Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by laurenpacek
These Iced Chai Lattes are better than Starbucks, I swear. Save money by making them at home and have one whenever you like!
When the weather warms up, I often trade my morning mug of hot coffee for homemade iced chai lattes. Iced Chai Lattes are exactly what you want for a caffeine kick on a hot day. Fortunately, these Iced Chai Lattes are delicious, caffeinated, and cold.
And sure, you can buy these at Starbucks. But they're so easy to make. I used to get iced chai lattes from Starbucks, loved them, and assumed that they were really complicated to make. But, as it turns out, they're just... get this... spiced black tea and milk. So, so simple!
And let's not forget about how much money you can save!
Buying an iced chai latte as a one-off at Starbucks might only cost a few bucks. But if this is a daily thing, multiply that out! Making your own lattes at home can help save you some dough.
Most of the ingredients used in this recipe are pretty inexpensive: milk, black tea bags, sugar, etc. I'll admit that some of the spices used in this recipe might be a little pricey, but they'll go a long way. In the long run, you'll be saving yourself some serious money.
Table of contents
What is an Iced Chai Latte?
An Iced Chai Latte is a sweet, spicy, caffeinated drink that's made with three things: chai concentrate, milk, and ice!
So, what is chai? Chai means "tea." So this is a tea latte.
But please don't call it a "chai tea latte." I know that it's sometimes common to hear it referred to in this way, especially in the U.S. But when you say that, you're really saying "tea tea latte." And you're better than that. Trust.
But back to chai. It's made with black tea and is usually sweetened. It's flavored with a whole host of warm spices. We'll talk about some of the potential spices below, but chai spice mixes can vary. One of the cool things about making your own chai concentrate is that you get to customize it to your specific tastes. So play around and find out what you like!
- Tea: Black tea is used in chai and chai lattes. You can use loose leaf tea or just grab some tea bags, depending on what you have available and/or your preference. I'd recommend using something like Assam, Darjeeling, or English Breakfast tea. Avoid flavored teas, like Earl Grey. I used bags of English Breakfast, because that's what I usually have on hand.
- Chai spices: Chai spices typically include things like cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg... You can use a store bought spice blend, or you can make your own DIY chai spice mix! I have some links below if you're having trouble finding any of these spices in your local grocery store.
- Milk: You can use whatever sort of milk that you prefer. I'm an oat milk kinda gal (Oatly or Chobani full fat, please), but I've also used almond or even 2% cow's milk in a pinch. It's all good.
- Garnishes: This is optional, but you can garnish your iced chai lattes with a cinnamon stick or a whole star anise, if you're feeling a little extra.
Let's talk about chai spices!
In case your local grocery store doesn't carry some of the spices, consider looking online. I've included links below:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star anise
- Whole cloves
- Cardamom pods (crack the pods open to get at the seeds) or cardamom seeds
- Black peppercorns
How do you make an Iced Chai Latte?
Making your own tea? Start here: If you're making your own tea, you'll start out by combining water and spices in a saucepan and bringing that to a boil and then a simmer. After a bit, you'll kill the heat and add your tea, allowing it to steep for a little.
After that, you'll strain everything out and store the tea in an airtight container in the fridge!
Using a pre-made chai concentrate? Start here: Now it's time to assemble your iced chai latte. Start with a glass filled with ice.
Add your chai concentrate to the glass.
Next, add your milk of choice. Look at those swirls!
And that's it. Drink up!
Other tea recipes
- Pumpkin Chai Latte from Midwest Nice
- Cold Brew Iced Tea from A Nerd Cooks
- Iced London Fog Latte from Oh How Civilized
- Dirty Chai Latte from A Nerd Cooks
- Adrak Chai from Masala and Chai
- Peach Green Tea Lemonade from Slow Living Kitchen
- Not equipment, but you will need English Breakfast tea bags!
- Metal reusable straws, for sipping
- Spices! Cinnamon sticks, Star anise, Whole cloves, Cardamom pods or cardamom seeds, Black peppercorns, Allspice, and Nutmeg
FAQs/Tips and tricks
You can buy a chai concentrate, if you'd like. I've used this one from Tazo and enjoyed it.
Pretty much whatever kind you like. I like oat milk, but you do you.
Yes! Black tea contains caffeine.
Stick to black teas. Recommendations include Assam, Darjeling, or just plain old English Breakfast. You can use tea bags or loose leaf tea. I tea bag = about 2 teaspoon of tea.
I usually use like, 2 or 3 parts tea to 1 part milk. It just depends. Play around and see what you like!
Sure, make a batch of tea and store it in the fridge for a few days until you're ready to combine it with milk and drink it.
No! Chai means "tea." So when you say "chai tea latte," you're really saying "tea tea latte."
Yep, they will be quite similar! Depending on the spices that you use, or if you use the Tazo chai concentrate, it should taste pretty dang spot on.
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- 6 cups water
- ½ cup sugar (see notes)
- 2 cinnamon sticks (about 3-inches each)
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 8 teabags black tea (see notes)
- milk (see notes)
- Combine the water, sugar, and spices in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the teabags to the saucepan. Allow the tea to steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, strain out the spices, and allow the chai to cool completely.
- In whatever proportions you desire, pour the cooled tea over ice and top with milk.
- You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar to suit your tastes. I've used both brown and white granulated sugar with success.
- You can also experiment with different sweeteners. Honey, maple syrup, other sugars... you get the idea.
- I have used oat milk, cow's milk, and almond milk. I can't speak to how these iced lattes turn out when using another kind.
- You can use either loose leaf or tea bags. 1 tea bag = about 2 teaspoon loose leaf tea.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g
The calories and other nutritional facts will vary based on what kind/how much milk you use.