This Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe is my favorite afternoon pick-me-up. It only takes a few minutes to make and is the perfect combination of a sweet treat and a caffeine boost. Top it with whipped cream and extra cinnamon or enjoy it as is, either way, it is delicious.
Making chai lattes at home is going to save you money and it will probably taste better than your local coffee shop. Try my Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte for fall.
What is a Chai Latte Made of?
A chai latte is typically equal parts chai tea and milk. It is sometimes topped with whipped cream. This beverage can be frothed and served warm or cold. The tea is made by either steeping bags of chai in water or you can steep black tea in water (or use black tea concentrate) and add the chai spice blend of cinnamon, cardamom, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, fennel, and nutmeg.
Fun fact: the word chai is actually the Hindi word for tea. So when you say chai tea latte, you are essentially saying "tea tea latte".
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Hot or cold - This recipe will show you how to make your latte hot or over ice.
- Easy - You only need a couple of simple ingredients.
- Customizable - Use regular milk or dairy-free, like almond milk or coconut milk, for this recipe. Create your perfect drink!
- Quick - You can make a homemade version of a chai concentrate or use store-bought for a faster option.
- Low Caffeine - Chai has less caffeine compared to coffee.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Chai Concentrate: If you are using a store-bought concentrate other than the Tazo brand or the ones mentioned above, be sure to check the concentrate to milk ratio. Some do not call for a 1:1 ratio. Follow the ratio on the packaging.
- Milk: Any unsweetened milk or non-dairy milk, like almond, coconut, or oat milk, will work.
- Honey: The Starbucks chai concentrate contains honey. So to make this a true copycat Starbucks chai tea latte, I like to sweeten my unsweetened concentrate with honey. If you are using a sweetened concentrate, you will probably not need any more sweetener.
How to Make a Starbucks Chai Latte
- Combine the concentrate and milk.
- Serve over ice or hot.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Combine hot or chilled chai concentrate with hot or cold milk.
Step 2: Serve over ice or hot with whipped cream and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top.
Chai Concentrate Options
1. Chai Concentrate from Tea Bags
This is my favorite method because chai tea bags are easy to find and have a long shelf life. You can also use as much (or as little) of any sweetener of choice or make a sugar-free chai latte. You can easily whip up a small or large batch of the concentrate and you only need 2 ingredients, tea bags and water. I steep 2 tea bags in about ½ cup of boiling water for about 8 minutes. Sweeten with honey, sugar, brown sugar, stevia, monk fruit, Splenda, etc.
Chai concentrate to milk ratio: 1:1
2. Tazo Chai Concentrate (Starbucks brand)
Tazo is a very popular tea brand owned by Starbucks. You can find their products in most grocery stores. This is the tea that Starbucks uses for its tea lattes and other beverages.
Starbucks uses a special (and more concentrated) version of the Tazo Chai Concentrate that is not sold commercially. The Tazo Classic Chai Concentrate is already sweetened and I find it to be a little too sweet. They also have a skinny version that I have not tried (perfect for making a skinny chai tea latte like Starbucks). It has less sugar so it might not taste as sweet.
Chai to milk ratio: 1:1
3. Homemade Chai Concentrate
I have never made chai concentrate from scratch. It is a combination of black tea bags and spices, like cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, etc. These recipes are very highly rated and the ones I recommend if you want to make your own chai.
4. Best Store Bought Chai Concentrate
I have tried the concentrate by Tazo and Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, they are both already sweetened and too sweet for me. This is why I typically make my own concentrate from tea bags. This article ranks and reviews some popular brands if you are looking to find the best store-bought option.
- For an iced latte, chill the concentrate. You want the concentrate to have time to chill. I recommend making it at least one day in advance. It will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Serve over ice cubes.
- For a hot latte, froth and warm the milk. Be sure to froth the milk or warm it in a small saucepan (or in the microwave). I also recommend warming up the concentrate for about 30 seconds in the microwave for a hot drink. This preparation is similar to a masala chai.
Additions & Variations
- Pumpkin Spice: Add 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin puree and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to the milk to make a pumpkin chai latte. You can also add Homemade Pumpkin Cream to your chai tea latte.
- Matcha: Whisk in ½ - 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into the concentrate.
- Low Carb: Use method 1 to make the concentrate or buy the sugar-free chai concentrate mentioned above. Use any low-carb milk (like almond or coconut) and keto sweetener, like monk fruit.
- Dirty Chai (Coffee): Add 1 shot of espresso or strongly brewed coffee to the latte.
- Vanilla: Add a splash of vanilla extract to the concentrate or a pump of vanilla syrup.
- Cold Foam: Top your iced chai tea latte with Homemade Cold Foam.
- Brown Sugar: Add a splash of my Brown Sugar Syrup.
More Drink Recipes
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe
- ½ cup chai concentrate, see Chai Concentrate Options section above*
- ½ cup milk*
- honey, simple/maple/brown sugar syrup, or sugar, to taste*
- whipped cream
- cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Combine hot or chilled chai concentrate with hot or cold milk.
- Serve over ice or hot with whipped cream and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top.