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How to make chai lattes at home

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What do you need to make chai tea latte at home?

If you’ve been to a café and smelled the warm and spicy aroma of cinnamon and cloves, you’ve probably caught a whiff of a chai latte. In colder months, a warm cup of masala chai blended with steamed milk warms the body and soul. When the sun comes out, iced chai offers a cool spicy drink with less caffeine than cold brew. If you want to save a few dollars, you can make yourself a chai latte from the comfort of your kitchen.

Shop this article: Rishi Tea Masala ChaiDarjeeling and Monin - Vanilla Syrup, Versatile Flavor

What is a chai latte?

Masala chai is a spiced tea beverage that originated in India. It’s typically made by boiling or steeping a blend of black tea and herbs, spices and other aromatics. While some enjoy masala chai steeped and served as a hot tea, it mixes well with hot milk of some kind — the traditional way to serve it in India. In the U.S., the chai latte is as popular as drip coffee, and in some regions, it’s even more of a café superstar.

What you need to make a chai latte


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  • Teapot with strainer
  • Tea kettle
  • Milk frother
  • Black tea, usually Darjeeling or Assam
  • Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole cardamom seeds, star anise and peppercorns
  • Sliced ginger
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla bean, split in half
  • Ground nutmeg (for garnish)

How to make a chai latte

Rishi Tea Masala Chai

In a small steaming pitcher, combine 3 ounces of masala chai (either homemade or concentrate) with 6 ounces of milk or a milk substitute. Either steam with a milk steaming wand (found on most espresso machines) or steam and froth it in an independent steamer. When it finishes, pour it into an attractive glass or mug and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg, a whole cinnamon stick and a star anise floating atop the foam.

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Monin - Vanilla Syrup, Versatile Flavor

For the cold version, cold chai or chai concentrate is simply mixed with the milk, stirred or shaken and served over ice. Sometimes, flavor syrups like vanilla or cinnamon are added for enhancement. Garnish with cloves, star anise or a cinnamon stick.

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How to make your own chai concentrate

To make your own masala chai, mix cloves, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns and one cinnamon stick and add them to either a food processor or mortar and pestle. Grind the spices coarsely and add them to your teapot’s strainer. Add 1 ounce of brown sugar, one slice of ginger and split vanilla bean to the basket before adding 2 heaping tablespoons of looseleaf black tea. Heat water to a boil before pouring hot water into the teapot, filling it.

Amazing Child Mini Glass Pitcher 9 Ounces

Set a timer for 8 minutes and let it steep. Once it’s finished, pour the tea into a separate pitcher to cool. Store any concentrate that you don’t use right away in a sealed container in the fridge.

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What you need to buy to make a chai latte

 Electric Gooseneck Water Kettle

This all-in-one electric kettle with temperature control and timer is an excellent tool for making tea and coffee at home. It comes with a timer built in for added convenience.

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Glass Teapot

With a capacity of 15 ounces and a strainer basket large enough to fit all your tea and spices, this is an ideal teapot for brewing a quick chai concentrate.

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Kota Japan Large Black Mortar & Pestle

A good mortar and pestle is a great investment for your kitchen — when you’re not making masala chai, use this set to crush any and all of your own fresh herbs and spices. For an extra challenge, consider using it the next time you make pesto.

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Secura Stainless Steel Detachable Milk Frother

This all-in-one steamer and frother has the capacity for up to 17 ounces, giving you the option of service for one or two. It has a proper spout for no-spill pouring, and if you make a mess, the jug and lid are dishwasher-safe.

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De’Longhi EC155 15-Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

If you want to bring your home café to the next echelon, consider investing in this affordable home espresso machine. Not only can you steam a chai latte, you can pull shots of espresso and make your own specialty cappuccinos or lattes.

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Blue Lotus Chai

If you want to skip the harder work of making chai concentrate, Blue Lotus Chai makes six varieties of instant chai powders. Just add hot water and sugar or honey to make a professional- and traditional-grade tea drink.

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Davidson’s Classic Chai Tea Blend

For anyone who wants to skip the DIY chai, this blend of loose leaf tea and spices is great on its own, but it also makes a great tea base for a chai latte. The tea and spice blend is shipped in a sealed kraft bag lined with aluminum foil lining for preserving freshness, and it’s also certified free-trade and organic, making it an ethical choice. 

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Kitchables Double Walled Glass Tea Cups

These unique handleless tea glasses add more visual appeal to your chai latte, while serving. The double-walled borosilicate glasses are shatterproof, scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe.

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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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