai tea latte depends on the recipe, the type of tea used, and the size of the drink. You can also get what’s called a “dirty chai latte” which means you add a shot of espresso to the drink. This will add an additional 64 mg of caffeine to the drink.

You can always use a decaf black tea instead if you’re sensitive to caffeine or stimulants.

Calories

Chai tea lattes from concentrate typically have more calories than homemade ones because they use sugar and other flavorings that make them sweeter and more caloric. Your milk choice will impact the nutrition as well. According to Healthline, a regular chai tea latte has about 180 calories. 

Chai tea latte in white mug

How to Make A Chai Tea Latte

Want to make a chai tea latte at home? We have the perfect recipe for you! This delicious chai latte recipe from The Kitchn will soon become a favorite in your drink arsenal.

Tools:

  • Medium saucepan
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Pitcher or teapot

Ingredients:

  • Chai spices: 
    • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
    • 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
    • 10 whole cloves
    • 6 green cardamom pods, cracked
    • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • Tea:
  • Milk:
    • 3 c. cold whole milk, almond milk, oat milk, or any other dairy-free alternative

Directions:

  • Toast the spices. Place the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom in a small saucepan over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Brew the tea. Add the water and ginger and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Steep the tea. Remove from the heat and add the loose-leaf tea or tea bags. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
  • Sweeten the tea. While the tea is still warm, add the sweetener and stir until combined or dissolved.
  • Strain the tea. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher or teapot. Discard the spices and tea leaves. Store in the refrigerator for future use, or keep it warm while you froth the milk.
  • Froth the milk. For whole milk, froth the milk by shaking it in a jar or by whisking it vigorously over medium-high heat. For non-dairy milks, use an immersion blender to froth before heating.
  • Heat the milk. Heat the frothed milk in a small saucepan over low heat until warm.
  • Enjoy. Pour 3/4 cup of the warm tea base into each mug. Add 1/2 cup of warmed milk and stir to combine. Top with a heaping spoonful of milk froth.

Notes:

  • If you want an iced chai latte, simply skip step 7. You can also use a little less water when brewing the tea and then pour it over ice to keep the same strength.
  • If you want a flavored chai latte, like vanilla or cinnamon, make your own flavored simple syrup to use as a sweetener! Simply simmer equal parts water and sugar with your desired toppings to make the tasty alternative.

If you use this recipe, make sure to tag us on social media! Want to skip the DIY? Stop by one of our Roasterie cafes and order one from our baristas!