I can admit that I spend an obscene amount of money on Starbucks, in particular on matcha green tea and chai tea lattes. The chai lattes at Starbucks are so flavourful and deliciously spiced that I find myself craving them on the daily.
Other than the price tag, my other issue with the Starbucks chai lattes is the sweetness. A grande chai tea latte made with almond milk contains 42 grams of sugar!! For reference, 1 teaspoon of sugar weighs 4 grams, therefore a grande contains 10 ½ tsp of sugar.
The only time I can remember having homemade chai tea lattes was at my friends’ house back in high school. Their dad whipped it up with a handful of spices and I remember thinking huh, seems simple enough, but I could never make it as good as the cafes do. Well think again!
This week I made it my mission to craft a copycat Starbucks chai tea latte recipe. First, I tracked down the ingredients used in the Starbucks version, which includes: Milk, Water, Chai Tea Concentrate [An Infusion Of (Water, Black Tea, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, Natural Flavours, Star Anise), Sugar, Honey, Ginger Juice, Natural Flavours, Vanilla, Citric Acid].1
Then, I went out to my local bulk store to pick up some spices and tea bags – although was disappointed that they carried what seemed like every other tea variety except regular black tea bags! What’s nice about purchasing spices at the bulk store is you can purchase only the quantity you need for your recipe, especially if they’re not commonly used in other dishes.
After that I got into the kitchen and started playing around with the quantities and ratios of spices, and voila, this recipe was created.
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 2 English Breakfast tea bags
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 thin slices of ginger
- 3 dried star anise
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 cardamom pods
- 12 whole dried cloves
- 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Non-dairy milk of choice – I’ve used both almond and oat and they both tasted great
Chai Tea Concentrate
- In a small saucepan, add all of the ingredients except for the vanilla and milk. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, transfer the slices of ginger to a blender and add a splash of water – I recommend using a single-serve blender like a Nutri-Bullet, otherwise the small volume might be hard to blend. Blend until the ginger is finely minced then transfer the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Simmer for another 7-10 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the chai latte concentrate into a mason jar for storage.
Chai Latte Assembly
- Add equal parts chai latte concentrate and non-dairy milk to a glass with a handful of ice. Stir and enjoy!