How to make Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes at home that are perfectly cozy and can be enjoyed hot or iced. Made with a simple chai tea concentrate that is lightly sweetened and can be made ahead of time, so it's ready when you are. If you're looking for an extra boost of energy, try adding a shot of espresso, and for an elevated iced latte experience, add sweet cream cold foam!
Starbucks Copycat Chai Tea Latte Recipe.
Chai tea lattes are a delicious blend of creamy milk and black tea infused with sweet, warming, earthy spices. Mixed with a little maple syrup or honey, it's the perfect balance of sweet and spicy!
Making chai tea lattes at home couldn't be more easy! They require only a few minutes of hands-on time, and the concentrate can be make a week in advance so it's practically ready to to grab and go each morning.
I love to sip on iced chai tea lattes as a tasty afternoon treat and pick me-up! I highly recommend adding the sweet cream cold foam, which can also be made in advance.
Homemade vs store bought
I recommend making homemade chai tea concentrate versus buying the concentrate at the store. Here's why I prefer the homemade version:
- Lightly sweetened. When making homemade chai tea concentrate, you control the sweetness! I like my lattes lightly sweetened, and I think that you'll find just 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey is the perfect amount of sweetness. Store bought chai tea concentrate is very sweet, but it is what they use at Starbucks. If you like really sweet lattes, then either up the amount of sweetener in the homemade version or buy the concentrate at the store.
- Easy to make. Making chai tea concentrate at home is super simple and requires minimal hands on time. Bring water to a boil, add chai tea bags, cinnamon, nutmeg and sweetener, then let steep for 10 minutes. That's it. I recommend making extra to store in the fridge!
- Strong chai spice taste. I personally think that the homemade version has a stronger chai spice taste. I feel that the spices in the store bought version get overtaken by the sweetness.
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Ingredients
- Water. To make the chai tea concentrate.
- Chai tea bags. There's a few different brands of chai tea, and you can find it at pretty much all grocery stores and Target.
- Ground cinnamon + ground nutmeg. I like to add a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg to my chai tea lattes.
- Maple syrup or honey. I like to make lattes with natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup or honey, but you can also use granulated sugar. Just make sure whatever sweetener you use, you mix it in while the chai tea concentrate is hot so that the sweetener dissolves.
- Milk. I like to use whole or 2% milk for a creamier latte that resembles a latte you would get a Starbucks, but feel free to use milk alternatives, if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Starbucks chai tea latte?
Chai tea is actually black tea mixed with warming, earthy spices, such as cardamom, black peppercorn, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, star anise and nutmeg.
But, you don't have to buy all those spices! I just use chai tea bags, which is black tea already mixed with all those spices!
Is Starbucks Chai Tea Latte healthy?
Starbucks chai tea lattes may taste delicious, but they aren't exactly healthy. The chai tea concentrate used at Starbucks is loaded with sugar. Grande Starbucks chai tea lattes have 240 calories and 42 grams of sugar!
That's why I prefer to make my own Starbucks chai tea lattes at home using a homemade chai concentrate that has far less sugar.
What kind of milk does Starbucks use for their chai tea latte?
Starbucks uses 2% milk to make chai tea lattes, but you can ask for a different kind of milk, if you prefer.
I also like to make chai lattes with 2% milk at home, giving the lattes perfectly creamy.
What is a dirty chai tea latte at Starbucks?
Starbucks dirty chai tea lattes are made with chai concentrate, milk and a single shot of espresso, but you can add more shots of espresso by request.
Do chai tea lattes have caffeine?
Yes, but not quite as much as coffee. One chai tea bag contains 30-60 mg of caffeine. But, when using two tea bags as instructed in this recipe, your 16 ounce drink will have 60-120 mg of caffeine.
In comparison, a 16 ounce cup of coffee has about 200 mg of caffeine, so about twice the amount as a chai tea latte.
How much sugar is in a chai tea latte?
When making homemade chai tea latte concentrate, you control the amount of sugar! I like to make my chai tea concentrate with natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey.
For one chai tea latte, I recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.
Can I use a store bought chai tea concentrate?
Yes, you certainly can, but I prefer homemade concentrate. The store bought chai tea concentrate is very sweet, but if sweet is your style, then you'll like it.
What I love about homemade chai tea concentrate is that I can adjust the level of sweetness by adding more or less maple syrup or honey.
Make ahead chai tea concentrate.
Chai tea concentrate stores super well in the fridge, so it's perfect for making ahead.
Steep the chai tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes, then discard the tea bags. Mix in maple syrup or honey while the tea is still warm. Let sit a room temperature until the tea cools, then transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge.
When you're ready to make a chai tea latte, simply mix a 1:1 ratio of chai tea concentrate to milk.
Serve the latte over ice, or warm the latte on the stove in a saucepan or in a cup in the microwave until hot.
Make ahead sweet cream cold foam.
Sweet cream cold foam actually holds up great in the fridge. It keeps it's thick consistency and tastes great.
Follow the instructions in the recipe card to make the cold foam then store in an air tight container in the fridge. Depending on when you opened your heavy whipping cream, you can store the cold foam for up to 5 days.
- Storing chai tea concentrate. Homemade chai tea concentrate can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
- Storing cold foam. Cold foam can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir the cold foam before using.
Iced Chai Tea Latte
I love iced chai tea lattes as an afternoon pick me up! Fill a glass with ice and add a 1:1 ratio of chai tea concentrate and milk. Drop in a straw (reusable straw, of course) and drink up!
Hot Chai Tea Latte
Hot chai tea lattes are great for a cozy start to your day! In a small sauce pan on the stove, or in a mug in the microwave, heat together a 1:1 ratio of chai tea concentrate and milk.
Dirty Chai Tea Latte
Do you love coffee? If you answered yes, then you have to try a dirty chai tea latte! Simply add 1 shot of espresso to your chai tea latte. It adds extra flavor and gives you an extra boost of caffeine!
If you don't have an espresso machine at home, you can use ¼-1/2 cup of strongly brewed coffee.
P.S. I bought a really cheaply priced espresso machine off Amazon that I actually really love! I even got my mom one for her birthday. Here is the link. Espresso is an absolute game changer when making lattes at home.
Sweet Cream Cold Foam Chai Tea Latte
I love topping my iced chai tea lattes with sweet cream! It adds extra flavor and creaminess. Sweet cream is super easy to make in your blender, and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, so it's ready when you are!
Scroll down to the recipe card to get the ingredients and instructions.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam Chai Tea Latte
If you like pumpkin, then you're gonna love my Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam! It's seriously so good on top of an iced chai latte! It adds creamy, sweet, pumpkin flavor that you're going to love.
All you need is a few simple ingredients and a blender, and you're good to go. You can even make it up to 5 days in advance!
Get the recipe for my Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam here!
Froth the milk when making a hot latte
Whenever I make hot lattes at home, I always use a milk frother! Frothing the milk makes gives you that thick layer of foam on top like when you order a coffee at a coffee shop.
You can get a great, reasonably priced milk frother on Amazon. Here is the one I just got my mom, and she loves it! It really elevates the experience.
Add cold foam when making an iced latte
To add extra flavor and make your iced latte look like the one you see in the pictures, add cold foam! Cold foam is super simple to make with heavy cream, half and half and little sweeter. It can even be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
To make an iced latte with cold foam, pour your chai tea concentrate and milk over ice, then add about ¼ - ⅓ cup of cold foam over the top. If you're feeling fancy, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below! I'd love to hear from you! If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I enjoy seeing all the pictures! 😊
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte
- 1 cup water
- 2 chai tea bags
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for garnish)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (plus more for garnish)
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup milk (I recommend whole or 2%)
Chai tea concentrate
- In a small pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the chai tea bags, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Depending on how sweet you like your drinks, mix in 1 tablespoon to just lightly sweeten the drink or mix in 2 tablespoons for a sweeter drink like you would get at Starbucks.
Iced chai tea latte
- Pour the chai tea concentrate over ice and pour in 1 cup of milk. If desired, top with ¼ cup of sweet cream cold foam (recipe in notes) and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Hot chai tea latte
- When the tea bags are just about done steeping, use a milk frother to heat and froth 1 cup of milk. If you don't have a mix frother, just warm the milk on the stove or in the microwave. Pour the milk over the warm tea and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sweet cream cold foam*Makes enough for about 3 drinks
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend for about 30-60 seconds until thick and creamy.
- Chai tea concentrate: Make your desired amount following the directions above, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- Sweet cream cold foam: Make your desired amount following the directions above, then store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.