Chai latte from scratch with whipped cream is perfect for those cold winter days and nights. You’ll never want to go back to store-bought chai after making this!
Chai Latte from Scratch
Masala chai is a spiced tea drink common in India. Masala chai means mixed-spice tea. In the US, we shorten masala chai to just chai.
- Chai is made by brewing black tea with Indian spices.
- Chai translates to tea. (So it’s incorrect to say ‘chai tea’ since that’s saying ‘tea tea.’)
- There is no universal chai spice blend that everyone uses but you’ll taste some overlapping flavors like cardamom, ginger, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon with each version.
- To make chai from scratch, I created my own chai spice blend using a bunch of different spices.
3 tips to make it Easy & delicious
- Use a basic black tea
Indian black tea is the best tea to use in a chai latte recipe. Assam tea with its full-bodied, strong flavor is great since it can hold up to the spices.
- Use whole spices whenever possible
I use a blend of spices (whole and ground) and I’ve found whole spices have a richer depth of flavor than ground spices. I only use ground spices if it’s the only option.
- Whip cream using a handheld milk frother
My secret to making whipped cream for drinks in seconds.
Chai Latte INgredients
- Assam black tea
- Spices: Cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, whole cloves, star anise, black peppercorns, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- Milk (any kind)
- Heavy cream
- Filtered water
My Black Tea Pick:
How to Make Chai Latte From Scratch
1. MAKE CHAI CONCENTRATE
In a saucepan, add all ingredients for chai concentrate except the vanilla extract. The vanilla extract will get added later.
Use filtered water if you can since it’ll make your tea taste better.
On low heat, let the tea and spices simmer. Stir occasionally.
This can be made ahead of time and into multiple batches to heat up for chai lattes throughout the week.
Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Since there are so many spices and flavors combined together, you don’t need to use the highest quality black tea. Feel free to use tea sachets or tea bags instead of loose tea.
Strain out tea and spice solids using a mesh strainer.
Add vanilla extract. The chai concentrate is now done!
2. HEAT MILK
Bring milk to simmer on the stovetop. When you see little bubbles form along the edges, take it off the heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil.
3. MAKE WHIPPED CREAM
I like to make the cream with soft peaks and not too stiff so it lays on top of the chai latte better, spreading out on top.
4. ASSEMBLE DRINK
This recipe makes 4 servings so divide each part (chai concentrate, milk, whipped cream) into 4 cups.
Start by pouring half a cup of the chai concentrate into a mug.
Add the hot milk, leaving room on top for the whipped cream.
Spoon on the whipped cream.
Optional: Garnish with ground cinnamon and a whole star anise.
More CHAI LATTE TIPS
- This recipe makes a chai concentrate so you can make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
- The chai concentrate can be used to make iced chai lattes in the summer.
- I’m using loose tea but you can use tea sachets or tea bags instead. Instead of 2 tablespoons loose tea, use 4 tea sachets or 6 tea bags.
- Chai made from scratch is so much better than store bought since you control what goes into it so customize it however you like!
- Iced Chai Latte
- Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
- London Fog Drink (Earl Grey Tea Latte)
- Chamomile Tea Latte
- Decadent Milk Tea
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Chai Latte from Scratch
- 2 ½ cups milk any kind
- Optional garnish: ground cinnamon
MAKE CHAI CONCENTRATE
- Crush and roughly chop star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods.
- In a saucepan, add all ingredients for chai concentrate except for the vanilla extract.High quality water will make your tea taste better so use filtered water if you can.
- Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Strain out tea and spice solids.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Simmer milk on low on the stovetop until you see little bubbles form along the edges. Turn off heat.
MAKE WHIPPED CREAM
- Whip together heavy cream and sugar.Use a handheld milk frother to whip heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Whisk the ingredients in a tall container so you're not making a mess.
- Into a mug, pour in the chai concentrate, then milk, and top with whipped cream.This recipe makes 4 servings so divide each part (chai concentrate, milk, whipped cream) into 4 cups.OPTIONAL: Garnish with ground cinnamon and a whole star anise.