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This copycat Starbucks chai tea latte recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make. Use ready-made chai concentrate, or brew your own at home. This recipe is easy to customize and can be served hot or cold.
- Making this chai tea latte at home is much less expensive than buying it at Starbucks.
- You can make this drink as both an iced chai tea latte for a hot summer day or as a hot chai tea latte topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
- You need only 3 ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make this latte.
- It can easily be made vegan and dairy-free.
- You can use store bought chai concentrate or make your own from scratch.
- Chai Concentrate: Chai concentrate is the key ingredient in this drink. It is basically very strong – concentrated – chai tea. This recipe uses store bought chai concentrate, but there are also options described below for making your own. Tazo brand is owned by Starbucks and is probably the most popular option for purchasing chai concentrate. There are also some options described below for making your own chai concentrate from scratch or with tea bags.
- Milk: Starbucks uses 2% milk to make their chai tea lattes, but you can use any type of milk you like. Whole 3.25% milk will make a creamier latte. For a dairy-free option, use almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk.
- Sweetener: Some options for sweeteners include honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. You can also use an artificial sweetener, such as Stevia. If you are making this chai tea latte using store bought concentrate, you may find that you don’t need any sweetener at all — some concentrates are already sweetened.
Making Your Own Chai Concentrate
Buying chai concentrate pre-made is the easiest option for making this recipe. However, you may prefer to prepare your own. There are a couple ways to do this. One is making chai concentrate completely from scratch. And the other is to use chai tea bags to brew concentrate.
Chai Concentrate From Scratch
Making your own chai concentrate from scratch involves the most work since you are brewing all the individual chai flavors together yourself. The benefit to this method is that the chai concentrate will taste the most flavorful.
This homemade chai concentrate from Masala & Chai is an excellent, well-written recipe for making your own chai concentrate at home in under 30 minutes.
Chai Concentrate From Tea Bags
A simpler way to make chai concentrate is from Chai tea bags. This is a great option if you already have chai tea at home. For this method, boil 2 cups of water and pour it over 4 chai tea bags.
Let the tea steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Store chai concentrate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This chai tea latte is easy to customize by adding in other flavors and ingredients. Here are some ideas for variations to try:
- Vanilla Chai Tea Latte: Add a dash of vanilla extract and top the latte with this vanilla sweet cream cold foam.
- Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte: Top the latte with pumpkin cold foam and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
- Matcha Chai Tea Latte: Use a matcha whisk to dissolve 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into warm chai concentrate. Or, try this matcha chai latte recipe.
- Dirty Chai Tea Latte: Mix in a shot of espresso or strongly brewed coffee.
- A kettle to boil water if you are making your own chai concentrate.
- A milk frother for making a hot chai tea latte.
- A large latte glass or a to-go tumbler for serving your chai latte in.
How to Make an Iced Chai Tea Latte
Step 1: Chill both the milk and chai concentrate in the fridge. Stir in any optional sweeteners into the chai concentrate.
Step 2: Pour the chai concentrate and milk into a large glass filled with ice. Optionally, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Pro Tip: It is easier to dissolve the sweeteners into the chai concentrate while it is warm, especially if using brown sugar. Stir any sweeteners into the concentrate after you’ve just brewed it, before letting it cool. If using store bought concentrate, heat it slightly to help the sweetener fully dissolve.
How to Make a Hot Chai Tea Latte
Step 1: If chilled, heat the chai concentrate in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds until hot. Stir in any optional sweeteners.
Step 2: Use an electric milk frother to warm and froth the milk.
Step 3: Pour the warm, frothed milk on top of the chai concentrate and gently stir to combine. Optionally, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Adjust the chai concentrate to milk ratio. The strength of chai concentrate can vary. Homebrewed chai concentrate may be stronger than a store bought one. Different store bought brands can also vary in strength from one another. Adjust the ratio of milk to chai concentrate to taste.
- Taste before adding sweetener. Some store bought brands of chai concentrate are already sweetened. Adding extra sweetener may make them too sweet. Taste your chai latte before adding any extra sweeteners.
- Use simple syrup instead of sugar. Sugar does not dissolve well in cold beverages. Simple syrup is a liquid sugar mixture made by heating equal proportions of sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. If you are making an iced chai latte, try using simple syrup, instead of sugar for a smooth drink.
- Use chai ice cubes. To prevent your iced latte from becoming watered down on a hot day, use chai ice cubes. Freeze chai tea in an ice cube tray overnight and use them in your iced latte instead of regular ice cubes.
Starbucks serves hot chai tea lattes with frothed milk, but you don’t have to froth the milk if you prefer not to. Instead, heat the milk in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds until hot and pour over the chai concentrate.
The amount of caffeine will depend on the brand of chai concentrate you use. If using Tazo chai tea concentrate, ¾ cup of concentrate contains about 60mg of caffeine.
For a vegan chai tea latte, use almond milk or oat milk instead of cow’s milk. To sweeten the latte, use brown sugar or maple syrup.