Chai tea lattes warm our souls in the cooler weather and even when they're on ice they still manage to give us what we need. One of the best drinks out there deserves to be in our kitchens the moment we're craving one. Learning how to make a chai tea latte is your ticket to the good life and we're here to show you the basic steps you need for making one hot and on ice.

How To Make A Chai Tea Latte

overhead shot of a chai tea latte on a table next to cinnamon sticks

What You'll Need

  • 1 bag of black tea
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of allspice
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Steps For Making Tea

  • Add water, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, peppercorn, and allspice to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over low-medium heat.
  • Once the water boils, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the seasoning steep for 4-5 minutes.
  • After the allotted time, add the tea bag to the water and allow it to steep for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the time has passed, add in the honey and stir until everything is dissolved.
  • Pour the contents of the saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer into a teapot.
  • Cover the teapot to keep everything warm while you froth the milk.

Steps For Making Latte

  • In a medium saucepan, add the milk and whisk continuously until froth forms.
  • Pour about 3/4 of the tea into a mug and slowly add the frothy milk over top of it. Stir everything.
  • Top with whipped cream and an extra pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg if you so choose.

How To Make An Iced Chai Tea Latte

two iced chai tea lattes on a table

Making an iced chai tea latte is really simple. Much of this recipe requires the same steps you followed for making a chai latte hot.

Steps

  • Repeat all the steps from above for making tea.
  • As opposed to placing your tea in a teapot, add it to a pitcher and stick it in the fridge to cool (this will take about 1-2 hours).
  • Once the tea is chilled, fill a cup with ice. Add half the tea mixture into your cup and top with cold milk. You can add as much milk as you like.

Additional Methods

There are quite a few different ways to make a chai tea latte based on your tastes. As you may have noticed in the Starbucks line, people like to order a slew of different toppings based on their personal preferences and creating your drinks from home is no different.

Sweetener

brown sugar on a wooden spoon

Not everyone likes the taste of honey. For your personal chai tea latte recipe, you can use equal parts brown sugar, granulated sugar, agave, or maple syrup.

Additionally, some might not like their chai tea lattes super sweet so you can easily down the dosage if you like. You'll be more than fine with only a tablespoon or so of your preferred sweetener. In fact, many only use a teaspoon. On the flip side, you can use more sweetener if you so choose. You can up the ante a bit with 1/2 a cup of your preferred sweetener as opposed to the typical 1/4 cup.

Spices

a white cup filled with black peppercorns spilling onto the table

As fun as it is to concoct our chai tea lattes with an assortment of spices, you don't need to grab everything in your pantry for a simple cup. Some people opt for only using bags of chai tea and that's an option you have as well. It's also a good idea for those in a pinch.

You can also omit some of the spices or lower the amounts if you're not a huge fan of them. The above recipe is one we like the best, but that doesn't mean you can't tweak things to suit your personal tastes. Keep in mind that we like these spices because they add a certain oomph to the chai tea latte and work well with one another. Fresh cinnamon also balances everything out because it's on the sweeter side.

a brown bowl full of sugar and two vanilla beans

Something peculiar some people like incorporating is peppercorns. It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but it is used more often than you think. In fact, many argue that you can't make a good chai tea latte without it. If you'd like to add them you can sprinkle in about 1-2 teaspoons in with the rest of the spices.

How many times have we heard someone ask for vanilla in their drinks at Starbucks? Well, those people just may have been onto something. If it sounds intriguing to you then simply add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in with your sweetener when you're making the tea.

Teas

a cup of black tea on a background of black tea leaves

You have the option to choose between dozens of tea flavors in everyday life, but a chai tea latte requires certain kinds. Black tea is used most often when making this beverage because it's more flavorful. If you're going the black tea route then you should look to grab an Assam blend.

Chai tea can be used as well. As we mentioned before, the swifter chai tea latte recipes call for swapping loose spices for this particular tea. It's a suitable replacement when you're in a bind or need to whip one up quickly.

Be mindful of which teas you use as well because they come with different levels of caffeine. Black tea has about 60-90 milligrams of caffeine whereas something like chai tea only has about 11 milligrams.

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