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
4.82 from 86 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

  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 immersion blender or fork for frothing the milk
  • fine mesh sieve for straining the spices from the chai concentrate

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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205 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello! Going to ask a really stupid question, but is this fine to be made without the tea? I know it defeats the purpose of a chai latter. I love it, but have been told to avoid tea. Will I still get the lovely spiced taste without the tea bag or will removing it make it pointless? Thanks 😀

  2. SO excited to try this. Does it matter what kind of tea to use? Is there a specific brand that is preferred?

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is excellent! I generally dislike the taste of milk, but I’m pregnant and looking for ways to incorporate it into my diet. This is a great alternative to all the hot cocoa I’ve been consuming and will become part of my regular rotation. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe! My home feels and smells like a cozy teahouse, and my whole being is thankful for this goodness!

  5. 5 stars
    Tea itself is considered a health drink, especially in China, where it has been used for its medicinal benefits for roughly 4,000 years. In some other countries where the climate is predominately cold, tea is a very popular drink. Basically, there are four types of tea: the black tea, the oolong tea, the green tea, and the white tea. Each of which is said to have benefits that can help the overall well being of a person.

  6. 3 stars
    I don’t drink coffee so chai lattes are my drink of choice. I have had a lot of different chai lattes over the last 20+ years. I think this recipe is just okay and rather time consuming. I have tried it several times and have tried playing with the spices and spice ratio. I still much prefer the Tazo chai concentrate (the skinny version) for my at home chai lattes. I will probably continue to use this recipe when I don’t have the Tazo concentrate on hand, but I think I will also continue to make adjustments. I just find this Recipe to be lacking something.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Courtney! I’m sorry you didn’t love the recipe. If you find what you think is missing, comment back to let us know!

      LS Team

  7. 5 stars
    yummm Love the way the cardamom flavor comes through. I subbed the milk with almond+oat and blended it in the vitamix to get it frothed. Next time I think that I’ll reduce the maple syrup a tad since the oat milk is sweet enough as is. Thanks for the great recipe.

      1. To do the almond milk substitute you have to use homemade almond milk ‘creamer’ using a ratio of 1 cup almond to 1.5 cups water to make it thick enough for a latte.

        Tried it with my normal homemade almond milk with a ratio of 1 cup almonds to 4 cups water and it was way too watery when mixed with the concentrate and wouldn’t froth.

        Mix the concentrate with some vanilla and dates or maple syrup and it’s delish!

      2. You can actually do 2 cups water to 1 cup almonds and it turns out fine too. And a little more cost effective.

  8. 5 stars
    This tasted really nice. And it is very easy as well – very little active time. Tbh, I just added 3/4 cup milk and the 1/2 tea in a mug and microwaved it until it was really hot, then stirred through some honey and it was fine. Didn’t get the froth but I’m not too fussed about it. But yeah, its the best recipe for homemade chai latte I’ve found on the internet so far,

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious. I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make Chai Tea at home and this one is the best. Thanks for sharing.

  10. absolutely fantastic recipe! I am a big chai fan and have tried many recipes. This one by far is my favorite for many reasons. Not complicated, doesn’t take too long and its got a great combination of flavours!

  11. I made the chai tea and think it’s great. I even added a couple peppercorns for a little kick. But I had a production error… when I went to strain it, there was a gelatinous quality to the remains that made it impossible to fully strain. The only thing I can think is that I put the syrup in too soon. What do you think?

  12. I just bought all the ingredients and an immersion blender! Curious about one thing, do you use maple syrup instead of honey because of the flavor? Have you ever used honey instead?

      1. Since my last comment, I followed your recipe almost exactly- but replaced the maple syrup with honey. It turned out PERFECT! So delicious. Thank you!

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