Smell the aroma of a homemade chai latte. A recipe using whole ingredients: cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cardamom, star anises, peppercorns, cloves and milk. The brilliant taste of warm spices tickle the taste buds and create a delightful cozy feeling while watching the snow flakes fall!
I was first introduced to a homemade chai latte through my friend Robbie. He brought our office staff each a cup of warm flavoured milk which turned out to be a homemade chai tea latte made with whole ingredients.
When I asked about the process in creating the tasty chai, he told me it entailed a combination of crushed spices and then steeping it like tea on the stovetop. Near the end right before serving milk is added.
To use strong flavourful spices can be an intimidating endeavour. So, making chai from scratch using whole spices was beautifully fearful.
I have tasted Starbucks chai tea latte, and Waves, a local coffee chains’ chai tea latte. But none of these compared to the flavour-filled experience of a homemade chai tea latte. Not forgetting to mention the health benefits of wholesome spices without the added preservatives and hidden sugars.
It is worthwhile trying things that seem challenging, because the outcome is so rewarding. In this case, making chai tea latte from whole spices is actually very easy to do. Once you have tried it yourself, you will continue making chai tea lattes this way for the rest of time.
When you are craving some delicious chai flavours, pull out the following whole spices from your spice cabinet:
- cinnamon sticks
- cardamom pods
- star anises, and
Begin by adding water to a small pot on your stovetop. Turn up the heat to bring the water to a boil.
While the water is heating, add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anises.
Crush the cardamom pods and peppercorns to better release their flavours while it steeps. To do this, hold the knife on its side so that the width of the blade is directly over the whole spice. With one hand in a fist (that will be the right hand for most), pound the top of the left hand to apply force to the top of the blade. This should crush the spices easily. The whole spices might need to be crushed individually. Apply a few deft blows to bring this about!
Add the crushed spices and diced ginger to the boiling water.
When the water reaches boiling point, turn heat down to a slow, soft boil.
Let the spices steep for at least 10 minutes. To get intense flavour, the spices could steep on a slow boil for several hours. Just keep an eye on the water level and top up as necessary.
To proceed with the delicious chai tea latte, add milk to the pot and allow for a slow and steady boil for another 10 minutes (the milk must be piping hot).
Pour the chai into a cup using a strainer to catch any whole spices.
Enjoy this delicious homemade chai tea latte and remember to add notes to the recipe to adjust quantities for more enhanced flavours next time you prepare a delightful cup of chai tea latte.
Homemade Chai Tea Latte Recipe
The equipment I used for this receipt is a small pot, strainer, knife and cutting board.
If you don’t have a strainer, you could look around your local thrift store for a small strainer. Or purchase a strainer here.
If you are in the market for new pots that are excellent quality, consider the line of Zwilling pots and pans. We love ours!
Homemade Chai Tea Latte
- Cutting Board
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 10 peppercorns crushed
- 10 cardamon pods cracked
- 1 inch ginger sliced
- 8 cloves whole
- 1 cinnamon stick 3-4 inches
- 3 star anises
- 2 tbs looseleaf tea or 1-2 tea bags
- 2 cups milk
- 5 tbs sugar or honey
- Add water to pot on stovetop to heat up to a boil
- Crush peppercorns
- Crack cardamom pods
- Slice ginger
- Add peppercorns, cardamom pods, and ginger to water
- Add rest of whole ingredients: cloves, cinnamon and star anise to water
- Add looseleaf tea to tea bag, add to pot to steep with other ingredients
- Once water reaches a boiling point, turn stove to a low bowl and let spices steep for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add milk to pot and continue low heat for another 10 minutes (or until milk is warmed). Stir occasionally.
- Optional: add honey or sugar to desired sweetness
- Strain tea latte with a strainer as you pour into cups
Watch me make a homemade chai latte
Other Christmas recipes
While sipping a lovely chai tea latte, consider preparing for some Christmas Cookie Exchange. I recently discovered my great Grandmother, Ouma Bab’s gingerbread cookie recipe. Soft and chewy its packed with winter flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest. Get the full recipe here.