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How to Make the Perfect Tea Latte

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a huge tea nerd. If I was forced to choose between never eating again and never drinking green tea again… I would have to think hard about that decision.

The funny thing about this chai latte is that it uses simple, inexpensive Tazo tea (in a tea bag, no less!) for the best results. Oh sure, I’ve tried all the top first flush Darjeelings and Assams perfectly spiced with cardamom. And you know what? They make terrible lattes. There’s something about this simple Tazo tea that has the perfect blend of spices. (Note: Tazo is Starbucks’ brand and it’s easy to find in most grocery stores or Starbucks locations.)

We’re using chai for this tea latte, but you can easily substitute your favorite tea (matcha, earl grey, rooibos, or others) and the process will work the same.



  • 1 teabag (Tazo Chai)
  • 2 parts (8 oz) non-dairy milk
  • 1 part (4 oz) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • A pinch cinnamon (optional)

In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll also need a saucepan, a mini-whisk (a fork will work), and something to strain the loose tea out of the liquid (any type of strainer will work).

Step One: Heat

In a saucepan, combine the non-dairy milk and water. Heat the mixture until it begins to simmer, but stir regularly and definitely don’t let it boil.

It is important to use 2 parts milk and 1 part water for the right consistency. If you’re making a larger latte, simply keep these ratios consistent. I like to use soy milk for tea lattes, but feel free to use almond, rice, etc.

Step Two: Combine

Break open the teabag and pour the loose tea into the pan. This is hugely important. If you simply set the teabag into the water, the milk is too thick to penetrate the walls and you’re left with very weak tea lacking virtually any of the spices. Whisk the tea and allow it to simmer for about 2 minutes over the heat.


Step Three: Brew

Then, remove from the heat and let sit for 4-5 minutes to give the tea even longer to brew. At this point, add in the agave, vanilla, and (if you’re making a chai latte) a pinch of cinnamon to boost the spiciness.

Step Four: Strain

Using some kind of a strainer, pour the tea into a cup and strain out the tea leaves. There are many strainers purposely built for tea (see the picture), but you can probably use any kitchen strainer with small enough holes to catch the leaves.


tea latte


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  1. Love this recipe!
    I want to make this like right now but i have to buy chai tea first 🙂
    Can i substitute the non dairy milk for regular milk?

  2. Wonderful! I made this substituting what I had available – almond milk and raw honey. Perfect! Also – I’ve tried your Cashew Macaroni & your Cauliflower Alfredo recipes. All great! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Would it work if you used those metal balls with holes in them (tea brew ball) for step 2, or does it need to be loose and free flowing?

    • Hi Kimmy, I have one of those myself and that would probably work. I do like letting the tea float free around the water, but you probably wouldn’t lose too much of the flavor if it was inside the ball. Thanks for asking – that’s a great question.

  4. I love this recipe! I’ve used it twice so far. My finest (and only) strainer wasn’t quite small-holed enough to strain the small bits, and I didn’t have coffee filters, so I lined the strainer with paper towels instead and it worked well. (I do think coffee filters or a finer strainer would work better, though.)

  5. I should read all the way through an article before I ask questions Haha, anyways, were really trying to get a blueberry tea latte to work and this method is probably the best I’ve seen but the tea still doesn’t concentrate enough. Do you think that grinding the leaves to the fine consistency of the Tazo ones would help? Because thats about the only thing I haven’t tried so far…

    • Hmm, I can totally understand the lack of concentration, especially if you’re using loose leaf tea. That’s happened to me as well. I would either double the amount of tea as you would normally use (like 2 teaspoons per 8 oz of liquid), increase the steeping time, and/or give grinding the leaves a shot.

  6. I can’t wait to try this out tomorrow morning! I just have a couple of questions though. First is, does the amount of tea bags used vary with the type of tea? like green vs. black and so on. And the other is, can I use my french press in replace of a strainer? Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Krystina! Generally, you would use the same amount of tea no matter which type you use. And yes, that’s a great idea – a french press should work perfectly to strain the tea. 🙂

      • I made the latte with an apple lemon pomegranate rooibos tea that I had and it tasted pretty amazing! Only thing is I think the tea I chose gave it a slightly funny aftertaste BUT it tastes sooo good so I think I’lll get over it. 😛 Thanks again for sharing this 🙂

        • Great! Yeah I haven’t tried it with herbals or flavored teas, I could definitely imagine aftertaste issues with those. I mostly use chai, darjeeling, or matcha green tea. If you are using an herbal, a plain rooibos might be best, but I’m glad you liked it!

  7. Just made with with licorice spice tea. So good! I’ve also done it with chai with cocoa powder added as well. A fantastic chocolate Chai! Thanks for posting.

    • Licorice spice tea? That sounds incredible. And chocolate chai? Why haven’t I thought of that?! High five, Kyle – it sounds like you’re crushing it in the tea latte department. 🙂

    • Perfect! And wow, I love the chocolate chai idea! I’m trying that asap. Thanks so much for the shoutout, Elizabeth! 🙂

    • Hi Jena! I have actually never tried this iced, but I bet it would be fantastic. To do that, I’d made it with a little less water, allow it to cool slightly, and then add an equal amount of ice cubes back in at the end to chill.

  8. Oh my gosh! Just made a harrod’s earl grey tea latte and it was delicious! I can honestly say it was better than some of the tea lattes I’ve gotten out there. Thank you bunches for your recipe! Can’t wait for my next homemade tea latte! 😛

  9. I am so so glad that I have found this recipe!! I made the latte with homemade almond milk, sweetened with coconut sugar and honey,- Also, I ground and spiced the tea a little bit… It is strong and creamy enough as I like it… Simply Divine!! Thanks again!

  10. Thank you for the very clear, easy directions! Where do you suggest to but the tea strainer you have in the picture?

    • Hi Amy! Any type of strainer will likely work. One like this can easily be found online (search: tea strainer) or in most mega-marts. A simple, cheap strainer often works best!

  11. Hi!
    I was wondering if I made this in a big batch and refrigerated it and re-heated it later would that work, or should I adjust the recipe to accommodate for that?

    • Hi Anna, I think that would be fine. I can’t imagine you would need to change the proportions or anything if making a larger batch.

  12. Wouldn’t normally feel constrained to comment BUT after looking at a number of (way too many ingredients) chai latte recipes I thought no way could this simple basic version do it justice. I am sooooooo over the moon. Turned out better than the “pros” and I used a french press/bodum/carafe to strain. Bless you…. I’d stay longer but gonna go make me another cup!!

  13. I’m commenting on everything of yours because you are amazing! I cannot stop reading all your recipes :3
    I have a perfect chocolate chai tea which I am going to use to make this tonight 😀 Ahhhh, I’m so excited 😀

  14. Thank you for this recipe! You’re amazing. I used to just brew tea and add milk but last night, I tried your method and it’s way better. I didn’t have chai tea on hand but I had loose tea from Nepal to which I added vanilla and cinnamon– it was good. I might just be using up all the tea in my pantry and experiment on different flavors! 🙂 Thanks again!

    • I’m so glad you liked this recipe, Claire! I bet it was great with the Nepali tea and spices. Yum! Have fun experimenting 🙂

  15. Hi Andrew, thank you for your post! It is winter here in Australia and it’s got me pining for tea lattes. As luck would have it I bought 2 boxes of tazo chai from my last USA holiday, I think I know how I’d want to use them up now!
    Cheers, Kat

  16. no no no, we are not TEA NERDS!!!! We are TEA CONASERS , altho this dyslexic person can’t spell the word so even spell check knows what i’m hope you understand. don’t let others or ourselves call us nerds or snobs just because we even bring our own tea bag to restaurants. we just know what is truly good because we consume a lot of tea!!!!

  17. Oh my goodness, I’m so excited to try this! I LOVE Chai Tea lattes, but I HATE that everyone makes them with some syrupy-nonsense. I can hardly wait to try this. =D

    • I know! I hate how the coffee chains use chai syrup (what is that anyways??) and then you can’t get them unsweetened because the chai-flavored syrup itself has a million grams of sugar… *sigh* But at least there’s hope with this recipe! 🙂

  18. WOW, Andrew this is awesome Chi Tea! I was one that visited Starbucks often paying 4.50 for my Chi Tea. I also purchased the liquid syrup concentrate that’s full of SUGAR! Well I got on a whole foods diet and have not been to Starbucks for over 130 days and no more carb filled surup stuff!! I made a chi tea concentrate that was really good but it requires all the spices separate and takes a bit more time, but VERY good! Recipie here…

    But yours is so much more simplified for those that do not want to take the time to locate all of those ingredients! It’s also just as good. I like to make a lot at a time to have on hand so this is what I did.

    8 Tea Bags
    8 Cups coconut/almond Milk
    3 1/2 cups Water (I like my tea more concentrated) but find myself adding more milk to each cup
    1 Vanilla Bean (cause I had it on hand)
    1/2 cup raw Honey
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon (I love cinnimon and always add extra)
    It is amazing Yummy!! Thank you so much for this post!! Found it by Google search.

    • Why thank you, Angela! 🙂 That’s such a cool idea to make your own homemade concentrate! And I really appreciate you sharing your version of the recipe here – a real vanilla bean would be incredible in this!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It is so nice to have a something simple to follow, and not go out and buy all the spices that so many other recipies require.

    But for the next time, I think I’ll skip the vanilla. I find it a little bit too much. But hey, everyone’s got a different preference 🙂

    And again, thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! I’ll definentely check out the rest for your recipies 🙂

  20. A much simpler way is to use the 1 part water to make a small amount of strong tea and then mix it with 2 parts milk, steamed.

    No splitting open tea bags, saucepans, or straining are needed.

  21. Thank you so much for this recipe! Although it seems simple, I have never thought of opening the tea bag and steeping it that way, made all the difference! It has all the color and flavor of a real chai, that’s lacking when you leave it in the bag. This is a big money saver for people like me who are addicted to chai, but never figured out the right way to make it at home!!:)

  22. Best chai latte recipe I’ve found! Thanks so much. I made a syrup out of coconut sugar and used a little of that in place of the agave, along with the vanilla almond milk I’ve made.

    On another note, cheese cloth works really well if you don’t have a fine enough sieve on hand!

  23. I tried this tonight with a Mighty Leaf bag of decaf Earl Grey. So flavorful, it’s great! I’m going to love trying this formula with all the other kinds of teas I have.

    I’m also glad I stumbled onto your website (considering all I did was google “brewing tea in soy milk”). Your 1-ingredient mantra is spot on and, even though I’m not a vegan, I have cut out all dairy from my diet. It’s tough though when just about everything delicious HAS to have milk, cream, and/or butter in them. So I’m loving that all your delicious-looking recipes are dairy-free! Keep up the great work!

  24. this is a WONDERFUL recipe! just made with celestial teahouse dirty chai, with a pinch of turkish vanilla powder,, and it is just fantastic! thank you so much.

  25. This is awesome! This can be my new bedtime reading companion. Thank you so much for this! I found it while checking out your tomato and chickpea curry recipe. I will make both for a comfort food dinner tonight.

    Again, thanks!!!

  26. Excited to try this, one question though: Do you stop whisking @ step 2 after you whisk the tea in? Do you just let it sit in the simmer for the 2 mins or keep whisking during that time? I wasn’t clear on that. Thanks!

    • Hi Tina, sorry for the late reply. That’s not a huge deal, just whisk occasionally after you add the tea and it should be fine!

  27. LOVED this recipe so much; thank you!! I’m trying to give up coffee because of stomach issues. This latte was so yummy, without all of the tummy trouble

  28. Was looking for a good chai latte recipe, seeing all the good reviews about this one I have to try it out today!
    Would you mind me sharing it on my blog if I like it? (with credit and all)

    • Hi Kirsty, definitely! All my stuff is licensed under creative commons so you’re welcome to share anything with proper attribution.

  29. I was so excited to find your recipe Andrew. I am definitely not a TEA NERD; I’ve never been a fan of just plain tea. But then I tried a Chai Tea Latte with soy milk at Starbucks and I was hooked!! But I’m sure they load those babies up with a TON of sugar so I’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe I could make at home. My husband bought me some loose leaf Chai Tea leaves at a coffee shop in Pittsburgh yesterday and then I came across your recipe today; great timing! 🙂 I am drinking my new favorite homemade Chai Tea Latte as I’m commenting on your recipe right now! I used a Coconut/Almond milk blend. Thank you for the wonderful and extremely EASY recipe!

  30. This is amazing! I tried it with Trader Joe’s harvest tea, almond milk and maple syrup because that’s what I had. It was awesome! The 2:1 milk to water ratio is what really makes it perfect. Thanks for this! PS I pulled the reusable basket filter from my coffee maker and used that to strain the latte. : )

  31. I brewed a cup this morning and must agree that this was awesome! The 2:1 ratio makes all the difference. I used an almond/coconut milk blend with agave and added a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Deliciousness!

  32. So first of all I want to say that I love Chai tea lattes, and I tried to make it using like the powdered stuff, but it just wasn’t the same. So I got some loose leaf chai and with all these great reviews I am definitely trying this recipe tonight. However I like my lattes nice and frothy and i’m just trying to figure out how to include frothing the milk into your steeping strategy, because I have to choose between flavor and froth, obviously i have to go with flavor. But hey, I just going to see if i could get both.

  33. I just made this. I have too admit I was skeptical but it turned out spectacular. Strong tea flavor, pleasant vanilla undertone, and somehow creamy and smooth. I used almond milk even though I usually prefer half and half. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  34. Great recipe! I’ve tried to make my own chai latte before but it was never strong enough. Now I know to dump the tea out of the bag. Such a simple hack that makes all the difference. I also frothed it with a small hand-held frother and it was like a cup of Christmas cheer. 🙂

    • Well, you’d probably want to froth the milk afterwords. Maybe make the tea stronger with unfrothed milk and then add some frothed milk at the end.

      • Hello, i find this recipe and it seems quite easy for beginner. If i want to turn it into lavender tea latte, on which part i should add the herb?
        And is there any different with the flavor if you use froth milk or not?
        Thank you

        • Hi May, sure you could add herbs. I’d suggest adding and straining them along with the tea itself. Frothed milk is great if you can do it, but not necessary. 🙂

  35. I love tea lattes but all i have at home is teavanan tea- maherjia chai oolong samarai chai mate flavor. Im gunna give it a shot though!

  36. I never usually comment on stuff like this, but I got to say this recipe worked great for me compared to others. Love the loose leaf tea method. I also used honey as a substitute to agave.

  37. Hi I too am in love with chai latte it’s my go to drink now instead of coffee. I’ve started making it at home and am saving a ton not buying espresso lattes or chai lattes at Starbucks. My question is do I have to use the water? Or can I just use the milk? Why use water doesn’t that make it weaker? I have been using organic Oregon tea concentrate and just 2% milk with a 1:1 ratio as the container says. I wanted to try tea bags as I felt it might be more cost effective and I’m looking for a spicier taste versus sweet since the milk adds a lot of sweetness. I also usually have to add cinnamon, all spice, and cloves to the concentrated latte to make it more flavorful. I’m trying this right now but would love to know if the water is necessary and why it’s used? Thank you!

    • Hi Hannah, I’m not sure how it would work without water… I feel like the tea might brew better with some water in the mix, but I could be wrong, it might be just fine. Try it out!

    • I’ve never tried it iced, maybe just use a little less liquid because the ice cubes will melt and dilute it a bit.

  38. It is just turning cold here and I was looking for a good Chai Tea recipe. This is the best I have found! I happen to have a Capresso Milk Frother. I put all the ingredients in, timed it per your instructions and walked away. Delicious and so easy! This will be a staple in our house this winter. Thank you!

    • It should be pretty much the same, and just pour it over ice. Perhaps use slightly less liquid to account for some of the ice melting.

  39. I always make this tea latte with almond milk. It’s very great. For those who want to check out the best almond milk for frothing: here . Thanks!

  40. Lovely! I just made it with Steven Smith Teamaker Lover’s Leap tea (their Valentine blend) and it’s divine! I never thought to break open the teabag. I love the For Life tea strainer, as the micro-perforations trap every bit of tea. Thanks for a great recipe!!

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