If you’ve never made your own Chai, you’re in for a treat. This easy recipe is here to transform your kitchen into an aromatic paradise. Fresh spices are crushed by hand and briefly toasted until warm and fragrant, then steeped in water blended with the plant-based milk of your choice. Simmered with a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, black tea, and fresh ginger, this robust beverage can be enjoyed throughout the year, hot or cold.

Iced Vegan Chai Latte [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the Tea:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 to 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups (591 ml) water
  • 2 1/2 cups (591 ml) non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 5 black tea bags, tags and strings removed, if necessary
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste (see note)

For the Coconut Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup (237 ml) canned coconut milk, stirred until smooth
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
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Preparation

To make the Tea:

  1. First, crush the whole spices—this can be done using a mortar and pestle, or by placing the spices in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a heavy object such as a rolling pin. Either way, crush the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and black peppercorns coarsely until broken into pieces—they do not need to be ground into powder.
  2. Transfer the crushed spices to a dry medium saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Stirring often, toast the spices until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped ginger and water, and stir to combine. Raise heat to high, cover the pan, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes. Then add the milk and tea bags, and stir to combine. Return to a boil, then cover the pan, reduce heat as low as possible, and cook covered at a bare simmer for 4 minutes, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from foaming excessively. Then turn off heat and let the tea steep covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the tea into a heatproof container using a fine-mesh strainer to remove the spices and tea bags. Add the sugar to the hot tea and stir to dissolve, adding more to taste if desired. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve, up to one week (see note). Some settling will occur, so stir well before use.

To make the Coconut Cream Topping:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the canned coconut milk, vanilla, and sugar until smooth and creamy. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Use immediately or transfer to a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. If refrigerating, allow the topping to warm to room temperature before serving, as coconut milk solidifies in the fridge.

To Serve:

  1. Fill a serving glass with several ice cubes. Pour over the chilled tea, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the glass.
  2. Gently pour over the coconut cream topping, forming a layer on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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