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How to Make a Chai Tea Latte: That Also Tastes Delicious

Updated on January 4, 2012

Although a few degrees difference in water generally does not throw much off; when making a Chai Tea Latte it makes all the difference. Chai Tea Lattes are a popular beverage in today's society; if made it should be done right. Many coffee shops have set ways of making Chai Tea Lattes, but just because it is the set way does not mean it is the right way. In this article, I will teach you how to make a delicious Chai Tea Latte and how it is so often made the wrong way.

I will start off by discussing the importance of using extremely hot water opposed to just regular "hot" water. Also, I will touch on the difference in loose leaf tea and powders. When making Chai Tea using loose leaf is your best option. Loose Leaf is fresher than any other option. Powders have a very stale taste and should not be used in the process of making a Chai Tea. To start, take two spoonfuls of loose leaf Chai and place it into a tea steeper. A tea steeper is a gadget that is generally in the shape of a mug. It is plastic and see-through, there is a filter on the bottom so when it is done steeping, simply place it on top of the cup you wish to make the drink in. The new flavored water will pour into the cup leaving behind the leaves. When making Chai make sure that the water put into the steeper is blazing hot! A true Chai is best strong! Steep the tea for 3 minutes for the best results! The longer it steeps the more flavors are brought out of the leaves and into the water. If water is only luke-warm the tea tastes weak and the only flavor that can be tasted is the half and half and added syrup flavors. When pouring tea into the cup make sure you put just the right amount leaving a space at the top for the dairy.

The dairy in the Chai Tea Lattes is most commonly half and half and if not specified it will be used as the default dairy. However, many customers ask for soy or nonfat or in some cases lactose free milk. In which case, heat up the desired dairy to 147 degrees for optimal heat without scalding ones tongue! Many customers prefer their drink extra hot, in which case heat the dairy to just about 160 degrees. In the cup, fill a little over half with the freshly steeped tea and then add 1 and a half pumps of the following syrups: Vanilla, Almond, and Caramel. When heating up the dairy make sure to create some foam on the top. Foam is made by quickly and carefully bringing the steam wand out of the dairy and let it rest on top. I realize that many of you will heat the milk on the stove top so the foam is not as realistic. This will create bubbles, hence making foam. Be careful not to bring it too far out of the dairy or it will squirt all over you! Then fill the rest of the cup with your freshly steamed dairy. While pouring use a large spoon and hold the foam back. When the drink is full, lightly scoop the foam on top of the drink. Grab a pack of raw sugar and sprinkle over the top. The drink is now finished! If you are like me you enjoy cold tea over hot tea. The steps just discussed can easily be changed to fit your fancy.

Starbucks uses a syrup
Starbucks uses a syrup | Source

If the customer asked for it iced, simply fill the cup full of ice prior to pouring any substance in. Then pour the freshly steeped tea into the cup. The hot tea will melt the ice and still leave you with the correct proportions in the cup. Add the syrup in between the tea and dairy. When filling the rest of the cup with dairy, make sure to leave about an inch of room at the top of the cup so that you can add more ice at the end. Making a Chai Tea Latte iced is much simpler than making it hot. When making it iced the dairy does not needed to be steamed; just simply pull the desired dairy out of the fridge and pour into the cup. Raw sugar is not required on top of iced drinks.

Coffee shops are very popular in America today and a practical place to meet up with friends and family for a little get together. When you are out with your friends, you are generally having a good time (or at least I hope you are) but there is nothing like a bad product to ruin your mood. Next time you purchase a Chai Tea Latte make sure the establishment that you are at is making it the right way. At the outrageous prices that coffee shops charge; you should at least receive quality that you are paying for!

A poorly made Chai can also hurt an establishment's reputation! At a coffee shop, every product should be made with pride and precision. If a bad product is purchased at a particular shop, word spreads quickly and soon customers will begin to dwindle. Who wants to go to a shop with bad products? This can obviously damage a shop financially. If one is working at a shop always make sure you are always making everything the right way, even if it takes a little bit longer time. Customers generally do not mind waiting for quality. It also save you extra time because you will not have to continually keep making the drink, because it is made with poor quality and the customer keeps asking for a new one.

I have heard many people say that they do not like Chai Tea Lattes and that it is an acquired taste, but I think differently. I believe that Americans are subjected to poorly made products and therefore forcing them to believe that the product on the grand scale is no good. I can say from experience; however, that after someone has told me they do not like Chai Tea I simply make if for them right away and their minds are forever changed. Also, the great thing about this drink is that it is easily customizable. A customer can choose from any type of dairy; such as half and half, soy, nonfat, whole, lactose free, and low fat. Also, if one of the syrup flavors is not desirable simply take it out! Iced or hot you can get what you want!

Most coffee shops make their Chai with a tea flavored syrup and you can sure tell the difference when it is made from actual loose leaf tea. Also, many shops will use a powder instead of the tea leaves. I hope that next time you are at a coffee shop you can observe the different tactics of making beverages and you can notice if they are making quality drinks!


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      Myrtle & Maude 4 years ago

      *insert British accent*

      We are BRITISH. TOTAL LEGIT BRITS. No lie.

      We are having a "Sherlock" & Tea party as we speak and upon doing so are about to make this beautiful tea that you have so thoroughly described. Except for the amount of milk. That's confusing us.

      BUT NONE THE LESS we are quite determined to try this recipe as we've trashed our other cups that have turned out to be rubbish. Indeed. And henceforth.

      It's turned out to taste like warm milk because we DOUSED it with WARM HALF AND HALF. As we sit and cry about our "not half and half" tea, we sit. And we cry. And we flee to the comfort that only Sherlock can provide. Goodbye and good day, sir.