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Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe

November 29, 2021

For a copycat Starbucks chai tea latte recipe, you are going to masala chai, milk, and sugar. This may simple enough, but there is a lot more to this recipe than meets the eye. If you want to recreate the most delicious drink, then here is what you need to know...

The Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Ingredients

Here is what you will need to whip up this brew:

  • Chai tea concentrate
  • Milk: you can use 2% milk or full-fat milk. You can also swap this out for a non dairy milk.
  • Sugar
  • Simple Syrup
  • Ice cubes (if making Starbucks iced chai latte)

Starbucks Chai Latte Drinks

Here are the best Starbucks copycat recipes for chai tea latte that you can find!

Chai Tea Latte

For 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of chai concentrate
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Sugar, to taste

Method

Step 1

Pour the chai concentrate into a heatproof mug.

Step 2

Place milk in a pan and heat until steaming - don't let it boil. You can separate a little bit of the milk to froth later and pour on top of the chai latte.

Step 3

To froth the milk, you can use a milk frother. Some people choose to use a French press or even a whisk to get the milk nice and frothy.

Step 4

Pour milk into the cup containing the chai concentrate and mix well. Taste the drink and add sugar according to desired level. If you are using frothed milk, add it now. Enjoy straight away!

A Note

If you have a steam wand, you can make your chai concentrate an alternative way. Pour the chai concentrate and milk into a steaming jug and use a wand to steam. When the drink has doubled in size and is sufficiently steaming, you can then pour it into a cup and enjoy.

Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte

For 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of cold chai concentrate
  • 1/2 cup of cold milk
  • simple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes

Method

Step 1

Pour chai concentrate into a jug. Add the milk and stir well. If the concentrate needs to be sweetened, add simple syrup to taste and stir well.

Step 2

Pour ice into a glass. Carefully pour the drink over the ice. Give the drink a good stir until it is cold enough. Enjoy!

Note

As all the ingredients are cold, using a simple syrup is a great way to sweeten your drink. The liquid swetener dissolves in the cold ingredients a great deal easier. You can make your own version by dissolving equal parts of sugar in boiling water. Wait until the syrup has cooled down before adding it to your drink.

The Matter of Chai Concentrate with Starbucks Copycat Chai Tea Latte

One of the biggest barriers to recreating a near-perfect Starbucks chai tea latte is the chai concentrate. This is the base of the drink, containing both black tea and spices. In most cases, it is found in liquid form.

Now, store bought chai concentrate is readily available. There are also a lot of different brands to choose from, the most common one being Tazo chai concentrate. The problem, though, is that these chai concentrates - Tazo chai concentrate included - are quite diluted.

The Starbucks chai concentrate is very strong and you are unlikely to find anything quite like it in the store. As a result, the Starbucks chai tea latte has a more powerful flavor that is noticeable even with the addition of milk. This is true even when ice is added with the Starbucks iced chai latte,

With regular store bought concentrate, much of the flavor is lost when you add milk or any other ingredients to the drink. Fortunately, there are a few options for overcoming this problem:

Chai Tea Latte

Increase How Much Chai Concentrate You Use

The simple trick her is to just use a lot more concentrate than is mentioned on the label. This can often mean doubling up on the chai concentrate. This does depend on the brand that you are using, though.

Always run a taste test first. Pour half a cup of milk into a cup. Then, slowly add the chai concentrate, tasting as you go. Once you have found the right balance, you will know how much to use in the future.

Use Teavana Chai Concentrate

Starbucks claims that this is the chai concentrate that they use. Due to this, if you are looking to recreate the same flavors that are in your Starbucks chai latte, then this is a good place to start.

You should know that the concentrate is still not as strong as what is used in the store. As such, you will need to double up on how much you use with this concentrate as well.

Make Your Own Concentrate

In most instances, the best option is to whip up some homemade chai concentrate. The main benefit is that you can make as strong as you want, ensuring that the flavor of the ingredients really shine through. Furthermore, you have greater control over what spices are used in the concentrate.

You can choose to remove ingredients that are traditionally used or add ones that you don't usually find. It is also possible for you to determine which flavors have the greatest impact or if they will all blend together.

A lot of chai concentrates can also be very high in sugar. If you are trying to cut back on sugar or have certain medical conditions, then making your own version will allow you to be healthier.

Homemade chai concentrate is often a lot cheaper to make as well. This allows you to make it in larger batches and enjoy this drink on a more regular basis.

How to Make Homemade Chai Concentrate

If you wish to go with the DIY route, then you have two options - using tea bags or premade powder or making the masala chai mix from scratch.

Chai Tea Bags or Powder

The chai tea bags contain black tea, along with a variety of crushed or powdered spices. The mix is the same, although you may black tea leaves instead of powder. This type of chai blend may or may not contain sugar.

Here, you simply have to steep the chai tea bags or the masala chai tea mix in hot water. For a more concentrated brew, use a greater number of tea bags or scoops of powder for a certain amount of water. Remember, it is fine if you brew it very strong as you will be adding milk to it later.

If you want a creamier or richer chai tea latte recipe, then boil the tea bags or powder in milk instead of water.

Homemade Chai Latte Mix

With this method, you get to choose what chai spices you want to add to your chai tea latte recipe. The most common options are cardamom, black pepper, ginger, and star anise. It isn't uncommon to find cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and even allspice.

As mentioned, though, the main benefit with making your own chai mix is that you can alter the ingredients to your own taste. Select the ingredients that you like the most and add them in a quantity that is suited to your preferences.

Now, technically, you can make a large batch of your own chai latte mix and make it up whenever you feel. For the best flavors, though, you should make it in smaller portions. The flavors of the different spices can fade with time and may not hold up as well when you brew your chai tea latte.

In any case, here is your recipe for your homemade chai concentrate:

cup of chai tea

Ingredients

  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 8 green cardom pods
  • 1 tbs. of black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground nutmeg
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 tbs. of black tea
  • 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs. of dark brown sugar

Method

Step 1: Crush the Spices

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and ginger. The spices don't need to be finely ground - simply crush to release flavor and fragrance.

Step 2: Roast the Spices

Add all spices to a pan and place over low heat. Stir the spices continously and don't let them burn. Heat for no more than 3 minutes or until the spices have become fragrant.

Step 3: Add Water and Boil Spices

Pour the water into a pan and add the spices and bring to a boil. When the mix comes to a boil, lower the flame and allow the liquid to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, bring to a boil again. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.

Step 4: Steep the Tea

Add the black tea leaves to the mix and stir well. Make sure that the black tea only steeps for 3 to 5 minutes - any more than this and your brew could become too strong and bitter.

Step 5: Strain the Chai Black Tea Concentrate

Pour the concentrate through a strainer and into a large jug. If you are planning on storing it for a while, pour it into a glass bottle or jug that can be capped.

Step 6: Stir in the Final Ingredients

Add the vanilla and sugar and stir well until it is dissolved and combined.

If you are making hot chai tea latte, then make up the drink immediately by adding steamed milk or hot milk. For ab uced chai latte, cool down the concentrate first and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. You can then pour your iced chai latte over cold milk and ice.

How Long Can You Store Your Concentrate?

If you don't brew the concentrate, then you can keep the spices in an airtight container for a couple of weeks, at most. Bear in mind that the flavor and aroma will fade with time though.

In case you want to store the liquid form, it is best not to add sugar right away. Instead, pour the concentrate into an airtight bottle and close tightly. Store in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days.

Can Your Starbucks Copycat Chai Tea Latte Be Vegan?

It is really easy to make your chai tea latte vegan. The first thing that you will need to do is to use a vegan-friendly sweetener such as maple syrup. As an added bonus, the syrup dissolves really well with iced chai latte.

The second thing to do with a vegan chai tea latte is to opt for a non dairy milk. Now, you can use any milk of your choosing, but oat milk is often the top option. It is quite creamy and makes for a more decaded chai latte.

If you are planning on using a commercial chai tea concentrate option, always check the ingredients. Make sure that they don't contain honey, dairy milk, or any other ingredient that isn't considered strictly vegan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Starbucks chai latte:

1. What is in Starbucks chai tea latte?

The chai tea latte contains the Starbucks signature chai concentrate, milk, and water.

2. How does a barista make a chai latte?

The barista adds steamed milk to the Starbucks chai tea concentrate and then tops the drink off with milk foam.

3. Why are chai tea lattes bad for you?

The chai tea latte that Starbucks makes contains a lot of sugar - 42g to be exact. Also, there is flavoring added, which means that the spices aren't as healthy as what you would find at home.

As you can see, making a Starbucks copycat chai tea latte is completely possible. You just need to know the right ingredients and proper methods for brewing this delicious drink. Now that you are aware of all the secrets, a delicious beverage is just minutes away!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, head over to our Pinterest page. We have tons of other Starbucks content for you to check out!

About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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