Learn how to make a homemade, healthy iced chai latte with my easy recipe that uses either tea bags or a concentrate! It’s the perfect cold drink for a tea drinker on a warm day!
This is for all of my tea lovers that can’t bear to give up their brew in the summer.
It’s for those of us that can’t forego our tea, even when’s it’s 90+ degrees out.
Thankfully there’s no need to compromise with my homemade, healthy Iced Chai Latte recipe!
I’ve got three versions for you: Instant, Fast, and Slow.
That way you can choose which to make based on how much time/energy you have on a given day!
And if you’re looking for a hot latte, here’s the non-iced version of this recipe!
Okay, let’s dive in…
Here’s What I’ll Cover in This Post:
- Instant Iced Chai Latte
- Fast Iced Chai Tea Latte
- Slow Iced Chai Latte
- Video Tutorial
- Recipe Card
This is the “instant” version because it really couldn’t be any faster.
Simply pour three ingredients over ice, and you’re ready to go!
Purchasing chai concentrate can get expensive, but it beats the price of stopping at coffee houses every day!
NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. This has zero impact on the price you pay, and it helps to support Buttered Side Up!
- Store bought chai tea concentrate: Thankfully, store-bought chai concentrates are pretty easy to find at the grocery store these days. I personally really like Rishi Masala Chai Concentrate. It’s on the pricy side, but the chai spice flavor is lovely. The downside for me is that it’s a tad too sweet for my tastes. I prefer my homemade version for that aspect. I haven’t tried Tazo chai concentrate or Oregon Chai since they aren’t fair trade to my knowledge.
- Milk: You know I use grass-fed whole milk. You could also substitute oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or your favorite non-dairy milk if you’re sensitive to dairy.
- Cream: Same as above: I use organic, grass-fed whipping cream. NOTE: You can substitute half and half for the milk and cream if desired.
- Ice: I freeze ice in these ice cube trays (they don’t pop out easily) But I’ve seriously considered buying a countertop ice maker. These tiny ice cube trays look promising as well.
Fill you cup about 1/3 full of the chai concentrate.
I like to use this Weck jar (available on Amazon) which is about 11.5 ounces, but a pint mason jar would work as well.
Add about 3-4 ice cubes, depending on how large they are.
Pour a splash of whipping cream on top…
…and finish it off with some whole milk!
And there you have a nearly instant iced chai tea latte.
This version is fairly quick and easy, but it does require you to brew the tea and sweeten it.
The prep time is fairly short, just not as short as the instant version.
- Chai Tea Bags: I know this sounds like a commercial for Rishi, but I also really love their tea bags. It’s the best chai tea I’ve tried. I’ve also used Equal Exchange and Thrive Market chai tea bags: they’re both good, just not as sublime as Rishi. You can also use loose leaf chai tea if you prefer.
- Water: You’ll need to bring your water to a boil. Use filtered water for fluoride and chlorine free water.
- Maple Syrup: I like to sweeten my chai with maple syrup. Feel free to substitute honey, vanilla syrup, or a different sweetener of your choice.
- Vanilla Extract: Please use pure vanilla extract!
Tea Bag Method
For the tea bag method, place 2 tea bags in your cup.
Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the tea bags.
Place a plate on top to trap the heat and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes.
If you steep the tea longer you’ll have a stronger chai flavor, but the tea will also be more bitter.
Squeeze out the tea bags to extract as much flavor as possible.
Loose Leaf Method:
Follow the same recipe for the loose leaf chai tea, but replace the 2 tea bags with 2 rounded teaspoons of loose chai.
Add 3-4 ice cubes to the hot tea.
Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of heavy cream on top.
Add a splash of whole milk or your milk of choice.
You can also use a plant-based milk if you prefer. Oat milk is my personal favorite non-dairy milk for lattes.
This is the “slow” method.
But if you have the time to make a big batch, it will save you time in the long run.
The ingredients for the chai concentrate are exactly the same as the individual serving method. Just in different quantities.
Pour 2 1/2 cups of boiling water into a measuring cup.
Place 13 tea bags into the hot water.
We want this CONCENTRATED.
You can also use 13 rounded teaspoons of loose leaf chai tea instead.
Just make sure to strain the tea out before adding the maple syrup and vanilla.
Discard the tea bags or loose tea, or you could try steeping them a second time with less water.
Speaking of which…pour the chai concentrate into a storage container and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.
And there you have your own chai concentrate!
This fits perfectly in this Weck jar, but if you use 2 cups of water instead of 2 1/2 it should fit into a pint jar nicely. But any airtight container should work.
Wait until it comes to room temperature to store it in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to make yourself a cup of iced chai, simply ladle about 6-8 tablespoons of the concentrate into your cup.
Add ice cubes, whipping cream, whole milk, and you’re good to go!
By the way, you could add a shot of espresso to make an iced dirty chai latte!
What is Chai Tea?
Chai tea is a blend of black tea and spices. Typical chai spices are cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black peppercorns, and sometimes star anise.
It can also be made with green tea, or rooibos tea for a caffeine free version.
Also of note: The word “chai” means “tea” in Hindi, so saying chai tea is redundant and you’re saying tea tea. Masala Chai is the more correct term.
However, in America chai has come to mean a blend of spices, so in US English it isn’t redundant.
What’s in Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte?
Starbucks uses milk, ice, and a chai tea concentrate to make their iced chai tea latte.
The Starbucks chai concentrate contains the following ingredients: Water, Black Tea, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, Natural Flavours, Star Anise, Sugar, Honey, Ginger Juice, Natural Flavours, Vanilla, and Citric Acid.
A Tall has 3 pumps of chai, a Grande has 4 pumps, and a Venti has 6 pumps.
Are Chai Lattes Healthy?
That totally depends on the ingredients that are used! I would not consider a Starbucks iced chai a health food since it’s pretty high in sugar (42 grams in a Venti!). But as far as the ingredients go, they’re actually pretty simple.
To make a healthier version of an iced chai tea latte at home, I like to start with an organic chai tea. That way you can avoid harsh pesticides. Then I sweeten it with maple syrup instead of sugar, and I reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon per serving so it’s not so much sugar. To finish it off, I use grass-fed cream and milk.
My homemade version has about 9 grams of sugar per serving.
How Much Caffeine is in a Chai Latte?
A Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte has 70, 95, and 145 mg of caffeine in a Tall, Grande, and Venti (respectively). Compare that to a Starbucks cold brew coffee with milk: it has 155, 205, and 310 mg of caffeine in a Tall, Grande, and Venti. To put that into perspective, a café latte with 2 shots of espresso has 150 mg of caffeine.
In other words, a Venti iced chai has basically the same amount of caffeine as a latte with 2 shots of espresso.
The amount of caffeine in home brewed tea can vary depending on the variety of tea and how long it’s steeped. But the caffeine level in my recipe should be around 60-70 mg.
How Many Calories in an Iced Chai Latte?
If you’re talking about Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte, a tall (12 ounces) has 180 calories, a Grande (16 ounces) has 240 calories, and a Venti (24 ounces) has 350 calories.
My homemade version has 175 calories in a single recipe.
Cold Drinks Recipes:
- Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
- Mocha Frappuccino
- Iced Matcha Latte
- Sparkling Strawberry Jasmine Green Tea
- Starbucks Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade
- Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Recipe (Starbucks Copycat)
Hot Drinks Recipes:
- Hot Chai Latte Recipe (Starbucks Copycat)
- Dirty Chai Latte Recipe
- Oat Milk Latte
- Matcha Cocoa
- Homemade Earl Grey Tea Latte
- Matcha Latte
- Sugar Free Matcha Latte
- Spiced Apple Tea Latte
- How to Make a Mocha Latte
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
Healthy Iced Chai Tea Latte
- ½ cup premade chai concentrate
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ice cubes to fill
- 2 chai tea bags (or 2 tsp loose leaf chai tea)
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3-4 ice cubes
- 13 chai tea bags (or 13 tsp loose leaf chai tea)
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 tbsp + ½ tsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3-4 ice cubes
For the Instant Version:
Place all ingredients into a glass. Shake well and enjoy!
For the Fast Version:
Place the tea bags or loose leaf chai tea (in a tea steeper) in a heat proof cup. Pour the boiling water on top. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. The longer you steep it the more flavor will the extracted, but it will also be more bitter.
Squeeze out the tea bags. Add the maple syrup and vanilla to the cup.
Place 3-4 ice cubes in the hot tea. Pour the cream and milk on top. Shake or stir to cool everything evenly. Enjoy!
For the Slow Version:
Pour the boiling water into a heat proof measuring cup. Add the tea bags or loose leaf tea to the hot water. Cover and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. The longer you steep it the more flavor will the extracted, but it will also be more bitter.
Squeeze out the tea bags or strain the loose leaf tea out. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well. Pour into a storage container and store in the fridge once it's completely cooled.
To make an iced latte with the concentrate, pour 6-8 tablespoons into your cup. Add the cream and milk. Add ice cubes to fill. Shake or stir to cool everything evenly. Enjoy!
Updated on February 8, 2023