Have you ever wondered if you can combine the creamy taste and frothy milk from a cafe latte with your favorite tea? Yup! You can! They’re called tea lattes! And you’re in luck because we’re going to share our insider barista tips with you about how to make a tea latte that rivals the pricey ones you’d find in a fancy cafe right from your own kitchen!
Tea lattes are so versatile and delicious, you can customize them to any taste you want! We’re avid coffee lovers but tea lattes offer a versatile and incomparable taste that we adore!. With hundreds of different teas to choose from, the possibilities for tea lattes are endless! To get you started on concocting your own tea lattes like a pro we’re covering all the basics, including:
- What is a tea latte?
- Which types of tea make the best tea latte?
- The best tools and essential ingredients to make a perfect tea latte
- Can you froth milk for a tea latte?
- Essential tools to make a tea latte
- How does Starbucks make its latte?
- Our 3 favorite tea latte recipes
- Can I make iced tea lattes?
- How can I make a tea latte at home?
What is a tea latte?
A tea latte is a variation of a regular steeped tea drink.
Unlike coffee-based lattes, tea lattes skip the espresso shot and instead use tea concentrate. Tea lattes are often infused with sweeteners, extracts, flavor essences, and dairy or plant-based milk. They can be made hot or iced and are infinitely customizable!
The most popular tea lattes are made with matcha green tea, chai tea, or Earl Grey tea.
Ingredients for a tea latte
Tea lattes are easy to make at home because of their pantry-friendly ingredients! All you need to make a tea latte is:
- Your favorite tea: A tea bag or a loose leaf tea works.
- Hot water: Filtered hot water is best.
- Milk: For a dairy tea latte whole milk will make your tea latte the creamiest. Vegan alternatives include soy or vanilla almond milk.
- Sweetener: Cane sugar, simple syrup, and flavored syrups or extracts are all excellent options.
How to make a tea latte
- French press
- Milk frother
- Coffee mug
- 2 tbsp loose leaf tea Or, 2 bags of tea
- 6 oz milk Or, plant-based milk
- 6 oz water
- 4 tbsp cane sugar
- Brew your tea. Brew your bagged or loose leaf tea using half the amount of water you would normally use for a cup of tea. This is how you make the tea concentrate. Start by heating your filtered water to around 210°F, making sure not to boil it. If you add boiling water it’ll burn the tea leaves, and give your tea an astringent, bitter taste. Allow your tea to steep according to the type of tea you are using. Green tea, 3 minutes. Black tea for up to 5 minutes depending on the tea.Pro tip: Green teas especially benefit from filtered water as they easily absorb the chlorinated taste that comes from tap water.
- Froth your milk. To froth your milk, you can use an electric milk frother, French press, or a good old-fashioned saucepan on your stovetop with a whisk. If you use a French press, gently warm your milk in a microwave and pour it into the French press. Rapidly plunge it until the milk looks foamy and frothy. If you’re doing it old school with the saucepan, bring your milk to a simmer on medium-low and quickly whisk it to create your foam.
- Mix tea concentrate with sweetener and milk.Pour your tea concentrate into your mug and add your sweetener. Once combined, it’s time to add your milk! Hold a spoon at the lip of your milk container to stop the foam from pouring out first. Once your cup is 90% full, remove the spoon and pour the foam on top. We recommend using a glass cup so that you can see the different layers of tea and milk swirl together. Voila! Your tea latte is served!
How to make a tea latte at home
Step 1: Brew your tea
Brew your bagged or loose leaf tea using half the amount of water you would normally use for a cup of tea. This is how you make the tea concentrate.
Start by heating your filtered water to around 210°F, making sure not to boil it. If you add boiling water it’ll burn the tea leaves, and give your tea an astringent, bitter taste.
Pro tip: Green teas especially benefit from filtered water as they easily absorb the chlorinated taste that comes from tap water.
Step 2: Froth your milk
To froth your milk, you can use an electric milk frother, French press, or a good old-fashioned saucepan on your stovetop with a whisk.
If you use a French press, gently warm your milk in a microwave and pour it into the French press. Rapidly plunge it until the milk looks foamy and frothy.
If you’re doing it old school with the saucepan, bring your milk to a simmer on medium-low and quickly whisk it to create your foam.
Step 3: Mix tea concentrate with sweetener and milk
This is the easiest part of making your tea latte! Pour your tea concentrate into your cup of choice and add your sweetener. Once combined, it’s time to add your milk! Hold a spoon at the lip of your milk container to stop the foam from pouring out first. Once your cup is 90% full, remove the spoon and pour the foam on top. We recommend using a glass cup so that you can see the different layers of tea and milk swirl together.
Voila! Your tea latte is served!
Our favorite 3 tea latte recipes
Chai tea latte
Our personal chai tea latte favorites are the ones made with warming and autumn-themed spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and a tiny pinch of whole black peppercorns are our chai go-to’s.
In a saucepan bring your filtered water to a simmer before adding your fresh chai spices. Let gently boil for at least ten minutes before adding your tea bags (or loose leaf tea) of choice. If you plan on adding cane sugar for sweetener whisk it into the simmering water and spices before you add your teabags.
Steep your tea bags for 5 minutes, then once combined, pour your freshly brewed chai tea into your cup of choice.
Add your milk and frothed topping and you have the perfect chai latte to warm you up on a chilly fall afternoon or make a brisk autumn morning extra cozy.
Matcha tea latte
Matcha is a type of powdered green tea grown in Japan. It’s known for its earthy, grassy taste and health benefits.
During the final few weeks of the tea plant’s growth, the leaves are shaded. This increases the chlorophyll content, producing a vibrant green color. The tea leaves are then picked and ground into a fine powder, creating matcha.
Making a matcha tea latte is different than other leaf-based tea lattes. To make a matcha latte the matcha powder is separately whisked together with a small amount of filtered hot water. This ensures all the matcha is incorporated and there are no lumps. Next, the sweetener is added. Then the tea is poured into your cup of choice and topped with the frothed milk. We love the taste of the natural earthiness of the matcha with the creaminess of cows, soy, or oat milk!
For an authentic experience, you could get your hands on some bamboo tools and traditional Japanese tea sets.
London fog latte
If you haven’t tried a London Fog latte yet, you’re in for a treat!
This hot or iced tea latte is made with Earl Grey tea, vanilla extract, and often a simple sugar syrup. This is a classic combination that has been around since 1997!
The story goes that the London Fog came into being when a pregnant customer named Mary Loria asked for a coffee alternative at the now-closed Buckwheat Cafe in Vancouver. The baristas made her an Earl Grey tea mixed with steamed milk and a splash of vanilla. The drink gained the name London Fog and quickly grew in popularity.
You can make your own London Fog tea latte by starting with brewing an Earl Grey tea concentrate. Brew your loose or bagged tea leaves with half the amount of water using hot filtered water.
Once done, stir in the vanilla and any sweeteners you prefer. Pour the tea into your cup of choice, add your milk, and top with steamed milk. You can add some fancy toppings to your London Fog tea latte like food-grade lavender for a true experience!
Essential tools to make a tea latte
When you order a tea latte at a coffee shop, you might get intimidated by all the equipment they use. From milk frothers to various knobs and taps, it seems quite overwhelming.
Making a tea latte at home is actually very simple!
All you need is a mug or cup for your tea, and either a saucepan and whisk or a French press or electric handheld milk frother to make that creamy foamy milk topping tea lattes are known for.
We love using the Powerlix milk frother. It costs less than $20, it’s easy to use and it’s reliable.
What tea makes the best tea latte?
Strong black teas like Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and classic English or Irish Breakfast teas all make a good base for iced or hot tea lattes.
If you’re more of a green tea person who prefers an earthier taste then matcha powder is the way to go.
Avoid using fruit teas in tea lattes as the acidity of the fruit will curdle your milk. As soul-satisfying as sipping hibiscus, passionfruit, rooibos, and peach teas are, they don’t go well with the milk used to make tea lattes. Save those fruit teas to drink alone as cold-brewed iced on a hot summer day!
If you’re unsure about which type of tea latte to try first we recommend starting with chai tea lattes. These Assam or Darjeeling-based spiced black teas have a strong and full-bodied flavor that’s delicious iced or hot. There’s a lot of room for experimentation with chai tea lattes and you can play around with adding different flavors like star anise and cardamom.
Can you froth milk for tea?
When you imagine a tea latte, you might think about the beautifully shaped hearts or whimsical flowers drawn on top of an espresso latte at your favorite coffee shop.
Well, that’s because on coffee lattes and cappuccinos the milk is steamed and then frothed at the top, creating microbubbles and giving the barista the opportunity to make some latte art. This gives a foamy texture and is light on the tongue.
Tea lattes typically are not frothed as much as coffee-based ones. But, if that’s what you’re looking for you can steam and froth your milk on your tea latte.
Can I make iced tea lattes?
Tea lattes are great both steaming hot and iced cold!.
For iced tea lattes we recommend steeping your tea of choice with half the amount of water and for double the amount of time.
Next, fill your glass with ice and add the tea concentrate. The tea will melt the ice and dilute it, creating the perfect balance. Add your sweetener and then top with your frothed milk. Garnish with a sprig of lavender or an extra pinch of cinnamon or matcha (depending on what tea latte you make) and you have the perfect drink to sip on a scorching summer day!
How does Starbucks make tea latte?
One of our simple pleasures is a freshly made tea latte from Starbucks.
The creamy, sweet milk, along with the aromatic tea is a perfect way to start the day or take a mid-afternoon break.
Starbucks makes tea lattes using their Teavana range of teas. Launched in 2015 Starbucks’ Teavana options range from fruit teas perfect for iced cold brew drinks to black teas like English Breakfast and Chai that are popular Starbucks tea latte orders.
When making hot tea lattes, Starbucks uses your tea of choice, sugar syrup, and your dairy or non-dairy milk of choice.
For a Tall tea latte, Starbucks uses 1 tea bag with 3 pumps of syrup. A Grande tea latte uses 2 tea bags with 4 pumps of syrup, and a Venti tea latte uses2 tea bags with 5 pumps of syrup.
That may seem like a lot but the sugar syrups balance the tea and frothed milk!
Tea latte takeaway
Whether you’re new to the tea game or are a long-time tea lover looking to shake up your same old routine crafting tea lattes from home is a great way to get your caffeine fix with a whole new experience!
When it comes to brewing up iced or hot tea lattes from home the possibilities are endless! With the number of teas, sweeteners, flavorings, and extracts you have a world of tea lattes to explore. Who says coffee drinks should have all the fun?