Iced chai lattes are to summer what hot chocolates are to winter: indispensable. As blazing afternoons turn to evening, they’re the perfect drink to swirl languidly around a glass between slow sips as you sit out on the porch with friends or a good book. The combination of the warming spices and the smooth, cool milk is decadent and festive, which also makes this a great mocktail recipe for holiday entertaining.
The key to my favourite version of the homemade iced chai latte are super-concentrated frozen tea cubes. They’re especially brilliant because you can brew up a batch of sweet tea any ole time and keep it stashed away in the freezer for whenever you’re in the mood to serve up a round. Just add three or four tea cubes to a tumbler of milk (or any dairy-free substitute) and you’ll instantly have refreshing glass of iced chai tea.
Homemade Iced Chai Latte Recipe
2 1/2 cups water
1 whole star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
3-4 whole cloves
4-5 whole black peppercorns
4-5 cardamom pods, cracked
2-3 thin shavings of fresh ginger root (or a few pieces of diced up candied ginger in a pinch)
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
3-4 tbs loose leaf black tea
Alternatively: 4-5 store-bought chai tea bags if the spice cupboard is bare or ritual of brewing your own is too much hassle.
For serving: 4-5 cups milk (or almond milk, coconut milk, whatever you’re into!)
1. Pour the water into a medium pot and add in the whole spices plus the honey/sugar. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Let steep anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how strong you like the spices to be.
2. Return to the heat and bring to a boil again. Add the tea, then remove from the heat and let steep for another 5-7 minutes.
3. Strain out the tea and spices. If you’d like to make a regular batch of chai, add the milk and serve immediately. To make the chai iced tea cubes pour your tea concentrate into an ice-cube tray and freeze.
4. To make an iced chai latte, add 2-3 ice cubes to a glass of milk (about 1/4 cup of milk per cube is a good ratio). The tea will get stronger the longer it sits and the more the ice cubes melt. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon, and enjoy!