How to make a chai latte

A chai latte is a delicious mix of healthy spices, with a touch of sweetness, and a small amount of caffeine. Chai is the Hindi word for “tea” and it’s a type of black tea. I’m a big coffee and tea drinker and enjoy the complex taste of chai. It’s an excellent midday pick-me-up and can be made hot to warm you up in the winter or iced to cool you down in the summer.  

As it’s currently summer, I’ve mainly been sticking to the iced version. While the drink contains a variety of spices and it may seem easier to grab an expensive one at Starbucks, I can teach you how to make a chai latte at home that’s simple, tastier, and more sustainable.  

How to make a chai latte (iced version) 

Step One: Mix equal parts Dona Masala Chai Concentrate with milk or a milk alternative. 

Save yourself the headache of buying, storing, toasting, and mixing together a variety of spices. The Dona Masala Chai Concentrate nicely balances its ingredients of water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, organic black tea, molasses, black pepper, cloves, and citric acid.  

Dona brand products don’t use any artificial extracts and they say, “If it doesn’t grow, we don’t use it.” They make it in small batches and use a slow steeping process.  

Mixing equal parts concentrate and milk (or alternative) makes a pretty strong chai flavor, so play around with portions. I personally like the 50/50 mix, but I think others would prefer it with a bit less concentrate.  

When I first tried the chai concentrate, I bought the 16-ounce two-pack for $24. Now that I know I like it, I get the 32-ounce two-pack for $36. 

You can use regular milk or your favorite milk alternative, whether that be almond, oat, soy, coconut, or something else. Lately, I’ve been using Hope & Sesame milk for lattes and other beverages as sesame seed milk is high in protein, among other health benefits. I usually just use whichever flavor I have open at the time, whether that be unsweetened vanilla, original, barista blend, or another flavor. 

Hope and Sesame Unsweetened Vanilla Sesame Milk

Hope and Sesame


Step Two: Pour mix into an ice cube tray. 

Pour this first batch into an ice cube tray to make chai ice cubes for later. This brilliant idea came from my sister. When I first made this chai latte for her, we drank them outside on her patio. She enjoyed the aftertaste of the spice and didn’t find it overwhelming. 

What she didn’t like was how it tasted weaker as the sun melted her ice. By making ice cubes of the drink first, when you’re drinking it on a hot day, it’ll taste the same as the ice melts, rather than tasting like a watered-down version.  

Side note: These chai ice cubes are also excellent in smoothies! My favorite is to blend five or six chai ice cubes with a banana, peanut butter, and more sesame seed milk. It’s such a tasty, healthy, simple treat. 

Step Three: Mix equal parts Dona Masala Chai Concentrate with milk (again). 

After your ice is set, mix up another batch of the chai concentrate and sesame milk (or milk alternative of choice). Add the ice. 

Step Four: Dust Dona Masala Chai Zero Waste Spice Dust over the top.

Zero Waste Spice Dust | Masala Chai

If you have a wire mesh sieve, use it as you’re dusting the spice blend over your drink so it doesn’t get clumpy. I don’t have one, so I just try to dust it lightly. It’s not necessary to use a sieve, but when I’ve used one at other people’s places, it does make everything more even. 

The ingredients in the spice dust are very similar to that of the concentrate and include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, black tea, and black pepper. I use this spice dust for three reasons: It’s tasty, the dust makes my drink look fancier, and I like that it’s “zero waste.” 

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