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.

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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:

You’ll use 1/2 cup of homemade chai concentrate at a time to make a latte. This concentrate stores well in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. You can make up to 4 lattes with this concentrate. And the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

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

Chai Latte Recipe Video Tutorial

How to Make, Step By Step

Total Time: Making the chai concentrate is the most time-consuming part of this recipe (10 minutes). Make the concentrate in advance if you want to enjoy a quick and easy latte for breakfast or a quick drink. Once you have the chai concentrate, the latte takes about 5 minutes to prepare.

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.

Chai Ice Cubes: Another option is to pour the concentrate into an ice cube tray and freeze. Add the chai ice cubes to a glass of milk. As the ice melts, you’ll have a delicious latte that isn’t watered down.

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
4.91 from 218 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 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
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.
    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.
    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.
    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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257 Comments

  1. hi! I just made your chai latte and it’s so delicious! The best chai latte Ive ever had is from a coffee shop in Park City and this is nearly a dead ringer! Im off to explore some of your other recipes and make something yummy 🙂 thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this every fall for several years! We have honey bees so I have also used honey to sweeten it. It’s so good!

  3. Make sure you are using fresh spices for the best result. Spices go stale in about 6 months. Stale spices may work but you won’t get the best flavor. I love homemade chai tea. Delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    I steeped a chai tea bag in 1/2 cup of water and added a smidgen of your suggested spices to the milk, strained the milk as I poured it into the cup and it’s perfection! Thank you!!

  5. Awesome! I was also going to ask this, but totally forgot till now. If you have a store bought spiced chai tea bag, can you use that instead of making your own like in the above recipe?

  6. Oh my god this is the most Devine smelling tea I have ever smelt.
    Tasted amazing. LOVED LOVED LOVED this will be a staple in my kitchen now.

    Thank you so much for recipe

  7. I love chai so much I created a company around it! I drink it daily, hot or cold depending on the season, but if I had to make each cup individually, it wouldn’t work with my schedule. So I make a pot full in my French press to last all week long. Just put it in the fridge and heat (or not) one cup at a time, add some milk and sweetener. I use stevia for a sugar-free, rich and spicy treat whenever I need one!

  8. You are aware that this is an Indian beverage, right? This is not American cuisine. Talk about your cultural appropriation, yikes.

    1. Hey Lesley, This was an automatic setting assigned to ALL old recipes, not a cultural issue. We switched recipe plug-ins this past year, and instead of going through hundreds of recipes manually, we just decided to assign all as “American” as a temporary fix. It took months to even switch to an updated plug-in, and we’re working on fixing all the bugs and other issues currently. Please forgive us, and realize there’s usually more to the story and it’s best to find out that whole story before casting judgment and assuming. I have taken the time to fix this one so we don’t offend anyone in the future. A respectful comment about the label being incorrect is appreciated. Were you able to try the chai? If so, I hope you enjoyed it!

  9. 5 stars
    I just made the chai tea pumpkin latte and it was simple divine! Thank you so much Kristin for sharing this yummy recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    I LOOOOVE chai tea lattes and this really hit the sweet spot. Although I was missing maple syrup from my pantry, I was able to substitute it with brown sugar. Next time, I’m definitely going to try it with the syrup though. Can’t wait to try the pumpkin latte tomorrow. Running to the store tomorrow morning just for the syrup.

  11. I just found this recipe and want to try it out since I love me some Chai tea lattes, but I have a couple of questions :). I watched the video and read the ingredients on the blog. You have two whole cloves listed on this page, but I didn’t see them added in the video. Is this an optional item? Secondly, on this page it says 1/2 tsp of allspice, but on the video it says 1/8 of a tsp. What amount do you recommend? Thanks!

      1. I just saw your comment now! I went ahead and followed this recipe and it was delicious! Thank you for it! Trader Joe’s just came out with a pumpkin spice almond milk that I will have to try with this 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe last night and it was delicious! Best Chai Latte I’ve had!
    I used a simple tea filter and it worked fine.
    Can’t wait to have some more 😉

  13. 5 stars
    I have to watch what i eat.
    While fruit is good and supper healthy for most too much is bad for me cause fruit has way more then8grams of natural sugar&8gramms of sugar is all im allowed in a serving of anything,a whole orange would be harmfull to me,but i eat a lot of vegatables,snack on nuts and eat brown rice when i eat rice,very very seldom eat pasta,eat the baer naked cereals,drink lots of water&diet juices&eat lots of salads&i eat 1 serving or less of all.
    For desert sweet tooth graving i eat some low sugar weight watchers choclate or Low sugar cookies or gogurt. I put gogurt in the freezer&that becomes my ice cream. I watch my family eat cakes,pies, ice cream,fruit,anything that looks good to them for dessert.
    So i know my body&stay healthy that way.
    Some of the stuff thats advertised as healthy when my daughter&i see it we go “yikes,thats healthy?” Which is most items in A health food store.
    I cant go to starbucks any more,but im glad a diabetic friendly version is included&cant wait to try this.
    Everyones body is different&thats ok,thats actually kind of great&amazing imo.

  14. Unfortunately this turned out quite gooey for me.
    Not sure why?!

    I had 2 attempts because I desperately wanted to learn how to make a chai from scratch.
    First round with maple syrup, second round with brown sugar instead. Both were so gooey!
    Any tips?
    Really wanted to like this.

    1. Hey Eddie, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. I’m not sure what was gooey about the tea–was it the spice blend? The actual tea was gooey? If it’s the spice blend, which can sink in the tea, you can try straining the tea through a cheesecloth. If it’s the tea, I’m not sure what to recommend–I don’t know what may have happened.