This homemade chai tea latte recipe is internet famous and loved by thousands of readers. And it’s way better than a Starbucks chai tea latte. Made with simple pantry ingredients: black tea, warming spices, and milk. This from-scratch recipe is a tea lover’s favorite: rich and warming chai flavor with the perfect touch of natural sweetness. The perfect balance that makes this tea a must-make.

Hands holding a chai tea latter in a glass mug.
Make your own delicious chai tea latte with just a few pantry spices, black tea, and milk of choice.

What Makes This Recipe So Good?

I created this recipe in 2014. I had a costly obsession with a Starbucks chai latte. In an effort to lower expenses, I decided to experiment with making a chai latte at home.

I found a few home chai lattes online, all of which suggested using a pre-made chai tea mix. I tried this option, but they all lacked the coffee shop flavor.

I decided to make my own chai spice blend, using ingredients from my pantry, and pairing this blend with black tea. After researching the spices used to make traditional chai, and seeing what was stocked in my pantry, I decided to go with the following spices…

What Readers Say:

“Best Chai Tea I have ever had! And it is very easy as well – very little active time”

KAITILYN

I infused the spices in boiling water to release their flavor and added black tea bags. Black tea is on the stronger side, so it balances perfectly with the warm flavor of the spices.

The end result was a DELICIOUS homemade chai tea concentrate that I could store in the fridge and reheat with milk to make a homemade latte. No coffee shop needed!

And the best part? It’s inexpensive to make considering that most of the spices are common pantry items that may also be used in other ways.

Spices used to make a chai latte in a ceramic white bowl.
To make a chai latte, you need a few pantry spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice.

What is a Chai Tea Latte?

Chai tea latte originated in India. In India, the word chai translates to “tea.”

So yes, calling this drink a chai tea latte is technically saying “tea tea latte.” Since most of us, in the Western world, order “a chai tea latte, please” at the coffee shop, that’s what I’m going with today.

A traditional chai tea latte is a combination of tea and milk. The homemade chai tea latte recipe we’re going to make today, and what most of us recognize as that infamous chai latte taste, is called masala chai.

The main ingredients are a blend of tea, milk, and different spices (like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger).

Chai latte ingredients spread on a counter: tea bags and spices.
Ingredients needed: black tea bags (or loose tea), maple syrup, pantry spices, water, and milk of choice.

Ingredients Needed

This recipe is inspired by a traditional masala chai, with a rich, warm flavor, but modified to use simple and inexpensive pantry ingredients that are common in American homes: tea bags, chai spices, and milk. Here’s what you need.

For the Chai Concentrate:

To Make a Latte:

  • 1/2 cup chai tea concentrate from the recipe above
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or dairy-free milk: coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk
  • 1 TB pure maple syrup or honey
  • pinch ground cinnamon

Tools Needed

How to Make, Step By Step

Step 1: Make the Chai Concentrate

Heat 2 cups of water and the spices in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove top. Let the ingredients simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 2 tea bags and maple syrup (or honey).

After another 5 minutes, pour the concentrate (hot water, spices, sweetener and tea bags) through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl.

Reserve 1/2 cup of this chai tea concentrate to immediately make a latte. And store the remaining concentrate in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Time-Saving Tip: Short on time? Buy a chai concentrate or “chai tea bags” (which pre-mix spices with black tea) from the store. Store-bought concentrates and pre-mixed tea bags lack the strong flavor profile that you’ll get from this homemade concentrate, but they will give you the chai experience if you’re short on time.

Step 2: Warm & Froth the Milk for the Latte

In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup milk, a tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey), and a pinch of cinnamon to a slight boil. Once the sides of the milk begin to bubble, remove the pan from the heat.

Using an immersion blender blend the milk until it’s frothy (just a few seconds). This is the trick to making a homemade latte without a professional milk frother. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a fork and vigorously whisk the milk mixture.

An immersion blender is also great for making creamy soups, sauces, and dips, like tomato soup, butternut squash soup, veggie-packed spaghetti sauce, and eggplant dip.

Time-Saving Tip: Use the microwave and heat-safe bowl to warm the milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Warm the milk for about 30 seconds, then continue for another 30 seconds if needed, until warm.

Step 3: Combine the Frothed Milk and Chai Concentrate

Pour 1/2 cup of the hot chai concentrate into a mug. Then slowly pour in the frothed milk. Sprinkle the top of the chai tea latte with an extra pinch of cinnamon, if desired.

Time-Saving Tip: Double or triple the concentrate recipe so you can easily enjoy a latte each day. The concentrate will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Shake the concentrate before pouring into a mug and reheating in the microwave. Alternatively, use chilled chai concentrate to make an iced latte with ice and milk.

Chai latter on a countertop with the concentrate in the background.
Chai latte, ready to enjoy!

3 Variations: Iced, Dirty, Pumpkin Spice

Variation 1: Iced Chai Latte

Chill the homemade chai concentrate in the refrigerator. Add 1/2 cup of the cold concentrate to a glass filled with ice cubes, then pour your favorite milk over the top. Follow this iced chai latte recipe.

During the summer, I keep a jar of the concentrate in my fridge. An iced latte is the perfect way to beat the summer heat (along with homemade popsicles)!

I recommend doubling the chai concentrate recipe if you plan to make an iced latte frequently. The concentrate will stay fresh in the fridge for up 2 weeks. Just shake before use.

Variation 2: Dirty Chai Latte

A dirty chai tea latte is made with a shot of espresso. Regular coffee just doesn’t have the same rich flavor and creaminess as espresso, but in a pinch you could use about 2 tablespoons of regular coffee (or up to 1/4 cup). Add 1 shot of espresso to a mug, then 1/2 cup chai concentrate, followed by the frothed milk.

Variation 3: Pumpkin Spice Chai

I love my homemade pumpkin spice latte, and recently decided to add pumpkin puree to this chai recipe. So GOOD! Warm 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) with the milk and maple syrup. Then froth the hot milk mixture with an immersion blender or fork. Add the pumpkin milk to the chai concentrate for a pumpkin-flavored chai that beats Starbucks any day.

Pouring milk into a glass with ice and chai concentrate.
Use the chai concentrate to make another variation: iced chai, dirty chai (with espresso), or a pumpkin spice chai.

What kind of tea is best to use?

Make the chai concentrate with black tea bags (like English Breakfast) or black tea leaves (loose). Black tea is strong enough to hold up to the warm, flavorful spices. It also provides a good amount of caffeine, which is nice for a morning pick-me-up.

Green tea and herbal teas aren’t strong enough to hold up to spices and are not recommended.

I think you’ll find the flavor and taste of this homemade drink is far superior to anything you’ll get at coffee houses (including Starbucks). Give it a try and tell me what you think!

homemade chai tea latte
4.87 from 117 votes

Homemade Chai Tea Latte

This from-scratch recipe is a tea lover's favorite: rich and warming chai flavor with the perfect touch of natural sweetness. The perfect balance that makes this tea a must-make.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 chai lattes
Calories 74 kcal
Cost: $3

Equipment

Ingredients

Homemade Chai Concentrate:

Chai Latte:

  • 1/2 cup homemade chai tea concentrate from the recipe above
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or dairy-free milk: coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk
  • 1 TB pure maple syrup or honey
  • pinch ground cinnamon

Instructions

Homemade Chai Concentrate

  • In a small saucepan, bring the water and spices to a boil. Whisk the spices in the water. Once the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and allow the spices to steep in the water for 5 minutes.
    2 cups water, 2 whole cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground allspice
    Spices boiling in a white pot on the stove-top.
  • After 5 minutes, turn the heat back on and add the black tea bags and maple syrup. Return to a slight boil (the goal is a hot liquid for steeping). Once boiling, turn off the heat. Steep the tea bags in the water and spices for 5 minutes.
    2 black tea bags, 2 TB pure maple syrup
    Adding tea bags to a pot of chai spices and water on the stove-top.
  • Remove the tea bags and strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve 1/2 cup of chai concentrate to make a latte right now. Store the remaining chai concentrate in a jar in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
    Pouring the chai concentrate through a fine mesh sieve into a tall glass bottle.

Make a Chai Latte:

  • In a small saucepan, bring the milk, maple syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon to a slight boil (the sides of the milk will begin to bubble), stirring often. Once the sides of the milk begin to bubble, remove the pan from heat.
    3/4 cup whole milk, 1 TB pure maple syrup, pinch ground cinnamon
    Pouring milk into a white pot on the stove-top.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the milk until it's frothy. Alternatively, use a fork to vigorously whisk and froth the milk.
    Frothing milk in a saucepan with an immersion blender.
  • Pour 1/2 cup chai concentrate into a mug. Slowly pour in the frothed milk. Sprinkle the top with an extra pinch of cinnamon, if desired.
    Pouring the chai concentrate into a mug.
  • Serve warm.
    Hand holding a ceramic mug filled with chai latte.

Video

Notes

Double or Triple the Concentrate Recipe: If you plan to make this latte part of your daily routine, or want to make iced chai lattes (and use more of the concentrate per glass), double or triple the chai concentrate recipe. Store the concentrate for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Use the concentrate to make this hot drink or an iced chai latte.
How to Reheat the Chai Concentrate: Reheat the chai concentrate in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove-top. Then warm the milk and make a latte.

Nutrition

Calories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 28mgPotassium: 105mgSugar: 11gVitamin A: 75IUCalcium: 78mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

What to serve with this drink?

There’s nothing like enjoying a warm latte with a muffin, scone, or slice of bread. Here are a few of my favorite baked goods to serve with this latte, for the ultimate at-home coffee shop experience.

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211 Comments

  1. I was hoping this would be as delicious as it is 🙂 I have loved chai tea lattes for about 17 years now but recently have acquired some stomach issues and all the sugar in the concentrate versions is really starting to make me feel blah! I recently tried a homemade latte with a chai tea bag and it wasn’t very flavorful. This recipe is spot on! I used my Nespresso milk frother for the milk portion but otherwise followed the recipe. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! I am a Chai lover but have a hard time finding Chai that isn’t overly sweet and with just the right spices (I don’t love the black pepper in Tazo Chai) so I rarely order it out. I’m excited to have this recipe on hand to make my own perfectly spiced and sweetened chai. It was great as-is, but next time I will try reducing the maple syrup to 1 Tbsp in the milk mixture as I am trying to reduce my sugar intake including natural sugars and am growing accustomed to less sugar. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    We definitely have a problem with all the sugar in the Starbucks drinks. I made this today for my daughter who loves chai and tries it wherever she goes, even if it’s full of sugar. She loved this though, so yay!! And me too…I can’t have the sugar, so I even put only like a 1/4 t of maple syrup in mine and added some Stevia drops and also used almond milk. I liked hers better but mine was still very good!😊. Will be making more concentrate to have in fridge for future mornings!

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