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.

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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

Fresh Cherry Limeade

Here’s a fresh spin on cherry limeade! Make this crowd pleasing drink by the glass, and you can adjust the flavors to taste. Here’s a fresh spin on a classic drink: cherry limeade! Cherry and lime go hand in hand, and they are the absolute perfect combination for summer drinks to beat the heat. We’ve got two versions of this drink to fit all palates. The base version of this recipe is a grown-up spin on the classic from Sonic, bubbly and just sweet tart enough. But want the more classic version? Double the cherry and make it with Sprite. The best part? Stuffed with cocktail cherries and lime slices, it’s the most festive drink around. (You might want to skip right to the recipe.) Ingredients for cherry limeade Are you looking for cherry limeade from Sonic? That concoction is packed with sugar and made with Sprite. This recipe can replicate those nostalgic flavors. But want a fresh and healthy cherry limeade with less sugar that’s just as refreshing? We’ve got that too. Here’s what you’ll need for both versions: Homemade limeade: This fresh limeade is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s full of the best zingy flavor, and […]

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

Here’s a fresh spin on cherry limeade! Make this crowd pleasing drink by the glass, and you can adjust the flavors to taste.

Cherry limeade

Here’s a fresh spin on a classic drink: cherry limeade! Cherry and lime go hand in hand, and they are the absolute perfect combination for summer drinks to beat the heat. We’ve got two versions of this drink to fit all palates. The base version of this recipe is a grown-up spin on the classic from Sonic, bubbly and just sweet tart enough. But want the more classic version? Double the cherry and make it with Sprite. The best part? Stuffed with cocktail cherries and lime slices, it’s the most festive drink around. (You might want to skip right to the recipe.)

Ingredients for cherry limeade

Are you looking for cherry limeade from Sonic? That concoction is packed with sugar and made with Sprite. This recipe can replicate those nostalgic flavors. But want a fresh and healthy cherry limeade with less sugar that’s just as refreshing? We’ve got that too. Here’s what you’ll need for both versions:

  • Homemade limeade: This fresh limeade is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s full of the best zingy flavor, and it’s quick and easy to put together. (No heating on the stove required.)
  • Maraschino juice: That is, the juice that’s inside a can of maraschino cherries. (NOT maraschino liqueur, that’s something entirely different.)
  • Soda water or lemon lime soda: The grown up version of this drink uses soda water, which has no sweetener. Or you can use lemon lime soda (read: Sprite) for the nostalgic classic version.
Cherry limeade

How to make cherry limeade…for a crowd

The main way to make this cherry limeade is to make a big pitcher of homemade limeade. Then you can pour glasses of the limeade and maraschino juice, and top it off with soda. Here’s what to know about how to make a pitcher of limeade:

  • Juice the limes. This is the most time consuming part of the process…by far! A press juicer makes quick work of getting 1 1/4 cups lime juice: here’s the juicer we use.
  • Mix sugar with warm water, then add cold water. Mix 1 cup each sugar and warm water until it dissolves. Mix it with 7 cups cold water and you’ve got limeade!
  • Make each glass! Each glass uses 3/4 cup limeade, 1 tablespoon maraschino juice and 2 tablespoons soda water or Sprite. Another option: just mix the maraschino into the limeade pitcher (use 3/4 cup).

Using soda water vs Sprite

To make the “adult” healthy version of cherry limeade that’s less sweet: use soda water! It has no artificial sweeteners or flavors. We used soda water from our soda stream, but you can also use store-bought club soda or even lime flavored sparkling water or La Croix (it’s not sweetened).

But if you’re looking for those nostalgic Sonic flavors, you can use Sprite! That’s what Sonic uses in their concoction. You’ll also want to double the maraschino juice to get a sweeter cherry limeade.

Cherry limeade

Cherry limeade by the glass

Want to just make one glass of cherry limeade? Sometimes you don’t want to have to make an entire pitcher. (Then you can get away with only juicing 1 lime!) Here are the steps to make cherry limeade by the glass:

  • Single serving of limeade: Squeeze 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime) into a glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Pour in 3/4 cup cold water.
  • Add the cherry and soda water. Top off the glass to your taste!

And that’s it! Make up this fresh cherry limeade to stay cool all summer. Let us know if you like the healthy version or nostalgic spin in the comments below.

Cherry limeade

More cooling summer drinks

Here are a few more summer drinks that are perfect for beating the heat!

  • Fresh Lemonade Here’s how to make the best lemonade recipe from freshly squeezed lemons! Using real citrus makes extraordinary sweet tart flavor.
  • Lemonade Slushie This lemonade slushie is icy and tangy: drink it straight up or spike it with gin for a kick!
  • Pimm’s Cup Refreshing and bubbly, featuring Pimm’s No. 1 and sparkling lemonade!
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate Missing hot chocolate when it’s hot outside? Solution: FROZEN hot chocolate! It’s an iced version of the drink that’s out of this world good.

This fresh cherry limeade is…

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

Print
Cherry limeade

Fresh Cherry Limeade


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 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s a fresh spin on cherry limeade! Make this crowd pleasing drink by the glass, and you can adjust flavors to taste.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup homemade limeade* (or 1 lime and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino juice (from a jar of maraschino cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons soda water (or lemon lime soda like Sprite), to taste
  • Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the pitcher of homemade limeade. (Or for a single serving, squeeze 2 tablespoons lime juice into a glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water and stir until it dissolves. Pour in 3/4 cup cold water.)
  2. Pour the maraschino juice into the limeade. Top off with soda water or soda. For a more classic sweeter version, double the maraschino juice and top off with a little more soda, to taste.

Notes

*1 recipe homemade limeade makes 8 to 9 cups or enough for about 12 servings of cherry limeade. You can also make an entire pitcher with 1 recipe limeade and 3/4 cup maraschino juice.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cherry limeade, Healthy cherry limeade

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