When you walk into your local coffee shop, you’ll often see variations of coffee and non-coffee drinks on their menu. And one of the most popular non-coffee drinks that you’ll find is a chai tea latte.
Chai tea lattes have a herby and spicy kick and bold flavors, slightly mellowed down by the creamy and foamy milk. Unfortunately, although it’s a famous cafe drink, many people don’t know its history, how it’s made, and what it truly is.
If you’re a chai tea latte lover, keep reading. This article is a chai tea crash course that will share everything you need to know about this delicious drink. So grab another cup of chai tea latte, and let’s begin!
What is a chai tea latte?
A chai tea latte is a milky, aromatic, mildly spicy drink popular in cafes all over the world. Although it has the word latte in its name, it actually contains zero coffee.
How do you make a chai latte?
It’s relatively easy to make chai tea latte, but different shops use different recipes and ratios. Typically, a chai latte is made by mixing steamed milk with black tea infused with different spices. After that, the tea is topped up with milk foam. The herbs used in chai lattes vary in other shops, and some even create their own blends and keep the ingredients a secret.
What is chai?
Before you go to your local coffee shop and order a chai latte, it pays to know what chai is. Chai is one of the oldest teas that has been grown in India for thousands of years. Its name originated from the Hindustani word that applies to all teas grown in the Assam region.
When we speak about chai in chai tea lattes, we mean masala chai. Masala chai is made by steeping black tea and spices in water and then mixing it with ginger, milk, and sugar. Some people like to add other spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns.
Masala chai has been around for years as a medicine to treat illnesses and pains. It is still prepared from scratch in India today but is enjoyed as a refreshment or a morning cup at homes and in the streets. Locals usually prepare masala chai using a saucepan with mashed leaves and spices, boiled, and then strained to remove chunks and bits.
The origin of chai latte is quite vague with your local barista but is believed to have started in western coffee shops in the 90s, and it’s popularity spiked in the past decade. Today, you can find chai tea latte in both major and small coffee shops to satisfy tea lovers daily.
What’s chai tea latte going to be like in the future?
The food and beverage industry is an incredibly creative world that always strives to find different ways to innovate dishes and drinks. With chai tea latte, it isn’t a type of trend that will die soon.
The reason chai tea latte isn’t going anywhere is that even if it’s easy to tweak and customize, it’s base is incredibly warm and spicy that continues to attract guests.
The biggest concern, however, is the amount of sugar that the latte has. Many coffee shops add a hefty amount of sugar to help balance the drink’s spiciness and boldness. Thankfully, there are sugar alternatives that some coffee shops are starting to use, and slowly, it’ll be a much healthier drink.
Now that you’re through with our chai tea latte crash course, you’re probably craving a warm cup right now. The best thing to do is head to your local coffee shop, ask for their signature chai latte, and share what you learned about this bold and delicious drink!
If you’re suddenly craving chai tea after reading this article, head over to your local coffee shop to get a cup of the warm and yummy goodness. At SIP Coffee & Beer in Arizona, we offer delicious coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages that will help you get work done and have a good time with friends. Drop by and say hello today!