Easy Chai Latte

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This homemade chai latte is the perfect mug of freshly brewed black tea, warming spices, a hint of sweetness, and extra frothy milk. Aka, one of the best things to sip on during a cold, crisp day.

2 mugs of chai latte next to a milk frother.

What Is Chai Exactly?

While we commonly know chai as a “flavor” of tea, it actually translates to the word “tea” in Hindi. The idea of a milky tea is common in the United Kingdom, and after the British colonization of India, it wasn’t too long before Indians made their own version of a sweet and milky black tea, with the addition of spices. And that my friends is where Masala Chai (or this chai latte) was born!

Ingredients for a chai latte on a table.

What’s In This Easy Chai Latte Recipe?

Similar to my chai spiced coconut milk, this creamy black tea is infused with the best warming spices. But the best part is that it’s quite customizable. Want it spicier? Add a bit more ginger. Looking for a more tea-like flavor? Add in an extra tea bag! However you tweak it, keep comfort and peacefulness in mind – because that’s what a chai latte is all about.

  • Milk: For a milkier base (that’s also good for frothing), use whole milk or creamier non-dairy milks such as oat milk or cashew milk. But, any non-dairy milk will work as well.
  • Black Tea: To keep this recipe easy, I’m using black tea bags. But keep reading for more tips on what type of black tea, and even loose-leaf teas, you can use.
  • Ground Spices: A blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom does the trick for spiced chai. But you can certainly bump up the spices and add ground nutmeg, vanilla bean, fresh ginger, and star anises.
  • Sweetener: I love to use maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. But you can go with any others such as honey, agave, or even coconut sugar.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Best Black Tea For Chai Latte?

Since the base of chai is black tea, it’s best to use a strong and robust type such as Assam or Darjeeling. As for tea bags vs. tea leaves… either one will work! I’m using tea bags for this specific recipe out of convenience, because that’s what I normally have on hand.

But in general, loose leaf teas will produce a much more full-bodied tea. Just be sure to look for smaller leaves that are partially broken. They’ll infuse much easier when simmering in the pot.

How To Make A Chai Latte

I love to start my mornings with a breath of fresh air and a warming mug of chai latte.

  • Heat the milk and steep the tea. Let the milk warm up in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it simmers, turn it off and add in the tea bags for 4 to 5 minutes. Then remove the tea bags.
  • Add the spices. Turn the heat back to medium heat, and add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, and maple syrup. Whisk it all together until it’s perfectly hot.
  • Top the mugs off! You can drink the chai latte as is, or top it off with extra froth and a dash of cinnamon.

A Few Questions Answered

Should you use ground or whole spices?

Traditionally, whole spices are simmered in the pot. But I’m keeping this recipe simple with ground spices for those who don’t have direct access to the latter. Fret not though, because the results are still a deliciously spice latte!

How do I make a dirty chai latte?

As you let the black tea simmer with the milk in the pot, brew 2 shots of espresso. Then pour one shot into each mug. Once you’ve finished making the chai latte, pour it over the espresso shots and give it a stir before drinking.

How do I make an iced chai latte?

If it’s a warm day and you’d like a refreshing iced chai, all you need to do is prep two cups with ice cubes. After you’ve made the recipe as is, just pour the chai latte over the ice and give it a stir.

Mugs of chai latte next to a napkin.

Make A Batch Of Chai Latte For Later!

If you’re just one person, save the 2nd half to enjoy later! Store any leftover chai latte in a sealed cup in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 days. When you’re ready to enjoy, you can pop it in the microwave or warm it up on the stovetop.

Easy Chai Latte Recipe Video

While it’s super easy to make this recipe, it always helps to watch a quick video. Give it a watch below!

More Cozy Drinks to Bundle Up With

Nothing’s better than snuggling up with a warm beverage in your favorite mug. From lattes to nourishing teas – these are great options to keep in rotation.

With this easy recipe, there’s no need for a Starbucks chai latte. So give this homemade chai latte a try and let me know what you think in a comment below!

Mugs of chai latte next to a bowl of spices.

Easy Chai Latte

4.83 from 23 votes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Let's just say, this chai latte is the perfect mug of fresh brewed black tea, warming spices, a hint of sweetness, and extra frothy milk.

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, turn off the heat and add the tea bags (I snip any labels off the tea bags so they can fully immerse). Let the tea steep for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove the tea bags with a slotted spoon.
    A pot with brewed tea and milk for chai latte
  • Turn the heat back up to medium heat, and add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, and maple syrup. Whisk everything together, until the chai tea is hot.
    A pot simmering chai latte.
  • Pour the tea into mugs and if you'd like, top with extra milk foam and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
    Mugs of chai latte on a table.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Substitutions: if you don’t have ground cloves and cardamom you can swap in allspice for both of them.
  • Black Tea: You can use many varieties of black tea, from Darjeeling to English breakfast tea, as well as caffeinated or decaffeinated.
  • Sediment: Because this recipe uses ground spices, you’ll get more sediment in the bottom of your mug. If you’d like to reduce that, you can strain the chai latte through a fine mesh sieve as you’re pouring it into a mug. 

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 485mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chai Latte, Chai Tea
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




50 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I have been searching for a simple chai recipe, that actually, taste like chai. This works.

  2. Just made it without the vanilla, forgot to put it in but the latte was delicious anyway. I’ll be making this for Christmas Eve and more.

    1. Use your instructions with Chai.com’s Heirloom Chai – spices and tea are combined. I grated fresh ginger and it was fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Gosh, this is good! I made it while we were decorating for Christmas, and it provided the perfect touch of the holidays to set the mood. The taste is every bit as good, if not better, than the lattes from a coffee shop. So good — thank you!!5 stars

    1. This recipe is SO delicious! I frothed some half & half with a splash of maple syrup and vanilla and poured on top. Amazing!!5 stars

  4. Yum! This was my first time trying a chai latte and I love it. I used Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai black tea bags so I didn’t add any loose spices since they are already in the bag with the tea. I didn’t have to deal with the spices settling this way either. I added a like extra sweetener as well. Thanks!5 stars

  5. taste is pretty good, imo much better iced than hot (and I’m usually ride or die for hot beverages). one thing I’m curious about / troubled by is how much of my (whole) milk evaporated during cooking? almost half. very strange and I wonder if there’s an explanation (beyond evaporation) for the pretty extreme loss of volume3 stars

  6. Hi, I haven’t tried this yet but can I make a large batch and store it in the fridge so I can heat it up in the morning?5 stars

  7. I was craving chai latter but it’s late and I didn’t want to go to the shops and Uber is so expensive. This was the first website that came up for me and I’m so glad I tried it. You no longer need to go spend $6 on a chai latter you can just use this recipe and make it at home. It tastes the same! 5 stars

  8. I’m excited to try this! I’m wondering about the calorie count though. Looks like you have 1 serving at 115 calories, but 1.5 cups of skim milk + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup is about 180 calories. Are you banking in some of the milk evaporating during simmering?

    1. The nutritional information I’m using is based off almond milk, which is the type of milk I use most often.

  9. I finally made it and the sweet vanilla cold foam with it and it was really good. Thank you for your recipes. I’ve learned a lot from you. 

  10. I want to try this very soon. Can I add the vanilla sweet cream cold foam? How would that turn out? Too sweet??? 

      1. Sorry, but your video doesn’t upload.. I can’t see it. It’s almost as if you don’t have the video anymore?

  11. So good! I’m a mocha drinker, but could leave it with this chai drink! I used Choice organics English breakfast decaf tea so I can drink this any time of day. Thanks!5 stars

  12. Fantastic recipe! I like my chai sweeter so I added another tablespoon of honey and did not have cardamom. It came out perfect, regardless!5 stars

  13. This was the most amazing chai I’ve ever had. I used decaf stash earl grey and it turned out wonderful. Thank you for this recipe!!!! 5 stars

  14. This is excellent. I only changed the amount of cloves….about half what’s called for. I used darjeeling tea. Warmth from the spices and heat was just perfect. Less filling than say cocoa but with all the comfort.

  15. This is so good and easy! I am on a special diet for medical reasons where I can’t have caffeine or ginger and it’s been hard to find a replacement for my love of chai. But I think I found it! I made this with roobios tea (naturally caffeine free) and this recipe minus the ginger. It was very easy to modify and delicious!

    Any tips on keeping the spices from falling to the bottom of the mug before you can finish it?

    Thanks for another yummy and simple recipe! Can’t wait for your cookbook that I preordered.5 stars

    1. Unfortunately, the spices will naturally fall to the bottom. Just keep a small spoon on hand to give it a stir every once in awhile :)

  16. Lisa, hi! I am very glad that I found your account on the Internet! The recipes are amazing! You are very beautiful!

  17. You say to “use any strong tea like…Darjeeling” but it appears you are not familiar with Indian teas as you would know Darjeeling is a more delicate tea unlike Assam. Indians often use a CTC type tea (often Assam) which is a strong tea made especially for Chai and strong tea. And many like myself omit the cinnamon, adding both black and green cardamom and WHOLE black peppercorns for a background spicy warmth. ( it does NOT make the Chai taste like pepper; it just adds a small bite/ kick aftertaste which I love). I then strain everything out with a fine wire mesh strainer as I pour into cups.3 stars

  18. I just made this (I’m on my second cup!) and am loving it!! Thank you for this recipe. It’s so nice to make your own, dairy free and sugar free and so inexpensive!! I used stevia for my sweetener. This will replace my “daily coffee”.5 stars

  19. I gotta try this! Is there any non-dairy milk that you think works better? e.g., Almond milk, Oat milk, or Coconut drink? 
    Also, what method do you use to make the extra frothy milk?
    Love your channel!  

    1. For frothing, a creamier milk such as oat milk will be better. As for frothers, using an electric frother works best!

  20. I am having difficulty with the videos from your March 5th email; the 6 chicken marinade recipes and this one for Chai tea latte.

    1. You should be able to see the chai latte video if you disable any ad blockers. For the marinade recipes, the video should show towards the bottom. Let me know if you have further issues!

  21. This was OH SO GOOOOD! I haven’t had a chai latte in a very long time, it used to be my go to drink back when I frequented coffee shops while in college. Its so nice to be able to make one at home with pantry staples I always have on hand, best of all its so easy.5 stars