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How to Make Your Own Chai LatteTea - Cheap, Easy and Tasty!

Updated on March 19, 2010

Save money without giving up something you love

I love chai latte tea, so I discovered after giving up coffee. Out with friends at a local bookstore, I decided to try chai latte tea.

It was like I'd died and gone to heaven! If you've tried it, you probably know what I mean...a combination of spices, tea and milk, finally I'd found something to replace the taste I've missed of a nice deep cup of coffee to go along with friendly conversation or a good book.

In fact, it was addictive. When I wasn't drinking chai latte tea, I wanted to be drinking it. I could taste it in my sleep - I swear I could!

The only downside was the cost. And when the economy and my money (I have a small on-line business, selling to a niche market within a niche market! ) were hit and I had to make some serious budget cuts, the idea of spending $4.00 on a cup of tea - once a day was ridiculous.

Away went my tea - once a month or so, I'd splurge.

Until I decided on my last birthday to see if there was some kind of equipment I could buy to make latte tea at home.

Here's what I found - you can make chai latte tea at home and if you're on a budget - you can still have a cup a day!

Read on!

What is chai latte tea?

I was first introduced to "chai" in Turkey .... where it just means "tea".

When I asked for "chai" at a Starbucks, I was (somewhat snottily) introduced to the concept of "chai" as more than just plain tea.

In America, chai usually means a hot black tea that has fragant spices in it - the spices can be any one of these: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, or cloves.

The taste is usually sweet with a slght afterbite.

Latte is French for milk -- our latte drinks have a frothy milk in them.

This is so simple

but I still thought it deserved a lens

Why? Because it took me so long to figure out how to do this AND there are so many types of frothers out there - - some so expensive -- I thought a testimonial from one person who has one might help others who would be interested!

So, though it's very simple, I'm including simple directions on how to do this.

I love my frother! I love my chai latte! My income is tight, that amount of money to me is a lot -- but I considered it a good investment and a birthday present to myself!

Follow these easy instructions!

Some Components for Chai Latte Tea

The essential thing you need is the steamer - frother. You may be told you need an espresso machine -- but you really don't.

And what's an added plus to this frother is that you can use it to make latte coffee and hot chocolate. Recipes are included! For the price, you just can't beat that!

You need milk - - and the lower the fat content, the frothier the froth!

Chai Tea Concentrate (I buy my Tazo Black chai tea at a local grocery store for $3.99 for 32 fl. ounces - I always buy some caffeinated and some decaff, so I can have tea even late in the day if I want!)

Short cut without the Chai Concentrate

If I run out of money or chai concentrate I use a chai tea bag - first I put the bag in 8 oz of HOT water and let it steep for a bit. It doesn't have to be boiling water because the frother will do the rest. Then I remove the tea bag and pour the mix in instead of the concentrate.

Cheaper, and just as good!

Do you want to make your own Chai tea instead of buying a concentrate?

If you are interested in making your own chai tea instead of buying a pre-ready concentrate, here are some recipes...

I tried doing this -- it wasn't at all hard and I tried several recipes -- but nothing tasted quite the same.... Still, I like knowing I can make my own... cutting costs even more!

Equally important to the chai and the milk -- the frother!

The one I use is $59.95 Black Froth Au Lait -- I'm only making it for one person most of the time..

Don't let me stop you from looking at others but this is really all you need!

So,, Am I Really Saving Money?

..calculating the cost...

I've tried to calculate to see if it's really cheaper to do this -- there are of course factors one has to consider. Even if it's cheaper per cup, am spending more or less than I would be if I had my Chai Latte while I was out?

I used to have a Cup O' Joy once or twice a week - plus maybe another time a month. Now I'm having a cup every day!

Here's my calculations:

Chai Latte 32 oz. =$3.99 per package = 4 oz. Cost = $ .499 per cup

Gall of Milk 128 oz = $3.39 per gallon = 8 oz. Cost = $ .212 per cup

Subtotal $ .711 per cup

Cost of the Frother = 59.99 plus 4.00 shipping = $63.00

No. of Uses = 1 per day 58 days usage $1.08 per cup

Electricity (guesttimate - 4 minutes usage) .06 per cup

Total $2.56 per cup

That's until The Frother pays for itself, I think, after which (on day 63), the cost per cup would be $1.09.

I figure my Latte addiction is costing me $491.33 a year, if I have a Cup a Day.

63 $2.57 $162.15 302 1.09 $329.18 = $491.33

An accountant would no doubt put in other things - wear and tear of the Frother, etc. I think it should last a year.

It may be that I'm at best breaking even ... But then, that Cup O' Joy in the morning is priceless.....

So, I'm Actually Only Ahead If I Compare to Having 1 Cup a Day

Cost Per Year for Store Bought Latte at $3.99 A Cup

ONE cup of Latte a week, $207.48

Two cups of Latte a week, $414.96

Three cups of Latte a week $622.44

Five cups of Latte a week $1037.40

Seven cups of Latte a week $1456.35

Have a cup of tea and tell me what you think of this

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    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      chai actually originates from India where it means tea and Latte is actually Italian for milk

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I was going to say the same thing.

      French = "(le) lait"

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I know it doesn't souns as glamourous.....but sheetz makes an ezcellent soy chai and if you have a sheets reward card it is 2.39 for a large and every 11th one is free....has really lightened my chai budget and has excellent flavor...but it is not tazo tea so don't expect the same tea flavor but it is very good

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Latte is Italian for milk actually.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 7 years ago from Colorado

      Chai is my absolute favorite! Now I feel the need to go brew a cup. :-) Delicious lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I LOVE CHAI!!!! Was looking for how to make the latte and where to buy a frother and you told me totally how to do it. I buy a starbucks almost every day at almost 4,50 a day and totally save money by buying the tazo concentrate and milk. now i know how to froth it for cold winter new england mornings. Thanks for your info!!!!

    • profile image

      GroceryCosts 8 years ago

      Great Lens...Thanks for all the great information.

    • PetSugar profile image

      PetSugar 8 years ago

      Thanks for visiting my page and I had to visit your chai latte page! 5 stars! Really great resource that covers everything I would need to make my own chai latte. Thank you!

    • mayntopics profile image

      mayntopics 8 years ago

      I love chaii tea and think i'll have to start getting into the chai latte's too. Great lens.