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.

What’s an Iced Chai Tea Latte?

Hold on, hold on. First, let me say that the words ‘chai’ and ‘tea’ together are redundant. Chai translates to the word ‘tea’ in Hindi. That’s why it’s incorrect to say “chai tea latte” since you’re just saying “tea tea latte.”

  • Chai is any type of tea, but in the US, we mean a drink made of black tea and spices.
  • This spiced tea drink is known as masala chai in India but we just call it chai.
  • Iced chai latte is made up of ice, black tea, milk, a blend of spices, and sweetener.
  • There is no single specific blend of spices that are used by everyone which means tea shops all sell their own version.
  • The BEST chai is the one you make yourself from scratch, since you can tailor it to your taste.
  • This recipe contains no artificial ingredients and sweetness can easily be adjusted. (The powdered chai mixes are WAY too sweet.)

My chai recipe was created through A LOT of trial and error, mixing a variety of spices. It took about two weeks of testing to get my blend of spices just right.

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

Ingredient Notes

Chai latte ingredients on a surface.

How to Make Iced Chai Latte

1. Make chai concentrate

Everything but the milk and vanilla extract is put into a saucepan and simmered. Crush whole spices to it quicker to brew.

The solids are strained out, the vanilla extract is added, and you’ve got yourself a chai concentrate. Let the concentrate cool and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

If you’re in a rush, you can drop in some ice cubes to cool it down. Although by adding more water, you’ll dilute the concentrate a bit.

2. Assemble drink

I use this ratio: one part chai concentrate to one part milk.

Pour chai halfway into a glass with ice and add milk.

Serving Suggestions

  • Add frothed milk to the chai concentrate and it’s a hot chai latte. See how to froth milk at home.
  • Blend it with ice and it’s a chai frappuccino.
  • Blend it with ice cream and it’s a chai milkshake.
  • Add tapioca balls and it’s a chai bubble tea.
  • Freeze it and it’s a chai popsicle.

Notes & Tips

  • Use whole spices since they’re the most flavorful.
  • 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.

Best Tea for Chai Lattes

Any strong black tea works great for chai but I like to stick with Indian teas like:

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.

RELATED: Where to Buy Tea Online

Chai Spice Notes

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.

If possible, get the whole spice instead of the ground version since that’ll taste the best. (Although I did use ground ginger and ground nutmeg since it was easier to work with.)

RELATED: Chai Latte from Scratch

Make-Ahead & Storage Tips

The great thing about a chai concentrate is that several cups can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a covered or airtight container. It’ll keep for up to four days.

I don’t mix milk to my chai concentrate since I like to add that later when it’s ready to be served. This leaves it open for anyone who may want something other than whole milk.

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in chai?

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

What other black teas can I use?

English breakfast tea is a great choice since it’s a strong black 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.

More Chai Recipes

Iced Tea Cheat Sheet

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iced chai tea latte

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 60 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 13 mins
Course Drinks
Yield4 servings


  • 2 cups milk, any kind
  • 4 cups Ice

Chai Concentrate

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons black tea, or 4 tea sachets
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns



  • Crush and roughly chop the star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods.
  • In a saucepan, add all ingredients for chai concentrate except for the vanilla extract.
    Use filtered water for a better tasting tea.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
    Stir occasionally.
  • Strain and discard solids.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Let cool in refrigerator.
    Put chai concentrate in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill.


  • Fill a cup with ice and pour chai concentrate halfway then add milk.


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


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!

16 thoughts on “Iced Chai Latte from Scratch”

  1. 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!

    • 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    • 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?


  4. 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 : )


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