How to Make a Masala Chai Latte

How to Make a Masala Chai Latte

Masala Chai is a spicy, comforting, and full-bodied tea that pairs perfectly with frothy milk.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a café-quality Masala chai latte in your own home.


What is Masala Chai?

Masala Chai is a classic Indian spiced black tea. Literally meaning “Spiced Tea” in Hindi, Masala Chai contains Assam black tea and spices such as cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon. Rich, spicy, and slightly sweet, it’s traditionally enjoyed with milk and sugar, but it’s quite tasty on its own as well.

Masala Chai has been around for thousands of years, and it’s still enjoyed daily in India. Traditionally, it’s prepared by simmering the tea and spices in water, then adding sugar, fresh ginger, and milk.

What is a chai latte?

A chai latte consists of concentrated tea, usually Masala Chai, and frothy milk. The tea is brewed in a small amount of water, sweetened, and topped with frothy milk. Compared to the spice-forward notes of the traditional Indian preparation of Masala Chai, a chai latte is subtly spicy and sweet with a creamier texture. American coffee shops started serving chai lattes in the ‘90s, and they’ve been well-loved ever since.

Does a chai latte have coffee in it?

Chai lattes do not contain any coffee. “Chai” means tea and “latte” is Italian for milk, so a chai latte is simply tea and frothy milk. However, most coffee shops offer “dirty chai”, which is a chai latte poured over a shot of espresso.

How to make a Masala Chai Latte at home

Making your own chai latte might be easier than you think. With our recipe, you can make a rich and creamy Masala Chai Latte at home in just five minutes. To get started, you’ll need equipment to measure, steep, and froth–and of course, some great Masala Chai!

Equipment needed to make a Masala Chai Latte

Loose-leaf tea steeper

Our single-serve tea steeper optimizes flavor by providing a high water-to-tea surface ratio. Durable and effective, this steeper provides great-tasting tea time and time again.

Hario scale

The right water-to-tea ratio makes all the difference in the taste of your chai latte. With the quality yet affordable Hario scale, you can weigh your tea and water and keep track of your steep time.

French press

Hario makes one of our favorite french presses for brewing or milk-frothing. Made of metal and glass, this is a french press that will last a lifetime.

Masala Chai Latte recipe

You can make the perfect Masala Chai Latte at home in these five easy steps:

  1. Step 1 - Brew 3g of loose chai in 150g of water for 4 minutes.
  2. Step 2 - Warm up 150g of milk of your choice in the microwave or the stove.
  3. Step 3 - To make the milk frothy, pour the hot milk into a french press and froth for 20 seconds.
  4. Step 4 - Pour your brewed tea into a mug and stir in a little sweetener. 
  5. Step 5 - Add your frothed milk, stir, top with cinnamon, and enjoy!

Masala Chai Latte variations

Looking to spice up your Masala Chai Latte? Try making one of these popular variations.

How to make an iced chai latte

If you’re craving an iced drink to cool you down, try making an iced chai latte. To make an iced Masala Chai Latte, start by brewing 3g of loose Masala Chai in 150g of water for 4 minutes. Add sweetener, then add 150g of cold milk of your choice. Pour over ice, and enjoy!

How to make a dirty chai latte

A dirty chai latte is the perfect balance of bold espresso and a sweet and creamy chai latte. To make a dirty Masala Chai Latte, pull a shot of espresso while your tea steeps. Combine the tea concentration, sweetener, and frothy milk in a pitcher. Pour the espresso shot into a mug, then pour the chai latte over it and top with cinnamon. With practice, you can even create latte art in your dirty chai latte!

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