Chai is a blend of black tea, spices and herbs; originating in India. Chai latte is my favourite tea-flavoured hot drink since I first tried it in Japan couple of years back. I never felt the need to try out the recipe at home because there were so many Starbucks in Tokyo. I could literally just get this drink anytime, anywhere. After moving to Melbourne, initially I missed Starbucks (not many here). But now, after trying so many local cafes I feel this place is blessed. With every street having a family-owned cafe and serving finest coffee (exceptions are there), you can't really complain much. I have found very few cafes that disappointed me in their coffee/tea game.
As I don't go out much, having chai latte at a cafe has become very occasional now. Having said that, I definitely crave for a hot cuppa chai latte every now and then. That is when I thought to give this recipe a try at home and see how much I like it.
I have tried this recipe a couple of times in the last 2-3 months and have loved it every time. If you're a fan of chai or chai latte or would like to try this thing and decide for yourself then check the recipe at the end of this post.
Most of the cafes use premixes that contain what not. As I have decided to eat more healthy this year, I thought this is again a good excuse to cut on cafe drinks and instead go for a healthy, homemade alternative. I looked on the Internet for the recipe of this drink and found a myriad of methods that people make their chai latte. If you have ever tried Indian masala chai, you'd know that chai latte is a very close cousin of that.
Chai preferences vary from person to person, some like it strong, some mild. Some prefer a lot of milk while others like it in half and half consistency of milk and water. Hence, feel free, to adjust the tea, spices and herbs as per your palate requirements.
You can also make this one dairy free by using coconut or almond milk. I tried this with soy milk also but I think I prefer either dairy or coconut for this recipe. Try and let me know what's your favourite.
Healthier, homemade version of chai latte
- Water – 2.5 cups
- Black tea – 2 tbsp.*
- Fresh ginger – 1 inch piece
- Cloves – 4-6
- Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp and a pinch to sprinkle on top of the chai latte in the cup
- Ground cardamom – 1 tsp
- Ground nutmeg – ½ tsp
- Ground allspice – ½ tsp
- Milk (full fat) – ½ cup**
- Maple syrup – 1 ½ tbsp
- Start with adding water in the saucepan and turning on the flame to medium high.
- In a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger and add it to the water in the saucepan.
- Crush the cloves in the same mortar and pestle and add to the water.
- Add the dry spices and whisk everything together.
- Once the water reaches a boil, add black tea and lower the heat.
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.
- In another pan, add the milk, cinnamon and maple syrup.
- With a milk frother, blend everything and froth the milk. You can also use an immersion blender.
- Take your cup, and fill it half with the chai that we prepared earlier. Store the remaining chai in a jar and keep it refrigerated for up to a week.
- Next, fill the cup with the frothed milk and gently mix with a muddler.
- Sprinkle with some cinnamon.
- Your chai latte is ready to enjoy.
*I have used loose Assam tea, as I like my chai a bit strong. You may use tea bags and some other variant depending on how strong or mild your preference is. Darjeeling is a milder version if you like things mild. **You may also use almond or coconut milk if you prefer dairy free.
I hope you will try this recipe out and share your feedback with me in the comment section. I'd also love to know what's your favourite hot beverage.
Thanks for stopping by!