As the temperature drops, a cup of hot tea is always nice to sip on to stay warm and relaxed.
With high-quality tea leaves and tea bags readily available in stores and online, it’s easy and economical to make your favorite hot teas at home. It also allows you to try new flavors and control steeping time and temperature so you get the perfect cup of tea.
From basic hot teas to rich and creamy tea lattes, these recipes will energize and soothe during the colder months, or any time you need a warm drink.
Tea Sommelier’s Tips
Loose leaf tea is the highest quality.
Loose leaf tea is higher in quality than tea bags or sachets but it’s a little more work to clean up since you do need a separate strainer. Use loose tea when you’re making a drink that’s just the tea, without anything else added.
Tea sachets contain good quality tea with broken leaves while tea bags have lowest-quality leaves that are in tiny pieces. Both require less cleanup than loose leaf tea and work best for tea drinks that have other ingredients such as milk or sugar.
Ginger tea is usually a go-to drink when you’re feeling under the weather, but it can also be enjoyed at any time.Fresh ginger is the star of this herbal drink, which has spicy flavors and nausea-reducing qualities.When buying fresh ginger, make sure the piece is plump and has firm, unwrinkled skin.Use as much as or little ginger depending how spicy you want your tea to be. Steep in hot water for 5 minutes, add lemon slices or fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and drizzle in some honey.Ingredients: Ginger, lemon, honey, water
This recipe puts a twist on the popular pumpkin spice latte by replacing coffee with chai, a spiced black tea.The secret to a cafe-quality chai is using the best ratio of spices and simmering the mixture on low heat. This one is not cloyingly sweet and has a warm spiced flavor.Top off the drink with a smooth layer of froth by using an electric milk frother or a French press.Ingredients: Chai, pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, brown sugar, milk
Honey citron tea is a traditional Korean tea made from citron fruit, or yuja.It has a floral, citrus aroma that makes it a great way to start your day. Honey citron tea is an herbal infusion, or tisane, so there’s no caffeine.Citron is rich in vitamin C, making it a good option for easing coughs and colds. To make the tea, combine yuzu, honey, and sugar together and stir a spoonful into a cup of hot water.Ingredients: Yuzu, honey, sugar
Chai latte is a creamy cup of spiced Indian black tea. The base of the drink is a homemade chai concentrate, which can be made ahead of time in large batches.Use robust Assam tea so it can hold up the spices and go for whole over ground spices to give the drink a richer flavor.Top with whipped cream to make it extra decadent.Ingredients: Assam black tea, spices, vanilla extract, brown sugar, milk, heavy cream, sugar, water
This herbal tea latte is a perfect late night drink that only requires 8 minutes to prepare. Chamomileis known for its calming properties. This tea latte is made of chamomile tea and milk that’s warmed up on the stovetop, then frothed in a French press. Using loose tea or tea sachets will give the drink the best flavor.The addition of cloves, vanilla extract, and cinnamon gives the latte additional warmth.Ingredients: Chamomile tea, milk, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract
London Fog is a tea latte made using Earl Grey tea that’s infused with vanilla and dried lavender. The drink is sweetened with brown sugar and topped with frothed milk.If you prefer to make this latte vegan, use whatever dairy-free milk you prefer. Just note that some alternative milks may not froth as well.Adding some dried lavender as a finishing garnish elevates the drink.Ingredients: Earl Grey tea, vanilla extract, milk, dried lavender, brown sugar, water
Hojicha has a smoky, earthy, and nutty flavor. This recipe turns the roasted green tea into a decadent latte by adding whipped cream.Loose leaf hojicha is best tasting, but you can replace it with tea bags or ground hojicha.The type of water used to boil hojicha affects its flavor so it’s recommended to use filtered water.Be sure not to overwhip the cream. It should be thick, but still pourable.Ingredients: Hojicha, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, salt, water
Matcha and white chocolate come together in this rich and creamy winter hot cocoa.Choosing quality matcha will determine how vibrant the color is and how much green tea flavor the drink will have.Sifting matcha is the key to a smooth matcha beverage. Matcha is high in caffeine so it’s a great way to get your caffeine boost without coffee.Ingredients: Matcha, white chocolate, milk, honey, salt
A cup of hot chocolate is always inviting, but adding Earl Grey makes it even more decadent. Earl Grey is a black tea that’s infused with bergamot, an Italian citrus, so it gives hot cocoa a unique flavor.Use high-quality dark chocolate for the best flavor.Tea sachets are used in this recipe to make cleanup a breeze.Ingredients: Earl Grey tea, dark chocolate, milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt
Start the morning with a matcha latte that gives you energy without a coffee crash.To make this drink, first break up the green tea powder by whisking it vigorously in up and down motion using a bamboo whisk.If you don’t have a bamboo whisk, pour the matcha and warm water into a cocktail shaker or a jar and vigorously shake until no clumps remain.Make the frothed milk by using an electric milk frother or a French press for a cafe-quality tea latte.Ingredients: Matcha, milk, sweetener (honey or sugar), water
Chocolate and peppermint come together in this delightful tea latte perfect for chilly nights.It’s made with just 6 ingredients, including cacao nibs, Assam black tea, and peppermint tea.To bring out the chocolate flavor, first grind the cacao nibs in a mini food processor. Grind only what you need as they may lose freshness if you keep them out for long.Steep the nibs with the teas, brown sugar, and water for 5 minutes and top the cup with frothed milk.Ingredients: Assam black tea, peppermint tea, cacao nibs, brown sugar, milk, water
This milk tea is extra decadent thanks to the addition of brown sugar and half & half.Use a bold, robust black tea and properly brew it for a flavorful tea that isn’t bitter.If you don’t have brown sugar, opt for other sweeteners like maple, date, or even a lavender syrup.Ingredients: Black tea, half & half, brown sugar, water
Unwind with a caffeine-free rooibos latte, a delicious alternative to chamomile that’s also caffeine-free. Also known as “red tea,” rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is an herb that comes from South Africa. Since it’s an herbal tisane, you can steep the tea for a while without it getting bitter.Honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon sweeten and add warmth to this drink.Ingredients: Rooibos, vanilla extract, soy milk, honey
Moroccan mint tea is often served to guests as a gesture of hospitality. It’s also very easy to recreate at home.This recipe uses a blend called mint green tea, an ingredient used at the Baccarat Hotel in New York. If you can’t get mint green tea, use gunpowder green tea instead.To make a cup, steep the loose mint green tea leaves in hot water for 3-4minutes. Strain out the leaves, pour into a cup, and add a little sprig of mint. You can also add sugar for a little sweetness. Ingredients: Mint green tea, fresh mint leaves, sugar, water
Wind down with a steaming cup of 4-ingredient jujube ginger tea. Jujube, or Chinese red dates, is a fruit that has a chewy texture when dried so it’s best to split them in half when making tea.In this drink, the malty, sweet taste of red dates helps soften the spicy flavors of ginger.Add a touch of sweetness with Japanese black sugar, an unrefined cane sugar. Substitute it with honey if black sugar is not available.Ingredients: Ginger, jujube, black sugar, water