Iced Chai Latte

Make Iced Chai Lattes at home! This simple method uses cold-steeped chai, honey syrup, and milk. Make a big batch and enjoy it all week long!

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Photography Credit: Emma Christensen

Last summer, I was all about cold brew coffee. This summer, my obsession is iced chai lattes. And my friends, I am deeply obsessed.

The size (and frequency) of my batches seems to have become larger and larger as the summer has progressed. At first, I was just drinking one or two glasses in the morning. And then another glass in the afternoon started to seem perfectly reasonable.

When I switched from water glasses to pint glasses, I knew I was in trouble.

Iced Chai Tea Latte Iced Chai Tea LatteI take a fairly simple, uncomplicated approach to my iced chai — minimum effort for maximum payout.

I like cold-steep my tea for at least a few hours, though sometimes I leave it all day. The beauty of cold-steeping is that the tea stays mellow and smooth even if you forget about it for a while. (There are Quick Steeping directions below if you need your iced chai a little more urgently.)

I think four bags of tea per quart of water makes a nicely spicy cup of iced chai. I recommend starting there, but if you think you’d like your chai lighter or stronger, just adjust the number of tea bags as needed.

Iced Chai Tea LatteI sweeten my chai lattes with a quick honey syrup made of equal parts honey and water. A syrup like this mixes more easily into the tea than straight honey.

You could mix the syrup with the full batch of chai once it’s finished steeping, but I prefer to mix them in the glass. That way I can adjust the sweetness to my taste, or to the taste of any guests who happen to wander by in need of a cool, refreshing beverage.

Iced Chai Tea LatteTop off your glass of iced chai with as much or as little milk as you like. Creaminess is a highly personal decision. I like to use whole milk, but 2% milk, almond milk, or coconut milk are all lovely.

One final thought: If you like to sip your iced tea slowly and don’t want it to get watered down with ice cubes, make an extra batch of chai and freeze it into ice cubes!

Iced Chai Latte Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Steeping time: 4 to 12 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings

Double this recipe for more servings. The honey syrup and prepared chai will both keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Quick Steeping: If you need to speed up the steeping process, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat, and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely.

Homemade Chai Blend: If you prefer to make your own chai blend instead of using tea bags, follow the instructions above for Quick Steeping and use the blend of black tea and spices recommended in this recipe for Homemade Chai.

Ingredients

For the iced chai:

  • 4 tea bags of chai
  • 1 quart water

For the honey syrup:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water

To serve:

  • Milk, any kind

Method

1 Steep the tea: Combine the tea and water in a quart-sized jar.

Cover and let steep at room temperature for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. The tea will become stronger and more infused the longer it stands.

2 Make the honey syrup: Combine the honey and water in a small glass container. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the honey.

Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed. (Honey syrup will keep for about a week.)

3 Remove the tea bags: Once the tea has infused to your liking, remove the tea bags. The tea is ready to be used immediately, or cover and refrigerate for a week or more.

4 Assemble an iced chai latte: Place a few ice cubes in a glass. Pour 1 to 3 teaspoons of honey syrup over the ice cubes. Fill the glass with a cup or so of iced chai and top with as much milk as you like.

Stir to combine and taste. Add more honey syrup or milk, if desired.

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Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the managing editor for Simply Recipes, as well as a food writer and homebrewing expert. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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Iced Chai Tea Latte

Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • ADRIAN HILL

    Sipping this right now in 90 degree weather, trying to muster the energy to make another batch for tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipe! I used a little half and half… It’s wonderful.

  • Liz

    I’m a little late here but read the post and then was inspired to dig through my recipes and find this concentrate recipe. Can’t remember where I found it and it was before I started including a link, but:

    4 1/2 cups boiling water
    1 stick cinnamon
    1 finger sized piece of fresh ginger chopped (I muddle it also to release the oils)
    7 whole cardamom pods
    2 whole star anise
    10 whole cloves
    4-8 black peppercorns
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp orange zest (I often don’t have an orange and leave this out)
    10 tsp or bags tea (I use rooibos which is naturally decaf but I think has a good “tea” flavor)
    1/3 cups brown sugar (original recipe calls for 2/3 cups which I think is too sweet)
    1 T Honey
    1 T Vanilla

    I pour water over all and let steep for 20-30 minutes, remove teabags and refrigerate for 8 hours with the spices. Then strain. 1 part concentrate and 1 part milk or to taste.

  • Arjun

    You need to try ṭhanḍai instead of iced chai.

  • Judy Stenson

    I’ve been making iced chai tea for a couple of years, but never thought to cold brew it. I’m going to try that next time. Instead of adding milk, I use a non-dairy French vanilla creamer. It works better for those of us with a dairy intolerance.

  • Sandy S

    Thank You Emma! I keep ‘sun-tea’ of one kind or another going all summer long in 3 tall glass pitchers I inherited from my mother. 1 is for ‘making’, 1 is for cooling, and 1 is for drinking! I have a pitcher of you chai latte ‘making’ right now on a sunny porch step. Can’t wait to try it! Thank for the tip on the honey syrup. Good to know. I make ‘tea ice cubes’ for my iced tea. They might be good to add to the iced chai, too?! My other current favorite this summer is iced peppermint/green tea with simple syrup. Cheers!

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