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Homemade Vanilla Chai Latte

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Make your own Homemade Vanilla Chai Latte with this easy recipe that combines the classic vanilla flavor and exotic spices. You’ll feel like you’re drinking a fancy tea latte from your local coffee shop.

homemade vanilla chai tea latte with text overlay

When I first made my homemade mix for Chai, I used ground spices which are perfect for storing the mix in the pantry. It’s such a favorite and one of the popular posts on the blog. Perfect for gift giving, too. However, I really wanted to use the exotic spices in their whole form for this Vanilla Chai Latte. It was so fun to use the spices in this way and the drink is just heavenly.

I am a mug person, by that I mean if I see a cute cup I buy it. My mug cabinet is full, so full that my hubby has gently told me to stop buying them unless I give as many as I get away to thrift stores or others. I love the larger mugs over the smaller “normal” sized ones. This chai latte recipe makes 2 large mug servings. or 4 normal-sized ones.

It’s the perfect recipe to make to share with someone who also has a fondness for the flavors of Chai. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. If you prefer a coffee-based latte, give this Hazelnut Latte a try. In my house, I am the only one who cares for chai lattes so I get to drink it all. Such a hard job – not.

Homemade Vanilla Chai Latte

Typically, Vanilla Chai Latte has flavors of black tea, vanilla extract, chai spices, milk, and sugar. For this recipe, I am using whole milk and honey. You can easily substitute the milk of your choice. Almond or Oat milk both are tasty in this latte. The honey is your sweetener, so if it’s not your thing, use sugar or even pure maple syrup.

Some recipes for chai lattes use chai tea bags, which is an easier and quicker way to make the drink. This drink does not, instead it uses whole spices and black tea bags.

Making this latte at home is so much cheaper than buying it at your local coffee shop. Yes, the initial cost of ingredients may be more than that Starbucks Chai Latte, but you can make many cups from them. Plus, this copycat version tastes much better.

close up of vanilla chai latte
Delicious Homemade Vanilla Chai Latte

What are chai spices?

Chai spices include cardamom, allspice, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and ginger. In addition, this chai latte has pure vanilla extract. Some Chai lattes will also have a bit of black pepper to spice it up a little.

whole spices used in making chai latte
Spices that make up Chai

Do chai lattes have caffeine in them?

Yes, chai lattes have caffeine in them since they are made with black tea leaves.

Can you use dairy free milk in lattes?

Yes, you can use your favorite dairy-free milk in this chai latte. I love using whole milk simply because it makes it a bit more creamy; but I also use almond and oat milk, too. Try cashew, coconut, or soy as well.

Want an iced vanilla chai latte?

Want to drink your Vanilla Chai Latte cold? Allow the drink to cool off for 5-10 minutes and then pour it over ice for a perfect iced chai tea latte. Or add the slightly cooled chai latte to a blender with 2 cups of ice and blend well to make a blended frappe Chai Latte.

view of two large blue mugs filled with Vanilla Chai Tea Lattes
Pour yourself a cup of this hot drink and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 5-6 whole star anise
  • 3-4 two-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tabelspoons honey
  • 3 black tea bags
  • Optional Garnish: Ground cinnamon and/or whole star anise

How to make this vanilla chai latte

Step 1

Pour milk into a large skillet set over slightly less than medium heat. Tip: Set temperature between medium and medium-low. The milk should get very warm, but not scald. You don’t want to burn the milk.

Step 2

This recipe uses WHOLE spices, not ground. Place the cardamom pods, allspice, and cloves in a plastic bag and place them on a cutting board. Gently pound on the spices with a meat mallet or rolling pin just until they crack. (They should remain mostly whole, but open up a bit).

Step 3

Add the cracked spices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, ginger, vanilla extract, and honey to the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer until the milk is very warm and fragrant, approximately 5-6 minutes, then add the tea bags to brew for another 5 minutes.

Step 4

Remove from heat and discard the tea bags. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid. Discard the solids and divide two-thirds of the remaining liquid between large (12-ounce) mugs and set them aside.

Step 5

Pour the remaining mixture into a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until a nice foam develops. Tip: Make sure the blender cap is properly vented to prevent the hot liquid from exploding. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender.

Step 6

Divide the liquid from the blender among the serving mugs and top each with a big spoonful of foam. Sprinkle with some ground cinnamon and garnish with star anise, if desired, and serve immediately.

chai latte with star anise in mug
Try it iced!
Vanilla Chai lattes in blue mugs with star anise and cinnamon sticks on the side
Such a great way to enjoy a fancy coffee shop drink made by you.

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • Please note that this recipe uses WHOLE spices, not ground.
  • Substitute your milk of choice to make this dairy free.
  • Use sugar or sugar substitute in place of honey. Pure maple syrup is also a great substitute for honey.
  • Add a dash of black or white pepper to the milk with the spices for a bit of spice.
  • This recipe will make two – 12-ounce mugs or four – 8 ounces mugs.

You may also enjoy these copycat coffee house drinks

overhead view of chai latte with milk froth
Less expensive to make this Starbucks copycat recipe at home.
delicious creamy homemade vanilla chai latte in blue mugs

Homemade Vanilla Chai Latte

Make your own Vanilla Chai Latte at home with this easy recipe that combines the vanilla flavor and exotic spices. You'll feel like you're drinking a fancy tea latte from your local coffee shop.
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Course: Drinks
Keyword: Chai, latte, tea
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 – 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 5-6 whole star anise
  • 3-4 2 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey (adjust to your tastes)
  • 3 black tea bags

Instructions

  • Pour milk into a large skillet set over slightly less than medium heat. Tip: Set temperature between medium and medium-low. The milk should get very warm, but not scald. You don’t want to burnt milk.
  • Please note that this recipe uses WHOLE spices, not ground.
    Place the cardamom pods, allspice, and cloves in a plastic bag and place on a cutting board. Gently pound on the spices with a meat mallet or rolling pin just until they crack. (They should remain mostly whole, but opened up a bit).
  • Add the cracked spices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, ginger, vanilla extract, and honey to the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer until the milk is very warm and fragrant, approximately 5-6 minutes, then add the tea bags to brew for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and discard the tea bags. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid. Discard the solids and divide two-thirds of the remaining liquid between large (12 ounce) mugs and set aside.
  • Pour the remaining mixture into a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until a nice foam develops. Tip: Make sure the blender cap is properly vented to prevent the hot liquid from exploding. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender.
  • Divide the liquid from the blender among the serving mugs and top off each with a big spoonful of foam. Sprinkle with some ground cinnamon and garnish with a star anise, if desired, and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Please note that this recipe uses WHOLE spices, not ground.
  • Substiute your favorite milk to make this dairy free.
  • Use sugar or sugar substitute in place of honey. Pure maple syrup is also a great substitute for honey.
  • Add a dash of black pepper to the milk with the spices for a bit of spice.
  • This recipe will make two – 12 ounce mugs or four – 8 ounces mugs.

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Blogghetti” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

delicious creamy homemade vanilla chai latte in blue mugs
This vanilla chai latte is my favorite, even over a pumpkin spice latte!

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