Iced Chai

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This is the best Chai recipe!! A freshly made hot cup of chai is spicy and aromatic, creamy and perfectly sweet. But iced chai is almost never all of those things. Learn a better method for making this drink, just in time for summer. The homemade version of this coffeeshop special is sweetly spiced and oh so delicious. In fact, it tastes much better than the Starbucks version that’s so popular but it has a lot less sugar.

This iced chai recipe gives you a spicy cup with a hint of sweetness. It gets its bold flavor from a generous dose of cardamom, but feel free to customize and lower the cost by using less or swapping in a different spice. Masala chai spices can include many different ingredients based on the cook.

The great thing about this iced chai latte is that it’s easy to make vegan! Just use your favorite non dairy milk for the milk component. A chai tea latte combines the natural healing powers of chai with the delicious creaminess of milk to create a sweet and spicy coffee drink that can be enjoyed hot or iced. 

Not what you are looking for? Try these other great beverages recipes: Easy Pineapple Ginger Smoothie, Skinny Banana Berry Smoothie or View All Beverages.


Iced Chai

iced chai scaled

Try this wonderful Iced Chai recipe.

  • Author: Epicurious
  • Prep Time: :10
  • Cook Time: :08
  • Total Time: :18
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Beverage
  • Method: Stove Top



32 green cardamom pods
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 cups milk or plant-based milk
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. CTC Assam tea (such as Wagh Bakri, Red Label, Tea India, or 24 Mantra Organic)
3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. (or more) granulated sugar
1 lb. ice (about 3 1/2 cups)

Special equipment

A mortar and pestle


  • Coarsely crush cardamom pods with a mortar and pestle, then partially grind seeds. Transfer to a plate. Grind peppercorns with mortar and pestle until about medium-coarse; transfer to same plate.
  • Rinse a medium pot (about 9″ diameter) with water (this helps keep the milk from scorching). Combine milk, cardamom pods and seeds, pepper, and ginger in pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, scraping sides and bottom of pot occasionally with a heatproof rubber spatula. When foam starts to rise, cook 20 seconds, scraping spices from sides of pot (some plant-based milks won’t foam; simply cook 30 seconds from boiling). Reduce heat to low to allow foam to die down, then increase heat to medium-low and simmer, scraping bottom and sides of pot occasionally and adjusting heat as need to keep foam from rising, until milk is light tan in color from spices, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tea and simmer, scraping pot occasionally and adjusting heat as needed, until milk is deep tan and reduced by one third, about 4 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring glass, pressing on solids with spatula. (Soak pot in hot water immediately to help with cleaning.) You should have 2 cups chai concentrate; return chai to pot and simmer another minute to reduce further if needed. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Place ice in a large heatproof bowl with a spout or a large heatproof pitcher. Immediately pour hot chai over ice. Stir until ice is almost completely melted (larger cubes may take longer), about 2 minutes. Taste chai and add up to 2 Tbsp. cold water or 1 Tbsp. simple syrup (dissolve 2–4 tsp. sugar in 2 tsp. warm water) if needed. Serve in glasses filled with fresh ice if desired.


Chai can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container; cover and chill.

Cook’s note:
You can make this chai by the cup if you prefer. Use one quarter of all ingredients. Bring milk and spices to a boil in a small saucepan over medium, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add tea, reduce heat to low, and simmer 2 minutes. Strain into a measuring glass and stir in sugar. You should have about ½ cup chai concentrate.
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