Latte’s aren’t just for coffee fans anymore. Tea Lattes are a delicious way to enjoy your favorite coffee-house tea drink at home. Hot or cold. We are spilling ‘all the tea’ on how to make them.
Whether you aren’t a coffee drinker or just like to change up your drink routine Tea Lattes are a great choice.
They can be made with any tea so the number of different flavor choices is unlimited.
Change up the milk, use different sweeteners, add flavorings.
You get the picture. Lots of delicious options.
What is Tea Latte?
They are the tea version of a coffee latte. Steeped tea combined with milk and a usually a sweetener.
Hot tea lattes have frothed milk for a light, airy touch. Cold versions have the milk poured on top and are served over ice.
What’s the Difference between Tea Latte and Milk Tea?
Traditional Milk Tea is strongly steeped black tea combined with sweetened milk or regular milk. It’s generally served cold only.
Tea Latte can use any tea, often is served hot with frothed milk, usually a sweetener and sometimes an additional flavor agent (like vanilla extract for instance).
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
There are three things you’ll need to make tea lattes:
Prepared (brewed) tea. Any tea will work. Brew to the instructions for the tea being used.
Milk. If you’ll be frothing the milk using whole dairy milk works best but any milk, dairy or plant milk will taste great.
Sweetener. Honey, agave syrup, granulated sugar or simple syrup (regular or flavored) can be used. Each has a different flavor so select what you enjoy for the type of tea you’ll use.
What is the best tea to use for Tea Lattes?
Any tea can be used. Matcha lattes and Chai Lattes are very popular. The strong, distinct flavor of the tea combines well with the milk.
If you want something without caffeine try a Chamomile latte (shown in the How to Make it process steps).
Just like coffee lattes, tea lattes are delicious hot or cold.
How to froth milk for Lattes
Higher fat content milk froths best. Whole milk will create the best result due to the fat content. Any milk will work some just may not get as frothy.
Use the right tool. There are multiple ways to get milk to froth. Here are some to try:
A steamer on a home espresso machine. If you have an espresso machine with the steamer to frother milk, use that.
French Press. These are used to make coffee but hot milk can also be added the the plunger used to froth the milk. Pump the plunger a few times to get the milk to froth.
Whisk. This takes some ‘elbow grease’ but will work.
A jar. Put the hot milk in a jar, add the lid and shake it vigorously. Or try this method from The Kitchn of adding cold milk to a jar, shaking then microwaving to stabilize the foam.
Try an immersion blender (stick blender). Add the heated milk to a deep container to minimize splattering.
Basic Tea Latte formula
- 2 teaspoons loose tea (fine texture) OR 2 tablespoons if coarse (e.g. dried chamomile flowers) OR 2 tea bags
- 6 ounces water (3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup milk
Hot tea lattes have frothed milk and iced tea lattes use cold milk.
Steep for the time suggested by the tea maker. If using bulk tea (no package) consult this guide tea steeping details and times.
This basic formula doubles the tea amount for the same amount of water to make stronger tea.
Making the tea stronger better delivers the tea flavor once it’s combined with the milk.
Do not steep the tea longer as it can become bitter.
Steep the tea 2-3 times stronger than in a regular cup of tea. This allows the tea flavor to come through when the milk is added.
Having said all of this when you are making them at home you can find the ratios that you enjoy most.
If you use Starbucks as an example, they use approximately 50% tea concentrate and 50% milk for their tea lattes (I asked).
How to Make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Brew the tea
Use loose tea (shown below) or tea bags. Brew for the tea makers recommended time. Photos 1-2.
If making iced tea latte still steep it hot and let it chill before making the latte.
STEP 2. Add sweetener
Add the sweetener of choice (photo 3). Also if using an additional flavoring it now. Photo 4 is adding vanilla extract for the Chamomile Iced Tea Latte.
STEP 3. Add milk
For iced latte: Pour the tea into a glass with ice (photo 5). Pour in the chilled milk of choice (photo 6).
For hot latte: Pour the tea into a tall glass or large mug. Froth the milk and spoon it into the mug.
Don’t steep the tea longer. To make the tea stronger, we’ve doubled the tea for the same amount of water. Steeping it longer can make the tea bitter.
Some Tea Latte Recipes to try
- Matcha Latte
- Iced Matcha Latte
- London Fog (Earl Grey latte)
- Green Tea Latte
- Chai Latte
- Dirty Chai (this is on Starbuck’s Secret menu too): add a shot of espresso to the Chai Latte above!