Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by Timothy Byron Smith
If you have ever browsed the coffee shop menu before ordering your usual coffee, you must have spotted chai tea or chai latte on it. These non-coffee beverages are in-demand in many coffee houses. But before buying them, you must wonder what does chai tea and chai latte taste like?
Imagine a fragrant tea-based beverage with a mild to zero caffeine content. It may sound like too much of an adventure for those who prefer sticking to their ‘safe options,’ however, this beverage is quickly becoming a favorite, especially in American coffee shops. So, we’d say it’s worth a shot!
What Does Starbucks Chai Tea Taste Like?
At Starbucks, you can find chai tea in both the iced and hot forms. Their hot chai tea has a unique combination of both sweet and spicy flavors. The spicy flavors in the beverage are a result of the various spices used to make chai tea. And the sweetness is obviously due to the sweeteners used to balance the drink.
The iced chai tea at Starbucks substitutes the steamed milk of hot chai tea with cold milk. Plus, there is the addition of ice in the list of ingredients. Apart from that, almost everything is the same. One thing is clear though, the amazing blend of sweet and spicy will definitely delight you!
You may like to read: Iced Americano Recipe
What Does Chai Latte Taste Like?
The chai latte has the same spicy and sweet combo of flavors except these flavors are intensified. It is sweeter and spices like ginger, cinnamon, etc, give it the perfect spicy touch to please your palate. The flavors in chai latte are fresher and richer. You can also check how to make frozen chai latte.
Vanilla is a frequent addition to chai lattes. So, you can look forward to a delicious and very noticeable vanilla flavor when you sip down the chai latte.
You may like to read: Starbucks Iced Mocha Recipe
What are the Major Differences Between Chai Tea and Chai Latte?
Many people frequently think that chai latte and chai teas are one and the same thing. For this reason, they often use the names interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences between the two beverages.
For a quick skim, the table neatly summarizes all the differences there are.
|Specifics||Chai Tea||Chai Latte|
|Origin||India||A modern twist to the Indian Chai tea|
Cow or Buffalo milk
A thin layer of milk froth
Velvety and creamy consistency
Thicker milk froth
|Ratio||Less milk compared to tea||The milk and tea ratio is 1:1|
|Taste and Texture||Strong tea
The spicy and sweet flavor
Less strong tea and spices
Served both hot and iced
|Variations||Rarely any variations. Most variations are regional and minor like the milk to tea ratio.||Can be made into a Dirty chai or Eggnog Chai|
What Exactly are Chai Tea and Chai Latte?
While chai tea originates from India, Chai latte is a modern (western) version of the Indian Chai tea. And they are both VERY different from each other! So, don’t go about ordering the wrong chai beverage for yourself.
Chai tea, in India, is also known as masala chai. It’s made with cow or buffalo’s milk, black tea, a blend of masala or spices, and sweetener. It’s a nonaddictive and non-caffeine beverage that has equal chances of becoming a part of your routine.
Chai latte, on the other hand, consists of a higher proportion of milk (any kind) and other flavorings that make it a richer beverage. But, if you’re thinking you’re gonna make it like you make a latte with an espresso machine, you’re wrong. The chai latte does not require an espresso machine at all!
The basic spices for the preparation of the tea remain the same across Chai Tea and Chai Latte. This mix of masala or spices includes ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns.
However, the milk used in the beverages differs. Chai Tea uses only cow or buffalo milk whereas Chai Latte can be made with any kind of milk flavored or unflavoured. In addition to that, Chai Latte is more flavourful due to the additional flavoring used in it such as chocolate, vanilla, peppermint, and more.
When you make a latte at home or as a professional barista in a coffee shop, the key to brewing perfection lies in precise proportions. If you mess up the ratios you mess up the coffee. However, with a chai latte and chai tea, the only proportion you need to worry about is the milk.
Chai tea doesn’t necessarily need milk. Even if you add it, it is not supposed to exceed the quantity of tea. Whereas, in a chai latte, more than half the drink is supposed to be milk. So, there’s a very slim chance that anyone could mess this up. If you end up adding more milk to chai tea, you’ve got yourself a chai latte instead!
Chai tea has a beautiful beige look with the hint of a light milk froth at the top. It’s got a light viscosity due to lesser milk content.
Contrastingly, chai latte has a milkier appearance and a paler look which is complemented with a thicker froth. Compared to chai tea it’s got a creamier and more velvety texture due to a high quantity of milk.
Because of its lower milk content, chai tea has bolder spice and tea flavors. The milk in a way balances the flavors. Moreover, the flavors in chai tea are exaggerated also because it’s served hot.
Chai latte has a milkier and sweeter taste. The spice and tea flavor are mild and because it is served both hot and cold it can be amped up with various other flavorings.
You may like to read: Honey Latte Recipe
What Type of Tea is Used to Make Chai Latte?
Do you know how the several milk-based coffee recipes on ECT require the perfect shot of espresso as a key ingredient? Similarly, the chai latte requires a bold kind of tea. Considering it lacks the concentration of coffee or espresso, it is necessary to use a strong tea to create an intensity in the drink.
Especially considering the excessive amount of milk used in the drink, black tea is used to make chai latte. Black tea perfectly integrates all the spices and flavors added to the latte to create a delightful end result. Most commonly, the Assam and Darjeeling tea is used.
You may like to read: Chestnut Praline Latte Recipe
Is Chai Tea Healthier Than Coffee?
Compared to coffee, chai tea is a greater source of antioxidants that keep the body healthy and prevent various illnesses. Plus, the ingredients used to make chai tea are enriched with nutrients such as Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin K, and Manganeses. Finally, it has no caffeine which makes it perfectly healthy!
Is Chai Tea Latte Good for Weight Loss?
Ingredients used to make chai tea are highly beneficial for weight loss purposes. For instance, the cinnamon in chai tea prevents sugar cravings and regulates the blood sugar level. This is key to maintaining a healthy weight and shedding fat. Plus, the ginger in chai tea also helps in weight loss as it keeps you feeling full longer.
The next best way, after this blog, to find out ‘what does chai tea and latte taste like’ is to actually try it! The only big difference between the beverages is the milk quantity. So, you won’t be risking anything in terms of mouth feels except the chance of missing out on something heavenly.
The sweet and spice combo awaits you!
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Tim is the author and webmaster of this blog. He is a coffee aficionado who has always strived to succeed by simplifying the many facets of the coffee business into engaging and informative writing. In addition to helping readers discover their next brew, he intends to educate them about espresso and coffee.