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This easy vanilla chai latte recipe tastes just like the ones you get at a coffee shop! A blend of sweet vanilla simple syrup, spiced homemade chai concentrate, and your choice of steamed milk is all it takes to make a delicious vanilla-flavored spiced black tea latte at home.
This post will teach you how to make a Starbuck's dupe vanilla chai in mere minutes, no drive-thru required! Try the DIY recipe for yourself and see how great it can be to make this tea recipe in your own kitchen.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Chai Concentrate – I prefer my own homemade chai concentrate, but store-bought works, too.
- Vanilla Simple Syrup – same with the chai concentrate, I make my own but you can buy it at most grocery stores. (It's really so easy to make simple syrup at home though that I recommend this route!)
- Milk – whatever dairy or dairy alternative you like!
- Vanilla Extract – optional, read more on that below.
Making a vanilla chai latte at home
This is just a brief overview, find the full instructions in the recipe card below!
- Prepare the chai. Combine the vanilla syrup and chai concentrate and heat until steaming. It’s easy enough to do this in the microwave or on the stove.
- Combine the sweetened concentrate with milk. That’s also been warmed. I like to do this in a milk frother, but it can also be done in the microwave or on the stove.
- Garnish and enjoy. I like to sprinkle the top of my chai latte with a pinch of chai spice blend or a star anise to get even more of that delicious chai flavor.
Store-bought Chai Concentrate
For the longest time, Starbucks made all their Chai drinks with Tazo tea. In 2017 they created their own in-house brand, Teavana, that isn’t sold in stores, but luckily, Tazo is!
You can purchase Tazo Chai Concentrate at most grocery stores, Target, or similar shops. It’s a great replacement for making your own and gets you that much closer to a complete Starbucks dupe.
I like making my own chai concentrate because I can adjust the amount of chai spice, and I can also use decaffeinated tea bags which is helpful as someone who is sensitive to caffeine!
Making a chai latte without a milk frother
It’s easy to make chai lattes at home without a milk frother or steamer.
- Combine the vanilla syrup with equal parts chai concentrate and milk and place in the microwave or on the stove.
- Heat liquid until it is steaming.
- Whisk vigorously for 20 seconds before pouring into a glass.
- Alternatively, you can shake it vigorously in a mason jar with a secure lid.
Garnish with a pinch of chai spice blend (if desired) before serving.
Even more vanilla flavor in a chai latte
If you really want to take the vanilla flavor and scent to the next level in this latte recipe, add ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract to the tea concentrate after heating.
This is a great option if you’re wanting major vanilla flavor without a ton of extra sweetness. Vanilla extract, it should be noted, is not a replacement for vanilla-flavored simple syrup as it does not contain any sugar or sweeteners. It is merely an extract, providing flavor and aroma.
Dirty Vanilla Chai Latte
To make a dirty vanilla chai latte: Stir in 1 or 2 shots of espresso in with the chai concentrate and vanilla syrup before adding the steamed milk.
Try It Iced!
Hot Vanilla Chai Latte (Using Concentrate)
- Milk Frother (optional)
- Place 1 – 3 tablespoons vanilla simple syrup and ½ cup chai concentrate (and vanilla extract if using) in a microwave-safe mug and heat until steaming (about 30 seconds).
- Meanwhile, use your milk frother to heat the milk. Pour steamed milk over warmed concentrate and stir to combine.
- Garnish with a pinch of chai spice blend to serve, if desired.
- For a dirty vanilla chai latte: Add a shot or two of espresso to the warmed tea concentrate and vanilla syrup before topping with steamed milk.