How to Brew

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte Recipe: Say Hi to This Delicious Spin on Chai


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There is a time and place for basic, no-frills lattes, but when the chance to put a spin on the drink presents itself, sometimes you have to take it.

Meet your next latte experimentation opportunity: the iced chai creme brulee latte. This recipe is for the Roasty Coffee readers who enjoy one, enjoy ordering chai tea lattes from their favorite coffee shops, and two, want the contents of their cup to be sweet and dessert-like.

If you meet one or both of those criteria, keep reading; we’ll show you how to make what might very well be the drink of your dreams.

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte Recipe

What is chai?

The drink we’re teaching you to make is no regular espresso and steamed milk latte. Even though it’s a significant member of the ingredients list, espresso isn’t even the star of this show. Chai is. But what even is that?

Chai, the Hindi word for “tea,” is a mixture of black tea with spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and black peppercorns. Chai has a long, rich history in India, where it’s most commonly enjoyed. But its popularity spread across America in the 1990s when coffee shops like Starbucks began offering versions of the drink.

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Like traditional Indian chai, American chai usually comes with a splash of whole milk, but your favorite café might have also added a bit of vanilla or cocoa to tone down the spice. And while most coffeehouses you visit will mix frothy steamed milk with the spiced tea and call it a latte, traditional Indian chai uses plain, un-frothed warm milk.

What makes a dirty chai?

The recipe we’re about to share with you is a dirty chai latte. But why is it dirty? Because it contains a shot of espresso. We know — that’s an anticlimactic explanation for a somewhat scandalous drink name, but that’s all there is to it.

Ultra-dedicated caffeine addicts might order a very dirty or filthy chai, and in those instances, brewers add two espresso shots to the spiced tea and steamed milk mixture.

Make an Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte

 

You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of steeped chai tea
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk or coffee creamer
  • A shot of espresso
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon of caramel drizzle
  • Ice cubes
  • Tall glass

The Process:

Step 1

While some think a few pumps of chai syrup are all you need to create delicious chai lattes, we believe nothing beats fresh chai. So, pull out your kettle and bagged or loose-leaf chai tea and brew a batch minutes before making your latte.

Step 2

Making a double espresso

While the tea steeps, use your trusty espresso machine and high-quality finely ground coffee beans to pull a shot of spro. Make it a double for an extra dose of pep in your step.

Step 3

chai tea espresso brown sugar syrup

Drop a few ice cubes into a tall glass, then pour in the chai tea, espresso, brown sugar syrup, caramel drizzle, and milk. Traditionally, chai lattes contain whole milk, but we replaced that with oat milk. You’re welcome to do the same, or you can use another kind of milk or creamer. Then, stir the coffee and chai mixture well.

Step 4

Topping with a layer of sweet cream cold foam

You can enjoy your beverage as it is, but to give it a little more flair, we decided to top ours off with a layer of sweet cream cold foam. This step is optional, but we think it complements this latte quite nicely.

Chai-Related FAQs

Does chai have caffeine?

The batch of chai you just brewed does contain caffeine, but conducting a one-to-one caffeine content comparison between it and your usual cup of coffee isn’t easy. Why? Because things like steeping time, tea-to-water ratio, proportions of tea leaves to spices, and the tea’s tannins can alter the amount of caffeine in chai. But generally, chai contains less of the natural stimulant than coffee does.

However, if you’re bound and determined to have a caffeine-free chai latte, pick up some decaf chai and brew that to make your drink.

Is chai healthier than coffee?

We thought you might ask that question, so we wrote a detailed comparison of chai and coffee for you to peruse. We put the drinks’ flavors and health benefits toe-to-toe, so if you’re curious how they measure up to each other, we’re sure you’ll find it there.

But if you don’t feel like doing more reading, we’ll give you the short version: both of these beverages boast some pretty impressive benefits, and which one is better for you ultimately depends on the health goals you want to meet.

How else can you drink chai?

There are plenty of ways to enjoy a batch of chai. Drink it by itself and enjoy all of the lovely spices undiluted or take a cue from India’s residents and pour a bit of hot milk into the mug for added creaminess. Go the extra mile and steam the milk to make a hot chai latte, but if the weather is hot, add a few ice cubes and sip an iced chai tea latte.

You can experiment with different types of milk — coconut milk, almond milk, and cashew milk, to name a few — and how they impact the chai’s taste and consistency. You might even want to play around with flavored syrups; you’d be surprised how well a little bit of vanilla complements chai.

Is chai worth a try?

Ultimately, only you can answer that question, but we think so, and the iced chai creme brulee latte is a lovely way to dip your toe into the world of chai.

Happy Caffeinating!

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte Recipe

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte Recipe

Yield: 1

Iced Chai Creme Brulee Latte is a refreshing drink that lets you enjoy chai latte and sweet dessert in one cup, perfect for sipping while you're out in the summer sunshine.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of steeped chai tea
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk or coffee creamer
  • A shot of espresso
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon of caramel drizzle
  • Ice cubes
  • Tall glass

Instructions

  1. Pull out your kettle and bagged or loose-leaf chai tea and brew a batch minutes before making your latte.
  2. While the tea steeps, use your trusty espresso machine and high-quality finely ground coffee beans to pull a shot of spro.
  3. Drop a few ice cubes into a tall glass, then pour in the chai tea, espresso, brown sugar syrup, caramel drizzle, and milk.
  4. Top ours off with a layer of sweet cream cold foam.
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