This iced brown sugar chai milk tea is perfectly spiced, light and creamy, and rivals any coffee shop chai tea! Learn how to make this iced chai at home with a handful of ingredients in under an hour.
You have no idea how excited I am to share this homemade iced chai with you today!!
I’ve been perfecting this recipe the last couple of months and it’s finally ready just in time for hot summer days.
Let’s be honest, not much beats a refreshing iced chai in the heat of summer. Today, I’m showing you how to make a coffee shop-style iced chai in less than an hour at home, for a fraction of the price, with SIMPLE ingredients!
And it’s better than any chai tea I’ve ever had from a coffee shop, I’m gonna be honest with you…
Rather than using a mix like most coffee shops do, we’re making the chai tea base from scratch with REAL spices and so many other delicious things…
This Iced Brown Sugar Chai Milk Tea features…
- A homemade chai tea base with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, fresh ginger, and strong black tea
- A rich brown sugar syrup sweetening the tea and adding a lovely molasses flavor
- Frothy milk making these drinks perfectly light and creamy
Making the Chai Milk Tea
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Black tea
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
Buying Chai Spices
You will need to buy whole cardamom, whole cloves, whole peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks. It’s important that you buy the spices whole, not ground.
Typically, you can find whole spices in the spice section of most major grocery stores. I’ve also bought whole spices on Amazon before.
Choosing Your Tea
Traditionally, Assam and Darjeeling are the two types of black tea most commonly used in chai. If you can find them in your grocery store, I highly recommend using either of these teas!
If you’re interested in experimenting, I’ve even heard of some traditional chai teas made with green teas such as yerba mate or red rooibos before depending on the region!
However, if you’re not worried about authenticity, any type of black tea will work just fine in this recipe. I do recommend going for a higher quality black tea though for best results.
Tips for Perfect Chai Tea
- Crush spices with mortar and pestle – you can also use a wooden spoon and a bowl to crush spices if you don’t have a mortar and pestle
- Toast spices – this step is super important. Toasting the spices brings out a lot of the flavor in this tea!
- Simmer spices + ginger in water – simmer around 20 minutes to allow the spices to meld into the water.
- Steep tea – add the tea bags to the spice/water mixture and allow tea to steep 5 minutes or longer depending on your desired tea strength.
- Strain tea through fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter/cheesecloth – it’s important you use a coffee filter or cheesecloth when straining so you don’t get spices sediment in your tea.
- Make homemade syrup – we’re going to be making a simple brown sugar syrup of just water and brown sugar. This gets simmered on the stove until the sugar is dissolved and then cooled.
- Chill tea – once the tea is strained, for best results we recommend chilling it completely before serving.
- Froth milk – you can do this either in a blender or shake it in a jar. Frothing the milk makes it just a little thicker and creamier.
Make Ahead Instructions
Tea may be brewed and stored in jars in refrigerator up to 6 days. For best results, we recommend storing tea separately from the milk to make it last longer. Froth the milk just before you are ready to serve chai.
When ready to serve, sweeten tea to taste with brown sugar syrup, pour chai tea over ice, and top with frothed milk.
Can I Serve This Chai Hot?
Yes, you sure can! To serve tea hot, serve immediately after straining or reheat in microwave or on stove.
Heat milk separately over medium heat until steaming (do not bring to a boil) then froth in blender or jar and pour over tea.
This iced chai has singlehandedly convinced me to never purchase from a coffee shop again, you guys. It’s INSANE how good this is!
It’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s got the perfect level of spice, it’s just everything a good chai should be.
And c’mon, a good swirl like that one below? There’s just no beating that. Cheers to a summer of homemade iced chai!
More delicious iced drinks you might want to mix up next!
- Mango Orange Coconut Power Smoothie
- Overnight Cold Brew Coffee
- Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cold Brew Coffee
Iced Brown Sugar Chai Milk Tea
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Brown Sugar Syrup
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
Chai Milk Tea
- 1 tablespoon whole cardamom
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 2-3 small slices unpeeled fresh ginger
- 3 cups water
- 4 black tea bags
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk ( whole, 2%, skim, oat milk, or almond milk all work!)
Brown Sugar Syrup
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir brown sugar and water together and let cook several minutes until sugar is dissolved and syrup is smooth. Cool syrup and store in fridge. (up to 6 days)
Chai Milk Tea
- In a small bowl or with a mortar and pestle, crush cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns together until lightly crushed. Place spices in a small saucepan over medium heat and lightly toast 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
- Add ginger and water to toasted spices and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 20 minutes to allow spices to meld.
- Remove pan from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep an additional 5 minutes or to desired tea strength.
- Strain the tea through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and discard solids. Stir several tablespoons of brown sugar syrup to taste into tea while still warm. Add vanilla and allow tea to cool completely in fridge.
- Place milk in a high-speed blender and blend 15-30 seconds until foamy. Alternatively, place milk in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously 30-60 seconds.
- Fill 4 glasses with ice and divide chilled chai tea between glasses. Top with foamed milk and stir with spoon to combine. Serve iced chai immediately and enjoy!