A heavenly combination of sweet and spicy, this copycat Starbucks Chai Tea Latte is warm, comforting and made at home at the fraction of the cost. Black tea is infused with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves along with some other whole spices. Then the aromatic concentrate is topped with steamed milk and foamy froth.
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You are going to enjoy every sip of this copycat Starbucks Chai Tea Latte. I don't drink normal tea (shocking right?!) but I am up for cozy hot beverages (like my Orange Hot Chocolate) in the winter especially when they are the perfect energizer.
And if you love Starbucks drinks, you might also like my Homemade Caramel Latte!
What Is Chai Tea Latte
Chai Tea Latte is a very popular tea drink at Starbucks. A sweet and spicy tea, the Starbucks Chai Tea Latte is a fusion of Masala Chai and Latte. The warm beverage is a concoction of milk, sugar (or honey), whole spices and black tea.
The spiced black tea concentrate is made with warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, star anise and nutmeg.
Honey not only adds a hint of sweetness but also helps tone down the bold flavours making it a very enjoyable and delicate drink.
In my chai latte copycat recipe I will show you how to make the tea concentrate from scratch and how you can add some frothy foam with a hand-held frother. Pre-made mixes like Tazo chai concentrate don't taste as good and fresh as a homemade version.
Chai Tea vs Chai Tea Latte
Chai is an Indian and Pakistani word which means tea. So Chai Tea is just repetition of the same word in a different language.
Indian and Pakistani tea is usually made by mixing the black tea concentrate with whole milk. In this easy recipe we top the tea concentrate with steamed milk and frothy foam which basically makes it a latte.
The ingredients in Starbucks chai latte are so well balanced. There is a hint of all spices but nothing is overpowering. So go in your kitchen to get this caffeine boost right now!
- Cinnamon Stick - One of the flavours that really stand out in an aromatic tea is cinnamon. And you need cinnamon sticks not powder. You can use a touch of cinnamon powder in the end for garnish.
- Green Cardamom - get whole green cardamom pods and not the powder or seeds.
- Cloves - It adds a delicious warmth to this drink.
- Black Peppercorns - adds a touch of spice.
- Star Anise - it can be skipped but it makes this homemade chai quite fragrant.
- Nutmeg - it is optional but I add it to my chai tea latte recipe. It gives a sweet woody flavour. You only need a little bit so nutmeg powder will do. If you have whole nutmeg you'll have to grate it.
- Fresh Ginger - It adds a bit of sharpness which is very warming. Again fresh ginger not dried one.
- Loose Black Tea - You can still make it with black tea bags but loose black tea (like Assam) is the real deal as it will give the maximum flavour.
- Milk - Starbucks uses whole milk which gives creamier results but you can opt for skimmed or non-dairy too.
- Honey - for sweetness. It can be subbed with a sweetener of your choice like maple syrup or sugar but you might need to adjust the quantity.
Please note that if you use an alternative for any ingredient in this Starbucks chai tea latte recipe the taste will change.
How To Make Starbucks Chai Tea Latte
Step 1 Crush the whole spices - Roughly crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle or with a muddler. You want to break the spices to obtain flavour but not turn them into a powder.
Step 2 Make the tea latte concentrate - To a pot of water add the crushed spices, nutmeg (powder or grated), sliced ginger and loose black tea. Bring to boil and then steep for 10 minutes. Mix in honey, strain and let cool.
Step 3 Steam milk - Bring whole milk to a simmer in another pot. Turn off heat.
Step 4 Prepare froth - Take some milk from the pot or microwave it separately and using a hand-held frother make a foam. You can use a blender, whisk or electric mixer to froth the milk too.
Step 5 Combine all components - In a mug pour in the tea concentrate, top with steamed milk and spoon some froth on top. Dust some cinnamon powder and enjoy my Starbucks chai latte copycat drink!
Whole spices are more potent and aromatic than ground spices. Ground or powdered spices will not only make your drink grainy but won't impart fresher flavour too.
- Make a Starbucks Iced Chai Latte by fist cooling down the chai concentrate and then shaking it up with some cold milk and ice cubes.
- Cut your work by half by using Tazo Chai Latte Concentrate which is a ready-made black tea concentrate that tastes exactly like Starbucks chai tea blend.
- Sweeten with your choice of flavoured syrup like caramel, vanilla, hazelnut or pumpkin spice.
- Switch up with your favourite dairy or non-dairy milk. Starbucks uses 2% cow's milk but feel free to sub with almond milk, oat milk or soy.
- Top with sweetened whipped cream or flavoured sweet cream cold foam.
- Turn it into Starbucks Dirty Chai by pouring a shot of espresso.
Yes, because it is made with black tea which contains caffeine.
Absolutely! The spiced tea concentrate stays good in the fridge for up to 1 week.
More Tea Recipes
Did you try this and love it? Please rate the recipe or leave a review in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you!
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Copycat
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 12 green cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 8 black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated or powder
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger sliced
- 2-3 teaspoon loose black tea
- 2 tablespoon honey
- cinnamon powder to sprinkle
- Roughly crush the whole spices; cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or grinder. Don’t make them into a powder.
- Add them to water, along with ginger, nutmeg powder and loose black tea. You can also use 4-6 black tea bags instead of loose tea leaves.
- Bring the water to boil. Then turn off the heat, cover the pan and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Then add honey to it and strain this tea. You can store the tea concentrate for up to a week in the fridge.
- Now, in a pot heat the milk until you see bubbles appear on the top. Do not boil the milk.
- Take ½ cup of milk in a mug from the pot. With a handheld frother, froth the milk. You will see a foam appearing on the top. The more you whisk the thicker the foam will be. Alternatively, you can use a blender, whisk or electric mixer to froth the milk too.
- In a cup, pour ⅔ of the black tea concentrate, ⅓ of the steamed milk, leaving two inches on top for the foam. With a spoon pick some foam from the frothed milk and drop it in the cup.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder and enjoy hot!
- Use loose black tea instead of tea bags for maximum flavour.
- Whole spices give fresher and bolder flavour. They are also easier to strain and more fragrant. Ground spices will make your drink grainy and they lose their potency in the jars.
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