How to Make the Perfect Tea Latte

Tea lattes are a sweet, indulgent treat! Like coffee-based lattes, they’re made by adding steamed, frothed milk and sweetener to a tea base. Some popular versions of tea lattes include matcha lattes, chai lattes, London fog lattes, and more. They’re the perfect drink for chilly fall days, whether you’re ordering one from a coffee shop or enjoying a homemade version in your own kitchen.

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Lattes can seem intimidating to make at home, but they’re actually pretty simple! All you need is good tea, milk, and a sweetener of your choice. Master a few easy steps and you’ll be able to whip up delicious tea lattes on demand whenever the urge strikes you. While tea lattes are simple at their core, they’re also fun to experiment with, so feel free to play around with different variations until you find your favorite!

What is a tea latte?

At its most simple, a tea latte is just like a coffee-based latte, but with tea instead of coffee or espresso. Tea lattes blend steamed, frothed milk with brewed tea and sweetener for a cozy, satisfying drink that's surprisingly easy to make at home.

How to make a hot tea latte

Making a tea latte that’s as good as the one from your local coffee shop is surprisingly easy!

What you’ll need

To make a tea latte at home, you’ll need:

  • Tea of your choice (popular options include Matcha, Masala Chai, Earl Grey Lavender, and Apricot Brandy)
  • Milk (use whole milk for an extra rich latte, or use non-dairy milk like oat milk or almond milk if you prefer!)
  • Sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc.)

1. Brew your tea

The first step when making a tea latte is to brew up your tea base. This can vary depending on what type of tea you use, but for a black tea we recommend using one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water, heating water to boiling, and infusing your tea for about four to five minutes.

Tea infusers are a great option to brew your tea with. Be sure to leave enough room at the top of your cup for the milk!

2. Sweeten your tea

The next step is to sweeten your tea using a sweetener of your choice. You can use regular sugar, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or whatever else you have on hand.

3. Heat your milk

If you’re using a specialized milk frother or espresso machine, you can use this to heat up your milk. Otherwise, you can heat milk on the stove or microwave it for about 45 seconds. You want your milk to be hot, but not boiling! For a normal size latte, use about 1/3 cup of milk. You can use any type of milk you want, but whole milk will get the frothiest.

4. Froth your milk

Frothing the milk is probably the most intimidating part of making a tea latte at home. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need any specialized equipment to froth milk, and you probably already have a couple of these items in your kitchen! You can froth milk in a couple of different ways:

  • Using a milk frother - This one is pretty self-explanatory: a milk frother will easily heat and froth your milk for you!
  • Using a frothing wand - Frothing wands are another easy option, and often come as an accessory for immersion blenders. Just heat up your milk and froth away until your milk is fluffy and foamy.
  • Using a whisk - If you don’t have a milk frother or frothing wand, you can use a hand whisk or electric whisk to froth your milk. Heat up your milk on the stovetop or in the microwave, then whisk until it’s nice and frothy.
  • Shaking in a jar - If you don’t have any of the above equipment, you can froth your milk using a simple mason jar. Add steamed milk to a jar, screw on the lid, and shake vigorously.

5. Assemble your latte

To assemble your latte, pour the frothed milk into your teacup or mug and spoon the foam on top. You can garnish your latte with cinnamon, rose petals, or other garnishes. Then sit back and enjoy!

How to make an iced tea latte

Iced tea lattes are a cool, refreshing version of the traditional hot tea latte.

What you’ll need

To make an iced tea latte, you’ll need:

  • Tea of your choice (popular options include Matcha, Masala Chai, Earl Grey Lavender, and Apricot Brandy)
  • Milk (use whole milk for an extra rich latte, or use non-dairy milk like oat milk or almond milk if you prefer!)
  • Sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc.)
  • Ice cubes

1. Prepare your tea

You can either prepare your tea hot and then wait for it to cool, or cold-brew your tea overnight to use in the morning.

2. Sweeten your tea

If you prepare your tea hot, you should add the sweetener before the tea cools. This makes it easier for the sweetener to dissolve. If you’re using cold-brewed tea, you may want to use simple syrup, maple syrup, or another type of liquid sweetener.

3. Assemble your latte

To assemble your latte, fill a tall glass with ice and pour your sweetened tea over it. Then top with milk of your choice and enjoy!

What tea should you use for a tea latte?

Truthfully, you can use any type of tea you want for a tea latte! From caffeinated teas to herbal teas, hearty black teas to rich, vegetal matcha, there are plenty of great options to choose from. Here are some teas that we think make especially nice lattes:

Matcha latte

Matcha lattes are a classic version of tea lattes that use Japanese matcha as their base. Matcha is a powdered green tea known for its rich, vegetal flavor and bright green color. Culinary grade matcha is specifically designed for use in the kitchen, and it a great choice for tea lattes.

Chai latte

Chai lattes are another classic, and one that you’ll almost always find on offer at coffee shops even if they don’t have many other tea options. To make a chai latte, use Masala Chai as a base for a caffeinated latte, or Rooibos Chai for a caffeine-free version. Other similar spiced teas like Solstice Spice also make great lattes.

Black tea latte

Flavored black teas make a great tea latte base! They’re hearty enough to stand up to milk and there are many different options to choose from. We're particularly big fans of lattes made with Earl Grey, Midnight Rose, or Apricot Brandy! If you're in the mood for something bold and smoky, you can even go with a Lapsang Souchong latte.

Other teas

The sky’s the limit - feel free to experiment with lattes using your favorites teas as a base!

Tea latte vs. milk tea: what’s the difference?

While tea lattes and milk tea are pretty similar, there are a few important differences. You can think of milk tea as a big umbrella that includes all kinds of different teas with milk in them, and tea lattes as a specific type of milk tea underneath that umbrella. Other types of milk tea include boba, Thai tea, Hong Kong milk tea, Hokkaido milk tea, Okinawa milk tea, and a classic British cuppa with milk in it.

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