Iced Chai Latte

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk. (Plus, why not to call it iced chai tea latte!) We’re all about tea lattes over here, so how about a refreshingly cool variation? Try this Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular (and has less sugar). This one is sweetened with maple syrup and made with our custom chai spices blend. Make up a big batch of the concentrate and drink off of it all week! Here’s what to know. What’s an iced chai latte? A chai latte is a Western invention: it takes traditional masala chai, the milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version serves it over ice, and skips the frothy topping. This drink was popularized by Starbucks in the 1990’s. Many coffeehouse versions of a chai latte have little left of the traditional Indian inspiration: they’re often too sweet and overly spiced. The recipe for our iced chai latte […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk. (Plus, why not to call it iced chai tea latte!)

Iced chai latte

We’re all about tea lattes over here, so how about a refreshingly cool variation? Try this Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular (and has less sugar). This one is sweetened with maple syrup and made with our custom chai spices blend. Make up a big batch of the concentrate and drink off of it all week! Here’s what to know.

What’s an iced chai latte?

A chai latte is a Western invention: it takes traditional masala chai, the milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version serves it over ice, and skips the frothy topping. This drink was popularized by Starbucks in the 1990’s. Many coffeehouse versions of a chai latte have little left of the traditional Indian inspiration: they’re often too sweet and overly spiced.

The recipe for our iced chai latte is gently spiced and subtly sweet. It combines our chai spices with milk and ice for a refreshingly cool latte that’s just sweet enough.

Iced chai tea latte

Why to avoid saying “iced chai tea latte”!

Starbucks might say the words “iced chai tea latte” for this drink, but this is a no no. Why? The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is like saying “tea tea.” The more correct term for the Indian tea blend is masala chai. The word masala refers to a blend of spices used in cooking. Just like the word curry, a Westernized reduction of a complex blend of Indian spices, the American concept of chai can appropriate a rich Indian cultural tradition.

How to make an iced chai latte

Now that we’ve got the right terminology, let’s talk about this drink. Masala chai spices can include many different ingredients based on the cook. To make this iced chai latte, this Homemade Chai Spice mix uses common chai spices. Note there are many more used regionally in Indian blends, and they are often used whole or ground by the chef. Here are the basis steps for an iced chai latte:

  • Make the tea concentrate (30 minutes): Steep the tea bags, chai spices and maple syrup for 30 minutes.
  • Strain: Strain the concentrate into a jar. It makes 4 servings, so you can refrigerate until you’re ready to drink!
  • Add ice and milk: To serve, add the concentrate to a glass with ice. Pour in the milk and serve!
how to make an iced chai latte

Vegan variation

The great thing about this iced chai latte is that it’s easy to make vegan! Just use your favorite non dairy milk for the milk component. Since you don’t need to froth it like a hot latte, it’s easy to replace with any milk of your choice. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Oat milk. It has a great creamy texture and neutral flavor! One of our favorites for lattes. See also our Vegan Chai Latte.
  • Almond milk: Another good choice, but it’s less creamy and has a thinner texture.
  • Soy milk: This also works, but does have a slight soy aftertaste.

Typically we avoid coconut milk for lattes because the coconut flavor is rather strong.

Alternative sweeteners

This iced chai latte is crafted to be just sweet enough! It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, our natural sweetener of choice. But if you prefer others, here are some options:

  • Maple syrup (favorite). This vegan natural sweetener adds nuance without maple flavor. (It’s also great for cocktails.)
  • Simple syrup. Simple syrup has more of an intensely sweet, straightforward flavor.
  • Honey. Another great natural sweetener: it adds a bit more golden sweet flavor.
  • Agave syrup. This vegan sweetener is easy to find these days and also works well.

And that’s it! Let us know how you enjoy this drink in the comments below!

Iced chai latte

More tea drinks!

Love drinking tea? Here are a few more tea recipes we love:

  • Chai Latte Here’s how to make a chai latte at home…the easy way! This drink is creamy and cozy spiced with the perfect fluffy foam topping.
  • Perfect Tea Latte Make a straight-up tea latte without the spices: even simpler.
  • Dirty Chai Latte Even better, add a shot of espresso to your chai latte (a favorite!).
  • Cold Brew Tea The easiest iced tea! This recipe takes only 1 minute of hands on time and has a beautifully smooth flavor.
  • Classic Sweet Tea This recipe is easy to make and comes out with best refreshing flavor that’s sweetened just enough.

This iced chai latte recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use non dairy milk.

Print
Iced chai latte

Iced Chai Latte


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chai Spices Blend
  • 4 bags black tea (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea in a tea strainer)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey, agave syrup or simple syrup)
  • 1 cup milk of choice, for serving (use dairy free for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Make the concentrate: Place the water, chai spices, tea and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture just starts to boil, remove it from the heat and rest until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Strain and store the concentrate: Remove the tea bags and strain through a fine mesh strainer into covered container. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week: make sure to shake before serving! (Makes 4 servings.)
  3. Serve: To serve, place ice in a glass. Combine 3/4 cup chai concentrate and 1/4 cup milk.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Iced chai latte, Iced chai tea latte

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Chai Latte

Here’s how to make a vegan chai latte as good as a coffee shop! There’s a secret to getting the perfect foam topping with dairy free milk. A great chai latte doesn’t need dairy milk. Meet the perfect Vegan Chai Latte! It’s warm and cozy spiced, lightly creamy with a fluffy foam topping. And honestly, that’s a feat! Dairy free milks can act more like water than milk. So this vegan latte: it’s a revelation! It’s just sweet enough with the perfect intrigue from the chai spices. It’s much lighter than a typical latte, so you don’t feel like you just ate a bowl of ice cream. Here’s the trick you need to know to make a vegan chai latte! How to make a vegan chai latte: the secret! So what’s a chai latte, anyway? The chai latte is a cultural fusion: it combines traditional masala chai, a milky spiced tea from India, with frothy steamed milk of a latte. This started to become popular with second wave coffee shops in the 1990s (read: Starbucks). Most coffee shop versions of chai have little left of the traditional Indian tea, making it too sweet with too many spices. This vegan chai […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make a vegan chai latte as good as a coffee shop! There’s a secret to getting the perfect foam topping with dairy free milk.

Chai latte

A great chai latte doesn’t need dairy milk. Meet the perfect Vegan Chai Latte! It’s warm and cozy spiced, lightly creamy with a fluffy foam topping. And honestly, that’s a feat! Dairy free milks can act more like water than milk. So this vegan latte: it’s a revelation! It’s just sweet enough with the perfect intrigue from the chai spices. It’s much lighter than a typical latte, so you don’t feel like you just ate a bowl of ice cream. Here’s the trick you need to know to make a vegan chai latte!

How to make a vegan chai latte: the secret!

So what’s a chai latte, anyway? The chai latte is a cultural fusion: it combines traditional masala chai, a milky spiced tea from India, with frothy steamed milk of a latte. This started to become popular with second wave coffee shops in the 1990s (read: Starbucks). Most coffee shop versions of chai have little left of the traditional Indian tea, making it too sweet with too many spices.

This vegan chai latte is just sweet enough, and gently spiced with a blend of chai spices. Even better, you can get that beautifully frothy top! Most vegan chai latte recipes simply add coconut whipped cream to the top as a faux foam. But this recipe actually works! The secret? Oat milk.

Foam on vegan chai latte

What’s the best milk for a vegan latte?

We’ve done the research so you don’t have to! What’s the best milk for a vegan latte? Regular oat milk. Here’s why:

  • Oat milk is the best milk for frothing. It’s creamy enough so that you’re able to foam it using the traditional methods. (Almond milk does not hold up.)
  • Oat milk has the best neutral flavor. It has a lightly sweet but neutral flavor that’s closer to dairy milk than other substitutes. Coconut milk and soy milk can work for a latte, but they have a stronger flavor.

Oat milk is becoming easier to find and a more popular dairy free milk. Make sure to buy unsweetened oat milk: it has the best flavor. Plus, we’ll be adding sweetner…

The sweetener for a vegan chai latte: maple syrup

This chai latte recipe is intentionally just sweet enough: it’s not a copycat Starbucks recipe that’s packed full of sugar! But don’t worry: it’s sweet enough that it tells your taste buds that it’s a chai latte! Here are a few notes on the sweetener to use for a chai latte:

  • The best: pure maple syrup. It has just the right caramel-flavored nuance (it doesn’t taste like maple, promise).
  • Alternate: agave syrup. If you have it on hand, agave also adds gentle sweetness.
  • Optional: simple syrup. Got some on hand for cocktails? It also works for lattes.
Chai spices

DIY chai spices blend

The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is technically like saying “tea tea.” The more correct term for the Indian tea blend is masala chai. The word masala refers to a blend of spices used in cooking. Just like the word curry, a Westernized reduction of a complex blend of Indian spices, the word chai can oversimplify and appropriate a rich Indian cultural tradition.

Masala chai spices can include many different ingredients based on the cook, just like curry powder. This Homemade Chai Spice mix uses common chai spices, but note there are many more used regionally in Indian blends. Here’s what you’ll need for the chai spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Black pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Fennel seed

Traditionally, whole spices are simmered with water and tea to make make masala chai: like whole cinnamon sticks and cloves. This chai spice blend is a shortcut by using ground spices that you might already have in your pantry. It makes the process quicker and easier, and also lets you use the leftover spice blend for baked goods like cookies and muffins.

Vegan chai latte

How to froth milk for a vegan chai latte

Here’s the thing: frothing milk for a vegan chai latter is a little different than with dairy milk. The main difference? You can over-froth the oat milk. That’s right: if you froth too much, it will deflate. Keep in mind that the foam is not quite as creamy as you get with 2% or dairy milk, because there’s less milk fat. Here’s what to know about how to froth non dairy milk:

  • Heat the milk to 150 degrees (scalding). The temperature is important for the perfect frothy foam. Use a candy thermometer if you have one. Or, eyeball it: 150 degrees is hot to the touch with some small bubbles starting to form on the outside, but it’s not yet simmering.
  • Use a French press, hand frother, or whisk. We used our French press and it worked great. You can also use a hand frother. If you don’t have any fancy gadgets, you can vigorously whisk the milk.
  • Do not overwhip! Here’s the important part: don’t go too far! With our French press we needed only 25 pumps (compared to 100 pumps for 2% milk). Pump or froth just until you see it becoming fluffy. If you go past that point, the froth will deflate.

Want a regular latte with dairy milk? We got that too. Go to Perfect Chai Latte.

Dairy free chai latte

Serving your vegan chai latte

And that’s it! Make your masala chai (see below), then mix in that frothed milk. You’ve got a beautiful vegan chai latte with actual foam, thanks to the oat milk! No need to make extra vegan whipped cream. We like to add a sprinkle of chai spices on top as a finishing touch.

*Want to make vegan chai lattes to order throughout the week? Make a big batch of the spiced tea and refrigerate. When you’re craving a latte, warm up 3/4 cup of the tea, then froth the 1/2 cup milk.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.

Print
Chai latte

Perfect Vegan Chai Latte


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large or 2 small lates
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make a vegan chai latte as good as a coffee shop! There’s a secret to getting the perfect foam topping with dairy free milk.


Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Homemade Chai Spices
  • 1 1/2 cups regular oat milk (unflavored)
  • 1 bag black tea (or 1 teaspoon loose leaf black tea in a tea strainer)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or simple syrup)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together chai spices, 1 cup of oat milk and the tea bag and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 1 minute. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer* into one or two mugs (one for a large latte and two for small).
  2. Rinse the saucepan. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and maple syrup. Heat the milk to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (measure using a thermometer): this is hot with some small bubbles forming around the outside, but not simmering. The exact temperature is helpful for getting the perfect foam (if you don’t have a thermometer you can approximate).
  3. Use hand frother, whisk, or french press to foam the milk. The french press is our favorite method: Add the scalding milk to the french press and pump vigorously until frothy, about 25 times. Do not overwhip, as the foam will deflate!
  4. Pour the milk and foam evenly between the mugs (or into 1 mug). Sprinkle with additional chai spices and serve.

Notes

*You can skip straining if desired: the spices will settle to the bottom of the drink.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan chai latte, how to make a vegan chai latte

More cozy drinks

Here are a few more vegan drinks that are perfect for cool weather! Make sure to try:

  • Vegan Hot Chocolate There’s no need for a packaged mix if you’re craving hot cocoa! This homemade vegan hot chocolate is easy, refined sugar free, and tastes incredible.
  • Mulled Cider Infused with spices like cinnamon and cloves, you can make it in a slow cooker or on the stove.
  • Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee This vegan pumpkin spiced coffee is perfect for when cozy pumpkin season starts.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Chai Poached Pears with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Photos by Lindsey Johnson When it comes to fall fruit, pears always take a backseat to apples in terms of popularity. Whenever I go grocery shopping this time of year, I always pick up some Honeycrisp apples for myself, rarely giving the pears a second…

Photos by Lindsey Johnson When it comes to fall fruit, pears always take a backseat to apples in terms of popularity. Whenever I go grocery shopping this time of year, I always pick up some Honeycrisp apples for myself, rarely giving the pears a second glance. But every time I do end up getting pears, I remember how much I love them and wonder why I don’t buy them more often. Pears are delicious! Usually when I have pears on hand, I eat them with some almond butter or a slice of good cheese, but once in a while, I’ll poach them. Poached pears look fancy and complicated, but you’re really just simmering the pears on the stovetop — easy! Wine is a common poaching liquid, but a simple mixture of water, honey, a split vanilla bean and spices is my favorite method when I’m poaching a pear for myself. Nothing fancy! Another option for poaching your pears is using tea. And chai is my favorite because all the spices are already in the tea. These Chai Poached Pears take a little time to make, but that time is mostly hands-off — letting the pears gently simmer in the chai […]

No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake

This may be the vegan cheesecake of our dreams:

Date-walnut crust with a pinch of sea salt
Creamy cashew-coconut filling infused with black tea, chai spices, and fresh ginger
Naturally sweetened with maple syrup
Topped with Coconut Whip and Vegan Cara…

No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake

This may be the vegan cheesecake of our dreams:

  • Date-walnut crust with a pinch of sea salt
  • Creamy cashew-coconut filling infused with black tea, chai spices, and fresh ginger
  • Naturally sweetened with maple syrup
  • Topped with Coconut Whip and Vegan Caramel Sauce for the ultimate dairy-free, gluten-free dessert.

Let us show you how it’s done!

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients you likely have on hand right now!

No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake from Minimalist Baker →