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. (And why not to call it iced chai tea latte!)
We’re all about cozy tea lattes, and here’s a favorite refreshingly cool variation: the Iced Chai Latte! The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and irresistibly creamy. In fact, this one tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular. 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, milky spiced tea from India, and combines it with frothy steamed milk of a latte. The iced version simply adds 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. Instead, this iced chai latte recipe 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!
Why not to say “iced chai tea latte”?
Starbucks might call this drink an “iced chai tea latte,” but here’s why not to add the word “tea”. The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is like saying “tea tea.”
The 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 diminishes a rich Indian cultural tradition. A more appropriate term here is iced chai latte.
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. There are many more spices used regionally in Indian blends, often used whole or ground by the chef. Here are the basic 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!
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. Typically we avoid coconut milk for lattes because the coconut flavor is rather strong. 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.
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!
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.
- London Fog A cozy tea latte made with Earl Gray tea and lavender.
- Matcha Latte or Iced Matcha Latte These classic green drinks are creamy and delicious.
- 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.
- Iced Green Tea An easy single serving refreshing drink.
- Classic Sweet Tea This recipe is easy to make and comes out with best refreshing flavor that’s sweetened just enough.
This iced chai latte recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use non dairy milk.Print
Iced Chai Latte
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
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.
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ tablespoons Chai Spices Blend
- 4 bags black tea (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea in a tea strainer)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (or honey, agave syrup or simple syrup)
- 1 cup milk of choice, for serving (use dairy free for vegan)
- 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.
- 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.)
- Serve: To serve, place ice in a glass. Combine ¾ cup chai concentrate and ¼ cup milk.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Iced chai latte, Iced chai tea latte
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?
Hi! The English breakfast tea will work :)