Chai tea latte
10 September, 2021 | Bon Tea Cafe

What Is Chai Tea Latte: A Quick Guide To Start Your Tea Journey

If you're a huge fan of chai tea latte, then you'll surely love our chai latte recipe. That's because it's easy to make, takes about ten minutes, allows you to control the amount of sugar, and best of all, it's way cheaper! 

Chai tea latte combines the delicious creaminess of milk with the natural healing powers of chai to create a sweet and spicy coffee drink. You can then enjoy this fantastic drink, hot or iced. 

This guide will show you what you need to know about chai tea latte and other essential perks. But before we begin, here's what you need to know about chai latte. 

What is Chai Tea Latte? 

Chai latte borrows its flavors from masala chai. This masala chai is a standard spiced tea beverage available in most households in India and now almost anywhere globally. The chai latte tea boosts its milkiness with a frothy steamed milk technique borrowed from homemade lattes. 

In most situations, when you order a chai latte, you're typically ordering masala chai. The drink is quite popular in tea shops. And even though it's served in coffee shops and it's called latte, the drink contains no coffee whatsoever. 

Chai latte is one of the oldest tea-based drinks in the world. It originated in India centuries ago, and since then, has spread across the globe. Interestingly, "chai" means tea, so a chai tea latte really translates to a "tea latte." 

The traditional chai latte is brewed with black tea and hot milk (any milk will do). But there are other versions of the beverage that include spices and other toppings. 

For example, Saunf Wali chai contains tea milk and fennel seeds. Masala chai contains tea, milk, and spices such as cinnamon, clove, cardamom. 

How is Chai Tea Latte Made?

chai tea latte

We prepare a chai latte by mixing black tea infused with spices with steamed milk. Usually, the drink has foam on top of it. The spices used vary from one tea shop to another. 

However, some cafes create their signature chai latte blends, and their ingredients are always secret. Other shops, however, use a sweetened chai latte powder or syrup, which allows them to brew the beverage on demand quickly. 

When a customer orders a chai latte, some baristas use an "elixir," which extracts all the spices used in black tea, water, and sugar. It's a bit different from the standard way of making chai latte tea. 

The baristas heat the elixir, then serve customers their preferred milk and foam it up like a regular latte. After pouring the milk and adding the foam, the drink is completed by adding some cinnamon powder and finishing it off with star anise.

Although the foam and warm milk proportions stay the same, the chai latte isn't a "real" latte. And that's because it contains no espresso. 

Other baristas or cafes freshly steep their chai latte for each cup. They then add homemade vanilla syrup, including the customer's preferred milk. 

What is Chai? 

The word "chai" comes from the Hindustani word, which stands for every kind of tea. Chai has grown in the Assam region for thousands of years. However, as said earlier, when we talk about chai latte as a particular blend of black tea and spices, we mean masala chai

Masala chai is prepared by steeping black tea in water, then mixing it with ginger, sugar, and milk. However, you can add other spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, or peppercorns. 

It's believed that masala chai made its first appearance in the Indian subcontinent somewhere between 5,000 and 9,000 years ago. Some suggest it originated in a royal court in Siam as a drink associated with Ayurveda, an ancient Indian type of alternative medicine. 

Historically, Ayurvedic therapies entail minerals, herbal compounds, and metals to treat pain and illness. 

Now, masala chai is often made from scratch and enjoyed either at home or on the streets of India. Street vendors prepare and sell it from stalls the whole day. These vendors usually make it in a saucepan with mashed leaves. When it's boiled, it's then strained to remove any huge chunks. 

Early Types of Masala Chai 

The early forms of masala chai comprised only herbs and spices. Milk was added in the 1800s as a result of the British colonial influence in India. 

The British East India Company produced many plantations to create a tea source they can control. They did this as an attempt to undermine the Chinese monopoly of tea. 

The local consumption of chai stayed low until promotional campaigns (funded by the British) inspired Indian companies to give their workers tea breaks. Due to the high cost of low-quality tea leaves, spices and milk were added to stretch out the beverage. 

Currently, India consumes over 800,000 tonnes of tea each year. In addition, two cups of chai are drunk on average per person each day. 

Chai is also prepared differently throughout India. For example, it's common to see chai enjoyed with buffalo milk because the cow is sacred in Hinduism. 

The History Of Chai Tea Latte Is Vague 

The history of a chai tea latte is quite uncertain. Some suggest that it appeared in Western coffee shops in the 1990s. But there is no accurate data to confirm when it originated. However, its popularity has increased for the past 10 to 15 years. 

Currently, it's available in most popular coffee shop chains, including Costa Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks. 

The Modern Chai Tea Latte And Variations 

Chai Tea Latte

The current chai latte is a beverage that most people love. However, there's no specific group or demographic that prefers the drink. You can't even make a real distinction between people who order a chai latte at Bontea Cafe

We try to encourage chai latte to people at their caffeine limit but still prefer a hot drink. It's nice to get a sweet, milky, and spicy alternative to a regular latte or cappuccino. Because each coffee shop uses a different recipe, it's less common to find defined variations. 

Usually, modifications are made to the chai latte mixture by changing the volume or type of spices used. However, you can make minor alterations to change how you take your chai latte. For example, you can make a hot chai cocktail by adding amaretto. 

All you have to do is pour the ingredients over ice, and you'll get a frappe-like or milkshake drink. Aside from these variations, there's one version of chai tea latte that's popular. And that's the dirty chai, made by adding a shot of espresso to a chai latte. 

When you want to brew espresso to add to a chai latte, search for coffee with smooth chocolate and hazelnut flavors that have hints of red fruit. The sweetness that emanates from these beans bonds well and makes an entirely new drink. 


The future of chai tea latte is bright because there's no sign of it vanishing from the tea shops. However, most shops make the chai latte with lots of sugar, so you need to be cautious when ordering your delicious beverage. Better yet, you can order your chai latte now and get the best tea experience now. We will immediately deliver the beverage at your utmost convenience.