Iced Chai Latte

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk. (Plus, why not to call it iced chai tea latte!)

Iced chai latte

We’re all about tea lattes over here, so how about a refreshingly cool variation? Try this Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular (and has less sugar). This one is sweetened with maple syrup and made with our custom chai spices blend. Make up a big batch of the concentrate and drink off of it all week!

What’s an iced chai latte?

A chai latte is a Western invention: it takes traditional masala chai, the milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version serves it over ice, and skips the frothy topping. This drink was popularized by Starbucks in the 1990’s. Many coffeehouse versions of a chai latte have little left of the traditional Indian inspiration: they’re often too sweet and overly spiced.

The recipe for our iced chai latte is gently spiced and subtly sweet. It combines our chai spices with milk and ice for a refreshingly cool latte that’s just sweet enough.

Iced chai tea latte

Why to avoid saying “iced chai tea latte”!

Starbucks might say the words “iced chai tea latte” for this drink, but this is a no no. Why? The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is like saying “tea tea.” The more correct term for the Indian tea blend is masala chai. The word masala refers to a blend of spices used in cooking. Just like the word curry, a Westernized reduction of a complex blend of Indian spices, the American concept of chai can appropriate a rich Indian cultural tradition.

How to make an iced chai latte

Now that we’ve got the right terminology, let’s talk about this drink. Masala chai spices can include many different ingredients based on the cook. To make this iced chai latte, this Homemade Chai Spice mix uses common chai spices. Note there are many more used regionally in Indian blends, and they are often used whole or ground by the chef. Here are the basis steps for an iced chai latte:

  • Make the tea concentrate (30 minutes): Steep the tea bags, chai spices and maple syrup for 30 minutes.
  • Strain: Strain the concentrate into a jar. It makes 4 servings, so you can refrigerate until you’re ready to drink!
  • Add ice and milk: To serve, add the concentrate to a glass with ice. Pour in the milk and serve!
how to make an iced chai latte

Vegan variation

The great thing about this iced chai latte is that it’s easy to make vegan! Just use your favorite non dairy milk for the milk component. Since you don’t need to froth it like a hot latte, it’s easy to replace with any milk of your choice. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Oat milk. It has a great creamy texture and neutral flavor! One of our favorites for lattes. See also our Vegan Chai Latte.
  • Almond milk: Another good choice, but it’s less creamy and has a thinner texture.
  • Soy milk: This also works, but does have a slight soy aftertaste.

Typically we avoid coconut milk for lattes because the coconut flavor is rather strong.

Alternative sweeteners

This iced chai latte is crafted to be just sweet enough! It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, our natural sweetener of choice. But if you prefer others, here are some options:

  • Maple syrup (favorite). This vegan natural sweetener adds nuance without maple flavor. (It’s also great for cocktails.)
  • Simple syrup. Simple syrup has more of an intensely sweet, straightforward flavor.
  • Honey. Another great natural sweetener: it adds a bit more golden sweet flavor.
  • Agave syrup. This vegan sweetener is easy to find these days and also works well.

And that’s it! Let us know how you enjoy this drink in the comments below!

Iced chai latte

More tea drinks!

Love drinking tea? Here are a few more tea recipes we love:

  • Chai Latte Here’s how to make a chai latte at home…the easy way! This drink is creamy and cozy spiced with the perfect fluffy foam topping.
  • Perfect Tea Latte Make a straight-up tea latte without the spices: even simpler.
  • Dirty Chai Latte Even better, add a shot of espresso to your chai latte (a favorite!).
  • Cold Brew Tea The easiest iced tea! This recipe takes only 1 minute of hands on time and has a beautifully smooth flavor.
  • Classic Sweet Tea This recipe is easy to make and comes out with best refreshing flavor that’s sweetened just enough.

Want a regular latte? Try our Perfect Cafe Latte.

This iced chai latte recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use non dairy milk.

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Iced chai latte

Iced Chai Latte


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make an iced chai latte at home! This sweetly refreshing tea latte is made with black tea, cozy spices and milk.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chai Spices Blend
  • 4 bags black tea (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea in a tea strainer)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey, agave syrup or simple syrup)
  • 1 cup milk of choice, for serving (use dairy free for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Make the concentrate: Place the water, chai spices, tea and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture just starts to boil, remove it from the heat and rest until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Strain and store the concentrate: Remove the tea bags and strain through a fine mesh strainer into covered container. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week: make sure to shake before serving! (Makes 4 servings.)
  3. Serve: To serve, place ice in a glass. Combine 3/4 cup chai concentrate and 1/4 cup milk.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Iced chai latte, Iced chai tea latte

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    MayJ
    October 27, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Maybe it’s a Canadian problem, but I can’t seem to find plain ‘black tea’ anywhere. I can get Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Orange Pekoe. Are one of those what you mean by black tea?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 28, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Hi! The English breakfast tea will work :)

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