What is a Chai Latte and why is it sooo good?

What is a Chai Latte?


The title “Chai Latte” can be misleading because there is no coffee in this hot drink!  It’s not a “true” latte.   It’s a tea-based drink which originated in India thousands of years ago.

The term “chai” means “tea”,  and the foamed milk from cafés is what gives the drink the title of “Latte”.

Chai Lattes are as good cold as they are hot, making this a year-round drink.  The cold version is known as an Iced Chai Latte.

Are you aware of the number of different Chai drinks available in the market?  There is a Masala Tea, a Masala Chai, a Chai Tea, Chai Latte and the list goes on.  If this is confusing, click here to read a short Vibe article defining each of these Chai drinks and what they mean to you.

Chai Latte’s are healthier than Espresso:

Because chai latte is made with tea it cuts the caffeine content by over 50%.  This alone eliminates the “jitters” and potential caffeine shock that people can and do suffer from.

Chai Latte Ingredients:

There are many different sources of information that have variations to the ingredients which make up a Chai Latte.  But after researching the authorities on this topic, the Chai Latte can be summarised as having 4 groups of ingredients…

  1. Black Tea
  2. Spices
  3. Sweetener
  4. Milk (0ptional)

#1.  Black Tea:

The best known type of tea to use in a Chai Latte is the Assam tea.   In general, if you are doing this yourself, select loose teas with smaller broken leaves rather than full leaf tea, because they will infuse into a richer, full-bodied tea.

#2.  Chai Latte Spices:

The spices most commonly found in a Chai Latte are…

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Star anise*
  • Cloves

*Star anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant, native to Southwest China. The star anise is shaped like a star, has an average of eight points, each containing a single pea-sized seed.   The seeds and pod contain a sweet flavour.

Pepper, coriander, nutmeg and fennel are also used in Chai Lattes, but are less common.

Vibe Tip: Fresh spices make the best chai.

#3.  Sweetener:

With all the spices in use along with the black tea, sweeteners are required to soften the impact of some of the spices and enhance the flavours of some of the other spices.
It’s also important to understand, too much sweetener will eliminate the flavor of spices rather than improving it.  The most common sweeteners in use is honey, white and brown sugar.  Some known recipes introduce maple syrup to help accentuate the spices.

#4.  Milk:

This is an optional ingredient and is at the discretion of the taste of the individual.  Some people need milk to soften both the sweetener and spices, while others do not.  Traditional Chai Lattes are made with steamed milk, however, since this drink has become more mainstream, its now become an individual’s choice.

Why do Chai Lattes taste different from one café to another?

In cafés, a Chai Latte is a fusion of spices, water, black tea and sugar topped with foamed milk.

The biggest variation in a Chai Latte comes in how cafés apply the spices.   Each café will have its own version of the volume of spices used and/or the types of spices used in this drink.

This is why Vibe made its own Chai Latte:  to provide a consistent café standard Chai Latte you can enjoy in your home or office.  You also have full control on the type and volume of milk to add.    Your milk your way.

Introducing Vibe’s Chai Latte Nespresso Compatible Pods:

The Vibe Chai Latte is an elegant combination of black tea extract and a blend of spices which is perfectly sweetened with both honey and sugar. It’s also designed to perfectly blend with milk!

Our Chai Latte Pods are full of natural ingredients and is low in caffeine to give you the perfect state of calm throughout your day.  Click here to view the Serenity Chai Latte pods which are in stock and available to purchase online.

The Vibe Serenity Chai Latte pod fits in all capsule/pod machines (click here to learn more).  You can see the shape of our Chai Capsule/Pod below…

Vibe’s Chai Latte is a clear customer favourite…

Now that you have a better understanding of the Chai Latte, there are two versions of this drink we find incredibly yummy:

  1. The Dirty Chai
  2. The Chai Toddy

The Dirty Chai:

A Dirty Chai is a mix of a traditional Chai Latte and Espresso beautifully mixed together to create the perfect combination of rich black tea and espresso.

Vibe Coffee’s Dirty Chai Pack is another customer favourite….

The Chai Toddy:

Yummly.com says one of the best alcoholic beverages mixing alcohol with a Chai Latte is the “Chai Toddy”.


This delicious drink consists of…

The Final Word:

If you are looking for a consistently delicious hot drink which is great for those cool winter days and is low in caffeine, consider a Chai Latte.

And, you have never tried a Chai Latte over ice, you are missing out!

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