Iced Chai Latte from Scratch

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The best iced chai latte is the one made at home, from scratch. Sweet, spicy, and milky, my iced chai latte recipe is one you’ll make over and over again.

Pouring milk into a cup with ice and chai.

Recipe Highlights

  • This iced chai latte recipe is made with ice, black tea, milk, a blend of spices, and sweetener. There’s no single set blend of spices that makes up a chai and this recipe was created through A LOT of trial and error, mixing a variety of spices to get the perfect balance.
  • The best chai is the one you make yourself from scratch since you can tailor it to your taste. There aren’t artificial ingredients and sweetness can easily be adjusted. (Powdered chai mixes are WAY too sweet.)
  • This recipe includes a chai concentrate which you can use to make iced (and hot) chai lattes all week.
  • Chai is a drink from India that’s made with black tea, milk, and a blend of spices. It’s known as masala chai in India but we, in the U.S., just shorten it to chai. Chai translates to the word ‘tea’ in Hindi so it’s incorrect to say “chai tea” since you’re just saying “tea tea.”

Love chai? Try these recipes: Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte Copycat, Chai Latte from Scratch, Starbucks Chai Latte Copycat, Chai Frappuccino, and Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients to make a chai latte on a surface and each item labeled with the name.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Since the black tea is going to be blended with strong spices and milk, you don’t want to use the highest quality. Tea bags are fine to use for this recipe. Even Lipton tea bags are fine to use if that’s what you have.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Four photo collage showing steps to make an iced chai latte.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Crush and roughly chop star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods.
    Bigger whole spices are crushed to make it quicker to infuse the drink.
  2. Combine all chai concentrate ingredients except for the vanilla extract in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat.
  3. Strain solids and add vanilla extract. Let cool.
    The chai concentrate can be cooled in the refrigerator for about an hour or chilled in the freezer for a few minutes.
  4. Pour chai concentrate halfway into a cup with ice and add milk.
    Use 1 part chai concentrate and 1 part milk.

Expert Tips

  • If possible, get the whole spice instead of ground since it’ll taste more flavorful. (Although I did use ground nutmeg since it’s easier to work with.)
  • Make this iced chai latte recipe vegan by using oat milk and maple syrup instead of honey.
  • If you want a stronger chai flavor, use less milk and more chai concentrate.
  • Whole milk or half & half will give you a creamier iced chai latte.
  • Cardamom is the most used ingredient in chai and it’s usually blended with ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and pepper. Other spices that can be added include nutmeg, fennel seed, coriander, and vanilla.

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in chai?

Yes, iced chai lattes are made with black tea which contains caffeine.

What’s the best tea to use in chai?

Any strong black tea works great for chai but I like to stick with black teas like Assam, Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India), and English Breakfast tea.

What food pairs well with chai?

Any baked good or pastry, like a scone or pound cake that isn’t too sweet, is great with chai. I find cakes with icing and pies to be overly sweet for it to be a good pairing. Chocolate also pairs well, especially dark chocolate.

How can I store the chai concentrate?

Chai concentrate can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a covered or airtight container. It’ll keep for up to 4 days. Don’t add milk into the chai concentrate until it’s ready to drink.

Iced chai latte in a glass with swirls of milk.

Did you make this? Please leave a star rating below or a review in the comments section.

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Iced Chai Latte

Author: Jee Choe
Sweet and spicy, this iced chai latte is one you’ll make over and over again.
4.7 from 72 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling Time 15 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Drinks
Yield4 servings

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 2 cups milk (any kind)
  • 4 cups Ice

Chai Concentrate

INSTRUCTIONS
 

MAKE CHAI CONCENTRATE

  • Crush and roughly chop the star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods.
    Bigger whole spices are crushed to make it quicker to infuse the drink.
  • Combine all chai concentrate ingredients except for the vanilla extract in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
    Stir occasionally.
  • Strain solids and add vanilla extract. Let cool.
    The chai concentrate can be cooled in the refrigerator for about an hour or chilled in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Pour chai concentrate halfway into a cup with ice and add milk.
    Use 1 part chai concentrate and 1 part milk.

NOTES

  • Instead of 2 tablespoons loose tea, use 4 tea sachets or 6 tea bags.
  • If possible, get the whole spice instead of ground since it’ll taste more flavorful. (Although I did use ground nutmeg since it’s easier to work with.)
  • Make this iced chai latte recipe vegan by using oat milk and maple syrup instead of honey.
  • If you want a stronger chai flavor, use less milk and more chai concentrate.
  • Whole milk or half & half will give you a creamier iced chai latte.
  • Chai concentrate can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a covered or airtight container. It’ll keep for up to 4 days. Don’t add milk into the chai concentrate until it’s ready to drink.
  • The base for chai is black tea and since it’s a beverage out of India, black tea from that area, like Assam, is the natural and obvious choice. You can use loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags.
  • Since the black tea is going to be blended with strong spices and milk, you don’t want to use the highest quality. Tea bags are fine to use for this recipe. Even Lipton tea bags are fine to use if that’s what you have.

NUTRITION

Calories: 152 | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 1mg
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20 thoughts on “Iced Chai Latte from Scratch”

  1. 5 stars
    I use Blue Lotus Chai (a powdered chai). Hands down the best. It has a spicy profile, perfect! And no junk in it. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. This sounds delish! If I wanted to make it a hot chai, would I add more water, to account for the lack of ice cubes in the finished product?

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I just made some and it is so delicious. Thank you for giving us your amazing Chai recipe and your cheat sheets!

    Reply
  4. This sounds so good! Could you use chai tea bags for your concentrate or do you recommend only making it from scratch? I always have chai tea bags on hand. Excited to try this!

    Reply
    • Hi Lilee, I like mine made from scratch so that I can adjust the flavor just the way I like it. If you like the chai flavor of the tea bags you have, you can use that instead of making it from scratch.

      Reply
  5. I read the directions a few times and still managed to accidentally add the milk while simmering. Do you think I can just add ice and drink a cup or so at a time? I won’t forget next time. I’m so annoyed with myself lol

    Reply
  6. How long can you store the chai concentrate in the fridge for? I love chai tea in the morning but as it progresses into spring I would love to have a iced chai too.

    Reply
    • Hi! I just tried this and love it! I am also trying the vegan way and used pure maple instead of honey and used almond milk once ready to be consumed. I usually order a “spicier” chai at a coffee shop however – what would you add to make it more spicy?

      Thanks!

      Reply
  7. I just made this and loved it!!! I usually don’t let myself have Chai’s because of all of the sugar. But I tried an iced chai latte at a local bakery last month and loved it. It was so refreshing and more spicy than sweet. I’ve been hooked and looking for a way to recreate it at home. Now I can, thanks to this recipe!! And I used 2 TBSP agave instead of 3 of honey. For me, that was the perfect sweetness. Thank you : )

    Reply

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