Make some chai syrup and tea concentrate at home so you can mix up your own affordable and delicious chai lattes anytime you like! Our syrup recipe makes 13 servings in one batch and tastes amazing with oat milk.
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I’m super excited to share this recipe with you today, if you love chai lattes from coffee shops like Starbucks, you’re going to love our homemade chai syrup and tea concentrate!
We have several syrup recipes on our website that are great alternatives to coffee shop syrups, and one of my followers on TikTok asked for homemade chai syrup. I loved that idea and got to work making a chai version of our gingerbread syrup recipe.
Both of my kids love this recipe and it’s a great way to save money by making amazing chai lattes at home instead of getting them at coffee shops.
Why you’ll love our homemade chai syrup recipe
Our homemade chai syrup is a fun way to make your own instant chai lattes at home whenever you want! You are in complete control of the ingredients in your syrup, and you can even try making this low sugar or sugar free.
While this takes a little bit of work to make, once the syrup is made, you can make iced or hot chai easily by just mixing the syrup with water and dairy free milk. The tea is already in the syrup!
Our syrup is also cost-effective. One batch of our syrup costs under $6 to make but makes about 13 servings for 8-ounce drinks. A typical store-bought carton of chai syrup (like Tazo or Oregon Chai) only has about 5 servings in a 32-ounce carton for about the same price.
This recipe is also easy to make since you won’t need whole spices (like whole star anise or coriander seed). We used ground spices you likely already have in your spice cabinet in this recipe. And this homemade syrup makes a wonderful gift for the holidays as well!
How to make chai spice syrup at home
There are a few steps to make this chai syrup at home, but it’s pretty straightforward and not too hard to make!
Here are the steps for making this recipe. This is just an overview, the full recipe card is at the end of the post.
- Heat a kettle or pot with water until boiling or near boiling.
- Make a chai concentrate by adding 2 cups of hot water to a heat-proof measuring pitcher and add 10 Tazo black chai tea bags.
- Steep for 15 minutes. You can stir the tea bags occasionally and make sure they get soaked, but don’t dunk the tea bags or the tea will get bitter.
- Once 15 minutes is up, squeeze out the tea bags into the tea and discard the bags. This is a very concentrated tea that we will cook with sugar to make the syrup that has tea in it. If any of the tea bags break open, you can pour it through a strainer to remove any pieces of tea and spice.
- Add all of the tea concentrate (you’ll have about 1 ½ cups) to a 2-quart saucepan with the sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk together and cook over medium heat until lightly boiling.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the spices and vanilla.
- Allow to cool and put in a jar, bottle, or pitcher.
- This can be stored at room temperature for a week or so, for longer storage put it in the fridge.
- The spices tend to settle at the bottom of the syrup, so stir this before measuring out your syrup for drinks.
For our recipe, I used the Tazo black chai tea bags since this brand has a nice spice blend that is well-balanced and doesn’t end up weak or bitter. You can use a different brand of tea bags, but the flavor of the syrup may change slightly.
A box of the organic Tazo chai black tea bags has 16 tea bags in a box, so you can get 1 ½ batches of syrup out of 1 box of tea.
This recipe is milder than the Starbucks chai lattes, so if you want to have a stronger and spicier chai, you can add extra cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to the syrup.
Or you can add this syrup to a brewed chai for a double-strength chai!
Can I make this syrup sugar free?
I haven’t tested any of our syrups with sugar-free sugars, like Swerve or Truvia yet so I’m not sure how they would turn out.
However you might be able to reduce or cut out the sugar in this chai latte syrup recipe by replacing the sugar with a granulated alternative like erythritol.
A sugar-free syrup won’t have the same thickness or viscosity as a syrup made with sugar, so some people add thickeners to their sugar free syrups. I don’t think that’s necessary however, the thickness of the syrup doesn’t really add anything to the drink.
Having a thicker syrup is nice for other uses, like on pancakes or ice cream, but since this has concentrated tea in it, it isn’t as suitable for pancakes or ice cream as our gingerbread syrup or our apple brown sugar syrup.
How to make an oat milk chai latte
To use our syrup to make an oatmilk chai latte, you’ll use 2 Tablespoons of our syrup to 8 ounces of liquid. You can use 3 Tablespoons if you want a sweeter or stronger tea, but it ends up being pretty sweet.
Starbucks makes their chai lattes with a 50/50 mix of water and milk, and we tested this out and it tastes great when the liquid is mixed the same as Starbucks (50/50 water and oat milk).
Although you can use all oat milk if you like, or use any dairy free or regular milk you prefer.
I tried to make this syrup not overly sweet so people can add extra syrup to their drink if they want it stronger tasting, but even so, it still gets pretty sweet when using more than 2 Tbsp/8 ounces.
You can adjust the amount of syrup in the drink to see what you like, and if you like a strong chai, you can replace the plain water in your drink with brewed chai for a double-strength chai latte as we mentioned earlier.
Here’s a handy chart showing you the amount of liquid and syrup you’ll need to make any size chai latte!
|Starbucks Size Equivalent
|Amount of liquid
|Amount of syrup
|Short (8 oz)
|8 oz = 4 oz water + 4 oz milk
|Tall (12 oz)
|12 oz = 6 oz water + 6 oz milk
|Grande (16 oz)
|16 oz = 8 oz water + 8 oz milk
|Venti (20 oz)
|20 oz = 10 oz water + 10 oz milk
For a hot chai latte, use hot water and hot milk with the syrup. If you want an iced chai latte, use cold water and cold milk and add a few ice cubes.
Just make sure to add the ice after mixing the syrup into the water and milk. The syrup will mix in the best before adding the ice.
You can also use this syrup to make a dirty chai, which is a coffee chai drink. Make up your dirty chai latte by mixing up your regular chai latte using our chart above and then adding a shot of espresso to it. You can adjust the amount of syrup, milk, or water to suit your taste!
Check out our other syrup recipes:
- Apple Brown Sugar Syrup (Starbucks Copycat)
- Chokecherry Syrup
- Starbucks Gingerbread Syrup
- Vanilla Coffee Syrup
Starbucks Copycat Homemade Chai Syrup (& Chai Latte)
- Measure out 2 cups of water into a heat resistant bowl or large cup and steep 10 Tazo chai tea bags in the hot water for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring the tea bags to make sure they are all wet and soaking, but don't dunk the tea bags (this can result in bitterness).
- After 15 minutes, squeeze out the tea bags well and discard the bags. If the tea bags split, pour through a fine tea strainer to filter out any tea or spice particles. You should end up with around 1 ½ cups of very strong chai (chai concentrate).
- Add the freshly brewed chai concentrate to a small saucepan with 1 ¼ cups of sugar (we use Zulka unbleached sugar). Whisk in the cream of tartar.
- Heat over medium to medium-low heat until lightly boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Once the 10 minutes is up, remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and spices.
- Allow to cool completely. Store in a jar at room temperature.
- For drinks, use about 2 Tablespoons syrup for an 8 ounce drink. You can use 3 Tablespoons syrup for a stronger drink.
Oatmilk chai latte
- For an 8 ounce chai, mix together 2 Tablespoons of syrup, 4 ounces (1/2 cup) water, and 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of oatmilk.
- Use hot water and hot oat milk for a hot drink, or cold water and cold oat milk for an iced drink with a few ice cubes.
- Adjust the amount of syrup for larger drinks (like 12 to 16 ounces).
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Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist