This homemade iced chai tea latte recipe is a healthier alternative to Starbucks’ popular drink, and it’s so easy to make. With a few pantry spices, 2 black tea bags, and dairy or plant-based milk you can easily make your own. With a refreshing, strong chai flavor, this naturally-sweetened drink is a must-make!
What Makes This Recipe So Good?
I shared my internet-famous, reader-favorite homemade chai tea latte recipe in 2014. The recipe starts with a homemade chai tea concentrate that’s made from simple pantry spices, black tea bags, and water. Warm milk is added to the concentrate to make a classic latte. It’s the perfect drink for fall and winter.
By summer, I’m all about iced everything: iced coffee, iced tea, and homemade popsicles. Summer time in Florida (my home) is no joke when a warm day reaches 100+ degrees.
A couple of years ago, I took my famous hot latte and turned it into a new recipe: a refreshing iced chai. It’s super easy to make either a hot or iced drink. It’s just a matter of chilling or warming the homemade chai concentrate, which I’ll show you how to make today, and then adding cold or hot milk and ice cubes.
What makes this iced chai latte AMAZING is the from-scratch chai concentrate.
Pre-made concentrates or pre-mixed chai tea bags from grocery store never have the same great flavor as a fresh concentrate. By making the homemade version, which takes just 10 minutes and lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge, you’re guaranteed to make a delicious drink every time!
What Readers Say:
“Best Chai Tea I have ever had! And it is very easy as well – very little active time”
What is an Iced Chai Tea Latte?
Chai tea latte originated in India. In India, the word chai translates to “tea.”
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).
For an iced chai latte, you need a chilled chai concentrate, chilled milk, and ice cubes. That’s it.
The stronger chai flavor comes from the chai concentrate, which is made with warm spices and black tea. Some folks use Tazo chai concentrate (used to make the Starbucks iced chai tea latte) but the pre-made mix doesn’t taste as fresh and delicious as making the homemade version. Give it a try and tell me what you think!
This easy recipe is two parts: first, make the chai concentrate. Then, chill the concentrate in the fridge. Second, once the concentrate is cold, make a tasty drink by mixing the concentrate with cold milk and ice cubes (a latte).
For the Chai Concentrate:
- 2 cups water
- 2 black tea bags (like English breakfast) or 4 grams of loose tea leaves
- 2 whole cloves (if you don’t have whole cloves, use 1/4 tsp ground 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
- 2 TB pure maple syrup
To Make a Latte:
You’ll use 1/2 cup of homemade chai concentrate at a time to make a latte. The concentrate stores well in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. You can make up to 4 lattes with 2 cups of concentrate. And the concentrate recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- 1/2 cup chai tea concentrate from the recipe above
- 1/3 cup whole milk or dairy-free milk: coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk
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 chai concentrate in advance, then pour into a mason jar and chill in the fridge. Once you have the chai concentrate made, an iced latte takes just 2 minutes to make.
Step 1: Make Your Own 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 heat-safe jar. Allow the concentrate to cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes), then place in the fridge.
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.
Use this same concentrate to make a hot latte, if desired, just warm the concentrate and follow this hot tea recipe.
Step 2: Make the Latte
Fill an 8-ounce drinking glass with ice cubes. Pour 1/2 cup of chilled chai concentrate over the ice cubes, followed by 1/3 cup of cold milk (dairy milk or dairy-free milk): vanilla or plain almond milk, coconut milk, or whole milk, etc.
Now savor the best iced chai latte! And enjoy the money you’re saving by making this drink at home.
3 Variations: Dirty Chai, Dairy Free, Chai Ice Cubes
Variation 1: Dirty Chai
If you love an iced coffee, but want a spiced tea as well, the dirty chai is the way to go! For a hot dirty chai, a shot of espresso is added to the chai concentrate and milk. For a cold drink, cold brew or iced coffee is used. To make an iced dirty chai, add ice to an 8-ounce drinking glass, then 1/4 cup of chilled chai concentrate, 1/4 cup of chilled coffee and cold brew coffee, and 1/3 cup milk of choice.
Variation 2: Dairy-Free Chai
One of my favorite variations of this drink is to use coconut milk or vanilla almond milk instead of whole milk. Coconut milk adds an amazing tropical flavor to the spiced concentrate! I like canned coconut milk vs. the carton, which is extra creamy and delicious!
Variation 3: Chai Ice Cubes
Pour the chai concentrate into an ice cube tray and freeze. Add the ice cubes to a glass of milk. As the ice melts, you’ll have a delicious latte that isn’t watered down.
Homemade Iced Chai Tea Latte
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 fine mesh sieve for straining the spices from the chai concentrate
- 1 mason jar or airtight container for storage
Homemade Chai Concentrate:
- ice cubes
- 1/2 cup homemade chai tea concentrate from the recipe above
- 1/3 cup whole milk or dairy-free milk: coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk
Homemade Chai Concentrate
- In a medium 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
- 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 TB pure maple syrup, 2 black tea bags
- Remove the tea bags and strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer and into a heat-safe jar.
- Allow the concentrate to cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes), then place in the fridge to chill. Store the chai concentrate in a jar in the fridge up to 2 weeks (sealed with a lid).
Make an Iced Chai Latte
- Fill an 8-ounce drinking glass with ice cubes.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the chilled chai concentrate over the ice cubes. I recommend using a small strainer, positioned over the glass, to pour the chilled concentrate through the strainer and into the glass. As the concentrate chills, some of the spices (that weren't filtered out when making the concentrate) and sweetener can clump together, so the strainer will catch this.
- Add 1/3 cup of cold milk of choice (dairy milk or dairy-free milk) to the chai concentrate: vanilla or plain almond milk, coconut milk, or whole milk, etc.
- Serve cold.
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