Decadent Chai Latte from Scratch

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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

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.

RELATED: Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Copycat, Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Copycat, Iced Chai Latte from Scratch, Chai Frappuccino

3 tips to make it Easy & delicious

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Whip cream using a handheld milk frother
    My secret to making whipped cream for drinks in seconds.

Chai Latte INgredients

Chai latte ingredients

My Black Tea Pick:

Assam Tea

Photo Credit:

A great black tea that tastes good alone or when used in drink recipes that require black tea.

How to Make Chai Latte From Scratch


Crush or chop star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods into smaller pieces so that the flavors can be infused better.

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!


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.


There are a few ways to make whipped cream and the easiest I’ve found is using a handheld milk frother to whisk the heavy cream and sugar together. Use a tall container so that you don’t make a mess.

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.


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.


  • 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!

Chai Latte from Scratch

Author: Jee Choe
A delicious chai latte made from scratch using a blend of tea and spices.
4.6 from 129 votes
Prep Time 8 mins
Steep Time 10 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Drinks
Yield4 servings


Chai Concentrate

Whipped Cream



  • 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.
    Stir occasionally.
  • 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.


  • 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.


Instead of 2 tablespoons loose tea, use 4 tea sachets or 6 tea bags.


Calories: 385 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1122IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 254mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!

41 thoughts on “Decadent Chai Latte from Scratch”

  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing the recipe! For the person who commented about customers who don’t drink caffeinated tea, I’ve made chai with Earl Grey decaf tea bags. Also, I found that 3 cloves is enough and 10 overpowers. Just my preference!

  2. This was really yummy! I omitted the sugar and vanilla and it was great!! What do you suggest I should do if I want the taste to be stronger? Less water? Or longer steeping?
    Thank you for the great recipe! I look forward to trying your other teas!

    • Hi Lola, add more tea to make it stronger. Steeping it longer will just make it taste bitter instead of stronger. Happy you made the chai latte!

  3. I loved finding your blog! I made it without the whipped cream and vanilla extract and enjoyed it! The next time I try it, I will reduce the amount of sugar. Tastes really good — thank you for sharing!

  4. Hi, it is imperative the black tea? I have a vegan restaurant and many of my clients dont like to drink caffeine, so, I do it without black tea, I think it is delicioous, please tell me your opinion

    • Hi Roxy, I KNOW, I LOVE the way my kitchen smells after making chai! For dirty chai, try adding 1/3 cup of concentrate to your coffee.

  5. Appreciate the edit. I'll have to give vanilla a try some time and see how it tastes, thanks for the idea! Also agree with Hannah that your photography really draws the viewer in, I love the stylized look of the captioned photo at the top of the post.

  6. Hi Indian chai drinker,

    Thanks for the correction! Just made the edit change. As for the vanilla extract, I added that in since I thought it added a fuller flavor to the chai. I was looking to create my own chai blend, not so much to keep it completely authentic.

    Hi Hannah, I agree, homemade chai is the best! Thanks for the compliments on the post!

  7. FYI. There is no such language as "Indian". Chai is the hindi word for Tea. Hindi is one of the main languages of India (there are over 20). Chai is also the word for tea in several other Indian languages. But not all. Love the idea of the post, but this just really irked me. Thank you though for reminding folks that saying "chai tea" is redundant. Another thing that really irks me! Finally, vanilla extract really doesn't seem to fit in chai, if you want it to be authentic. If authenticity is not a primary goal, then no worries, enjoy.

  8. Hi Greensummer,

    Yes, getting everything needed to make this was the hardest challenge! A bonus to making this is that it fills your entire place up with the scent of chai.

  9. Good Morning ! :)thank you for posting this. oh, i like the part where you wrote " Full of flavor with the milk and sugar mellowing out any harsh spice notes" Will try it as soon I can complete all the ingredients. Hmmm.. smells so good ! 🙂


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