Grabbing your favorite Chai tea latte at one of your favorite coffee shops is on the quintessential fall bucket list for sure. Am I right? But, the problem with that is that not only does the wallet not hold up to those coffee shop prices, but many coffee shops use chai concentrate to make their chai tea lattes. My friend, I’m here to tell you that friends don’t let friends drink chai tea concentrate! So let’s learn how to make a chai tea latte at home. I promise the taste and effort will be so worth it.
Make your custom blend of chai just the way you like it with our complimentary tea blending workshop. Are you concerned about the caffeine level of chai tea? We dive more into that here.
What are chai spices?
First off, we need some authentic, organic, and tasty chai spices. Chai recipes are known for their must-have warming spices. Not only do these spices taste fabulous, but they also have some incredible medicinal properties as well.
Ginger- A spice we all often use in things like pumpkin pie and curry. It’s anti-inflammatory, soothes sore throats, is anti-viral, is a blood mover, helps running noses, coughs, pain reliever reduces bloating, and aids indigestion.
Cardamom- Cardamom is served in India as an after-meal ‘mint’ of sorts. It cleans the mouth, stimulates digestion, is anti-bacterial, soothes the stomach, helps ulcers, and is anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon- A well-known spice used in many baking dishes and great for indigestion, gas, heartburn, stomach aches, anti-inflammatory, helps cramps, aids in blood sugars, is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and has antioxidants.
Black Pepper- This spicy pepper does more than adding some kick; it also moves gas, helps in pain relief, is a blood mover, is anti-inflammatory, and helps absorption.
Star Anise- A beautiful star-shaped spice also helps cramps, aids digestion, and reduces nausea, bloating, gas, indigestion, and constipation.
Cloves- This slightly spicy and well-known pie spice is also helpful for arthritis, anti-inflammatory, tooth health, mouth health, liver aide, headaches, immune booster, and digestive health.
Different Types of Tea for Making Chai
There are many different types of tea options when making a good cup of masala chai. We recommend skipping those “bottom-of-the-barrel” tea dust kinds that usually come in bleached, micro-plastic-filled tea bags. Those chai tea bags are not what you want here. Make sure you are grabbing a high-quality, organic, if possible, loose leaf tea. If you are new to brewing loose leaf tea, grab these loose leaf tea steeping tips here.
Black tea is the traditional type of tea to use when steeping a cup of chai tea. The more robust the black tea, the more traditional cup of marsala chai you will get. Darjeeling and Assam are the most recommended. Any type of black tea will do, though. Our favorite black tea for chai is our Three Sisters Black Tea Blend blended with this Herbal Chai Spice.
If you are not up to blending your custom chai blend, though, these blends are our favorite mixes, ready to go!
- Persnickety Peach Chai ( black tea)
- Rooibos Chai (herbal tea)
- Sweet Maple Chai( black spiced tea)
- Herbal Chai Spice (herbal tea)
- Prairie Pumpkin Chai (black spiced tea)
- Cherry Country Chai (black spiced tea)
Whichever tea blend you decide to use, you will need about one tablespoon of chai loose leaf tea to make a chai tea latte. We want that tea nice and strong when it gets steeped!
Types of Milk to Use
Chai tea is prepared with dairy, like cow’s milk or any high in fat milk. This fat content gives the chai a smooth, creamy texture that is traditional for a cup of masala chai tea. It’s the perfect balance to the dark rich tea and vibrant spices.
Suppose you are dairy-free; no worries. There are plenty of alternatives that can be used. Almond milk is a popular choice for making an equally tasty marsala chai without the dairy. Our personal favorite here on the farm is full-fat coconut milk. I don’t taste the coconut flavor, but the coconut still gives that full fat, diary-like effect to the chai.
Whichever milk you use to make your chai tea make sure that you froth it up to get that nice milky head on top of your chai. It’s perfect for sprinkling on a bit of cinnamon and sugar sprinkles. We love using this handheld Epare whisk for frothing small batches of milk. If you are blessed with an espresso machine, the milk frother on there works fabulously! You can also use an immersion blender as well.
Types of Sweeteners for Chai
We have our tea, our spices, and our milk. Now it’s time for the sweet stuff. Traditional masala chai is sometimes made with sweetened condensed milk, which is just thickened milk with sugar. The coffee shops that use the chai concentrate are loaded with all sorts of sugars, and since we are looking at cutting those down, I have a few tips to offer in the sweetener department.
Brown sugar- The most popular sweetener on the list is brown sugar, thanks to Starbuck’s® Brown Sugar Chai Tea Latte’s popularity. Brown sugar is an easy alternative to white sugar and gives your chai tea latte a little extra flavor boost. Make sure you grab a natural, authentic brown sugar and not just white sugar with molasses added. You want the excellent unadulterated stuff.
Maple Syrup- This one is my personal favorite as maple syrup is my go-to sweetener. It is simple to add, doesn’t have to dissolve, and adds a flavor depth that is perfect for all of these fall spices. Maple is also easier on the glycemic index than sugar in a more solid-state.
Maple Sugar- This one is another favorite as it is just a more condensed version of maple syrup, making it easy to use on the go without needing a refrigerator to preserve it. Maple sugar is also great for sprinkling on top of your frothed milk. We love this brand here.
Unbleached White Sugar- The standard for chai tea lattes is white sugar. If you are looking to go the traditional route, we recommend unbleached white sugar and from an organic source for the healthiest results.
Honey- Another liquid sweetener that gives a unique flavor profile to your chai tea latte. It’s another favorite of mine as it is usually around in abundance and doesn’t give my body a sugar rush like the solid sweeteners. Honey tends to be a little bit more mellow in flavor.
Coconut Sugar- This one is a favorite among those eating a Paleo or AIP diet and a great alternative to brown cane sugar as the flavor profiles are very similar.
Chai Tea Latte Recipe
Now that we have all of our ingredients picked out, it’s tea time! Today we are going to make a Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte because it’s pumpkin spice season! Grab your small saucepan, and let’s get mak’n! You are welcome to substitute any of the chai tea ingredients, milk, and sugar options to make the perfect chai tea latte just for you!
Chai Tea Latte Recipe
- 6 tsp Loose Leaf Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea (or any chai tea you desire)
- 2 TBL Organic Maple Syrup
- 1 cup. Milk of choice
- 1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional, for sprinkling on top)
- Steep the tea in 12-16 oz of almost boiling water for 7-10 minutes.
- Warm up milk on the stove so that it's warm to the touch but not boiling and turn the heat off before the milk creates a skin over the top.
- Froth the milk using an electric frother or by placing it in a clean tea press and pumping the press up and down until frothed.
- Pour sweetened tea into a mug (s), top with frothed milk, and sprinkle on Pumpkin Pie Spice. Enjoy!!!
If you loved this recipe and want some more tasty drinks make sure to grab the FREE Cooking with Tea E-book, and don’t forget that you can learn to blend your own chai tea at home with this (also free) Tea Blending Workshop.
All this talk about my favorite tea, chai, has me wanting to make my own chai tea latte. My pick’s for ingredients would be the herbal chai spice blend, along with some maple syrup and full-fat coconut milk! What about you? Let me know in the comments below how you would style your must-have chai tea latte. I can’t wait to hear what you dream of sipp’n.
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