Iced Chai (Tea) Latte

5 from 5 votes

If you are looking for an iced chai (tea) latte that has flavor like traditional masala chai, this easy recipe is for you to try! A flavorful iced chai will be ready in 10 minutes.

Top view of a glass of iced chai.

This flavorful, creamy iced chai latte recipe is the cup of chai I always wish I can order at Starbucks or any other coffee shop on a warm day but I’m always disappointed when I do.

You see, I grew up drinking chai and the versions sold in stores taste well, weak, and watery to me.  There’s nothing wrong if you like those versions, but just know that this recipe does not look to emulate those.

This is recipe for:

This recipe is for others like me who want robust, real chai flavors to come through.  

It’s also for those who started out with Starbucks Iced Chai and want to explore or try out a more flavorful version of chai drinks.

I know that taste is subjective and chai taste is personal but I think there must be others who want a stronger chai flavor 🙂

Glass of iced chai tea latte.

Other drinks you may be interested in Iced coffee with cardamom, Dirty Chai Latte Recipe, Coffee Chai, Dutch Bros Christmas Morning Chai, Chocolate Chai, Rose Chai, Biscoff Chai, and Mint Chai

Why You Will Love This Iced Chai

FLAVOR! | You will get a cup of iced chai that actually has the taste of spices.  Try mine as a base and then adjust to the strength and spices/flavor notes you prefer

No need to wait for your caffeine fix |    You can pour over ice and enjoy right away

Save money |  This homemade version is a great way to make the perfect drink tweaked to your preferences and save money spent on Starbucks iced chai latte.

Boiled masala chai in a steel pot.
Rich, delicious, and terra cotta colored chai.

How Is This Different?

After MANY experiments and failures here are the three key factors I kept playing with that made a difference:

➜Ratio of Ingredients: The strength of a chai latte largely depends on the ratio of tea concentrate to milk and ice.  The problem with coffee shop versions is usually too much water which ends up tasting like cinnamon water with a hint of milk!

Also, a cold chai needs more spice, sugar, and tea than a warm chai for the flavors to come through.

➜Brewing Method: Traditional chai preparation involves simmering tea leaves and spices together to extract their flavors fully.

A delicious Chai Masala Blend:  Indian families keep chai spices ground and ready to go for a daily cup of chai.  This blend of spices can vary from household to household and can be adjusted to the flavor notes you personally love to make the perfect spiced tea.

 Note, people do sometimes use whole spices and I like to add in fresh ginger or mint leaves dependent on my mood.  

Masala chai powder surrounded by its ingredients.

Want to make hot masala chai?  Try this version of chai made with oat milk.  I’ll try to get a traditional version with dairy milk up soon!

Ingredients

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Ingredients for iced chai tea latte.

CTC Assam Tea: Wagh Bakri (CTC Assam Tea) is a popular brand of tea which I personally use, and using loose tea leaves adds a rich and authentic flavor to your chai. The tea leaves are usually a blend of Assam and Darjeeling teas, which provide a strong and robust base for the beverage.

Learn more about CTC tea.  You can also use black tea bags.  Tetley tea bags are a popular choice amongst Indian households.

Chai Masala Powder: Chai masala is a blend of various spices commonly used in traditional Indian chai. It typically includes spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black peppercorns. Adding chai masala powder infuses the drink with a warm and aromatic complexity, making it distinctly flavorful.

➜Whole Milk: Milk is a crucial component of a chai latte, providing creaminess and body to the beverage. You can use dairy milk or a non-dairy, plant-based milk alternative like almond, soy, or coconut milk, depending on your dietary preferences.

➜Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the chai latte. The amount of sugar you add can be adjusted to your taste. No simple syrup is needed here.  You can substitute with honey or maple syrup if that is your preference.

A white, gold rimmed bowl with a spoonful of CTC black tea.

CTC Tea Vs Tea Bags

CTC Tea: I like using Wagh Bakri chai, which is a CTC tea. This type of tea is favored for making chai.

CTC tea stands for “Crush, Tear, Curl” tea. It is a type of tea production method and refers to the process by which the tea leaves are processed and prepared.

CTC tea is known for its strong and robust flavor, making it a popular choice for making strong black teas

Black tea bags:  Growing up, we often used Tetley tea bags at home and it was very commonly used by, well, all the other Indian families I knew.  This was before quality CTC and Indian groceries were as easily available as they are today.  

How To Make Iced Chai

Place a pot on the stove on medium heat and add water, whole milk, chai masala powder, sugar, and tea.

Water, sugar, chai masala, and tea leaves in a pot.

Next add the milk and let it come to a rolling boil.

Brewing pot of masala chai.

In about 3 minutes the chai will begin to boil and produce foam. The foam will rise to the top, before it reaches the top turn down the heat. Keep heat on medium or a notch below medium to let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Keep an eye on it and reduce the heat in time so it doesn’t spill over

Foaming pot of chai.
Let chai heat up to a rolling boil.
Chai boiling towards top of pot.
As the foam reaches near the top, turn down the gas temperature so it doesn’t overflow.

Use a spoon or silicon spatula to scrape the sides of the pot so the tea stuck to the sides is mixed back in.  Let it simmer on medium-low for 4-5 minutes.

You will get a rich, terra cotta-colored chai.  Turn off the gas and remove pot from the stove.

(If you want to taste for desired sweetness level, this is the time to try).

Deep colored chai in a pot.

Sieve through a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to press down on the tea leaves to get all that flavor out!

Sieve over a measuring cup.
Sieve chai through a fine mesh strainer.
Spoon with chai leaves.
Use a spoon to press down on the tea leaves to get that strong chai flavor out.

It makes just about once cup of creamy chai. Depending on your gas temperature and how long you boil it, it may be a little more or less.

Measuring cup filled with one cup of masala chai.
Makes just under a cup of chai.
Top view of a measuring cup filled with chai.
Deep tan colored masala chai!

Make Iced Chai

Take a glass and add ice cubes.  Pour the chai mixture over ice and enjoy.

Overhead shot of an iced chai made at home.

Feel free to customize the tea, milk, spices, and sugar proportions to suit your taste preferences. 

Making your own iced chai latte at home allows you to have control over the ingredients and create a beverage that’s perfect for you.

 If you want to make your own chai concentrate that tastes stronger than store-bought ones, stay tuned as I’m working on a homemade chai concentrate!

In this drink, the delicious warm spices come through and you get the strong chai flavor you are accustomed to!

Glass of iced chai latte.

Cleaning the Pot

I use a Hawkins brand pot for chai. It is stainless steel, has a heavy bottom, and a pouring spout. It’s a popular brand in India and available here in the US.

Hawkins chai pot.
Hawkins brand chai pot I use.
Dirty chai pot.
Act quick to make cleaning your chai pot easy.

Here are some quick tips to help you clean the pot effectively:

  1. Rinse Immediately: After you’ve finished boiling chai, rinse the pot with hot water immediately. This helps prevent tea stains and residue from sticking to the pot’s surface.

  1. Use a Soft Cloth or Sponge: Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the inside of the pot. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers, as they can damage the pot’s surface.

3. Scorched pot:  If the pot is scorched with a dark spot, using Ajax is an effective solution.

Remember, the key to effectively cleaning a pot after boiling chai is to act promptly, at least rinsing and soaking the pot to prevent sticking. 

Tall glass of iced chai latte.

Just Say Chai

Notice the tea in the Iced Chai (tea) latte is in parenthesis?  Do you know why? Because chai means tea.  So, no one wants to go around saying tea tea right? 🙂

Starbucks has decided to use the word chai as a type of tea, which has created confusion everywhere.

What they are really trying to refer to is Masala Chai, masala means spice and chai means tea. 

The Starbucks version is a mellow version of masala chai (using a watery Tazo chai concentrate.

Glass of iced chai.

Summary Tips

Use a good CTC tea – it makes a difference in the flavor and doesn’t turn bitter while boiling.  

Keep an eye on – It’s a pretty quick process, but you do have to play with the heat to ensure it doesn’t spill over and that it continues to simmer

Keep chai masala powder handy – You can certainly use whole spices but this Indian spice blend makes the process easy and its what most households use on a daily basis.  Feel free to adjust or add extra fresh slices of ginger, mint leaves, or even rose petals to make it yours.

Have you tried this iced chai recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Top view of a glass of iced chai.

Better Than Starbucks Iced Chai (Tea) Latte

Shilpa Joshi
If you are looking for an iced chai (tea) latte that has flavor like traditional masala chai, this easy recipe is for you to try! A flavorful iced chai will be ready in 10 minutes.
5 from 5 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 1 chai
Calories 229 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pot
  • 1 tea strainer
  • 1 glass

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp chai masala powder See notes for a small batch version or click link for more information and larger batch. See post for more details.
  • 1 tbsp sugar sugar enhances the taste of the spices in a cold drink
  • 2 tsp loose-leaf tea I use CTC tea – Wagh Bakri. You can substitute black tea bags, such as 2 Tetley tea bags.
  • cup whole milk Dairy milk works best. Plant-based milks can work but will result in a watery consistency.

Instructions
 

  • Add water, whole milk, chai masala powder, sugar, and tea to pot on medium-high heat. Let it come to rolling boil.
  • In about 3 minutes the chai will begin to boil and produce foam. The foam will rise to the top, before it reaches the top turn down the heat. I like to let it rise twice by turning the heat up then back down. Use a spoon or silicon spatula to scrape the sides of the pot so the tea stuck to the sides is mixed back in.  Then, keep heat on medium or a notch below medium to let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • You'll get a rich, terra cotta color chai.
  • Turn off gas and strain tea. Use a spoon to press down on the tea leaves to get all that flavor out!
  • Add ice to a glass and pour chai over it. Optionally top with whipped cream.

Notes

Link to chai pot and type of tea I use.
See post for more details and tips on cleaning the pot.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 119mgPotassium: 458mgSugar: 27gVitamin A: 494IUCalcium: 377mgIron: 0.01mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love hearing from you! Submit your question or recipe review here.

If you loved this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating when you comment. Your ratings help others discover these dishes online, and they mean a lot to me! Thanks for your support! 🌟

Sincerely,
Shilpa

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried this tea today with almond milk! Absolutely the best recipe out there! Full of flavor and benefits! A little goes a long way! I also made the chai powder but added turmeric, which I love!

    1. Hi Tracy – Thanks so much for letting me know! Happy to hear you enjoyed it and made it your own, too! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Got your newsletter this AM and had to try this right away, loved it! I love a kadak chai and am always grossed out by watery iced chais at the shops. This was great thanks!!