How to Make Chai Tea Latte
One of my favorite hot beverages to drink in the fall and winter seasons is chai tea lattes. Warm, spicy and full of intense flavors, chai tea lattes are like a warm hug on a cold day. While you can spend $5 or more at the coffee shop to order a prepared chai tea latte, it’s easy and economical to make a chai tea latte at home.
You don’t need fancy equipment, rather boiling water for which to steep your tea, your milk of choice, a touch of fresh vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick for flavoring the milk, and the chai tea. A milk frothing wand is suggested as well, but if you don’t have one, I’ve highlighted three other ways in which to froth your milk below.
The Best Tea for Chai Latte
Loose-leaf tea is best for brewing chai for lattes. Chai is made with black tea and warm, earthy spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. When you use loose leaf teas, you get the maximum flavor as nature intended rather than pre-bagged tea. I love to use the Tiesta Tea Chai Love loose leaf tea blend to make my chai lattes at home. Simply steep the tea leaves, add warm frothed milk and you have a chai tea latte.
I do like to add a touch of vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick for extra flavor and if you like your chai even spicier, you can add a 1/2 inch nob of fresh ginger to the milk. Loose leaf tea can be steeped using tea filter bags, a tea ball infuser or loose in water that you drain through a fine mesh sieve. Read more about using loose leaf teas in our review of the Tiesta Teas here.
These are the five spices that are essential to making a homemade chai latte.
- Green cardamom: Cardamom is one of the most well-rounded spices we know. It’s almost floral in fragrance, with a warming bite that is smoky and earthy. This is the one spice you cannot skip when making chai at home.
- Cloves: Some might consider cloves optional, but they work so well with the other spices here, playing up the sweetness of cinnamon and the spice of the black pepper while perfuming the whole pot of tea.
- Cinnamon stick: Cinnamon is one of the sweeter spices used for flavoring chai. Use sticks in the pot, but feel free to garnish the latte with a touch of ground cinnamon for a beautiful and fragrant finish.
- Fresh ginger: adds a nice, fresh spiciness and heat that coats the back of your throat when drinking the chai latte.
- Black or pink peppercorns: This everyday spice cannot be skipped when making chai as it balances the chai’s sweetness with a subtle heat and pepperiness.
Luckily all of those ingredients have been carefully prepared in a loose leaf tea from Tiesta Tea. Their Chai Love Spiced Chai Black Tea contains black tea, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cassia vera (fancy word for cinnamon stick) and pink peppercorns.
So, you can skip buying each of the ingredients above, which will quickly add up if you don’t regularly use cardamom pods at home, and purchase a simple bag of the Tiesta Tea Chai Love Tea with which you can make homemade chai tea lattes again and again.
Making a Homemade Chai Tea Latte
Step 1: Brew the tea
Step 2: Pour 1 cup of milk into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick to flavor the milk while heating. Bring to a gentle boil and remove from the heat.
Step 3: Froth the milk
Step 4: Combine the frothed milk and chai tea in a mug and top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and enjoy.
The Tiesta Tea Chai Love tea is a milder chai, so if you want a spicier, bolder flavored latte, I would add a nob of fresh ginger to the milk while it’s heating. The chai latte is not sweet, but if you want to sweeten it, I would suggest adding a touch of honey (1 teaspoon) to the milk while it’s heating, or a touch of brown sugar.
How to Froth Milk for Any Latte
You’ve brewed your tea, flavored your milk, and now you must froth your milk — unless you’d rather have a classic cup of chai rather than a chai latte. You’ll need to use a milk frothing wand for the best results. I like to froth the milk until you get soft peaks that stick to your frothing wand.
If you own an espresso machine, you can use the frother attached to the machine for this as well.
Milk Frothing Wand: For the best results, use a milk frothing wand to froth the milk until your desired consistency. Froth for 1-2 minutes until soft peaks form for best results.
If you do not own a milk frothing wand, luckily there are three clever ways you can froth your milk for lattes.
Whisk it: You can vigorously whisk your milk while heating it on the stovetop. This method works best with 2% dairy milk and coconut milk.
Blend it: You can also froth the milk with an immersion blender before heating the milk in a saucepan on the stovetop.
Shake it: The other method is to shake the milk in a mason jar and then heat the milk post-frothing. This method works especially well with whole milk and nut milks.
This chai tea latte would pair perfectly with the Gingerbread Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting we shared last week. In fact, you can use a cup of the Tiesta Tea brewed chai to make those cupcakes.
You can find the Tiesta Teas on sale at your local Safeway for $4.49 through December 30th. Perfect time to stock up while they are on sale. Be sure to also pick up the immunity blends to help stave off colds this winter.
- Tiesta Tea Chai Love Loose Leaf Tea
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1.5 cups of milk non-dairy milk works great
- cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sprinkle of ground cinnamon for topping
- optional: 1/2 inch nob of fresh ginger for extra ginger flavor
Check out additional ideas for using Tiesta Teas that we’ve shared here:
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Tiesta Tea to introduce you to their Chai loose leaf tea. As always opinions are my own. I appreciate and encourage your support of the brands that make this site possible.
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