Updated at: 05-09-2023 - By: John Lau

Are you a tea lover who’s been stumped by the question, “Is Chai Latte coffee or tea?” Here’s a surprising fact for you: Despite its creamy appearance and latte name, it’s actually based on spiced tea! This blog will de-mystify the world of chai lattes for you, explaining what they are made from and how they differ from your traditional cup of joe.

Get ready to steep yourself in knowledge!

What is Chai Latte?

Is Chai Latte Coffee Or Tea (1)

Chai Latte is a delicious and aromatic beverage made from a combination of tea, warm spices like cinnamon and clove, steamed milk, and froth.

Definition of Chai Latte

chai latte combines two elements – chai tea and steamed milk. Chai tea begins with a strong black tea infused with various spices such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, and cardamom. The blend is then brewed in water to create a robust flavor profile that radiates warmth.

To finish the process, hot steamed milk is added to the spicy brew giving it a sweet balance and resulting in a creamy froth crowning the top of the beverage. This warming concoction creates what we know as the popular chai latte served in many coffee shops around the world today.

Ingredients of Chai Latte

Chai latte is made from a combination of black tea, warming spices such as cinnamon and clove, steamed milk, and a sweet balance of foam.

How it is prepared

To prepare a Chai Latte, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by heating a cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add a tea bag or loose leaf black tea to the milk and let it steep for 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. While the tea is steeping, combine cinnamon, clove, and other warming spices in a small bowl.
  4. Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea bag or strain out the loose leaf tea.
  5. Stir in the spice mixture and sweetener of your choice, such as honey or sugar.
  6. Return the saucepan to low heat and simmer for an additional 2 – 3 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  7. In a separate container, froth another cup of milk using a frother or whisk until it becomes light and airy.
  8. Pour the spiced milk into a cup, leaving room at the top for frothed milk.
  9. Gently pour the frothed milk on top of the spiced milk to create a layer of foam.
  10. Sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top if desired.

The Difference Between Chai Latte and Coffee

Is Chai Latte Coffee Or Tea (2)

Chai Latte is tea-based, while coffee is made from coffee beans.

Chai Latte is tea-based

Chai Latte is a delicious and warming beverage that is tea-based. It starts with black tea, which is brewed with a combination of aromatic spices like cinnamon and clove. Then, steamed milk is added to create a frothy texture that is both creamy and comforting.

The result is a sweet balance of flavors that will leave you feeling cozy and satisfied. With its unique blend of ingredients, Chai Latte offers an alternative to coffee for those looking for a warm drink with a distinct taste.

Coffee is made from coffee beans

Coffee beans are the main ingredient used to make coffee. When roasted and ground, these beans release their rich flavors and aroma, resulting in a delicious beverage enjoyed by many.

To make coffee, hot water is poured over the ground coffee beans, allowing for the extraction of the flavorful compounds. The result is a warm and energizing drink that has become a staple for caffeine lovers around the world.

– Coffee undergoes a process where it starts with green coffee beans which are then roasted at high temperatures until they turn brown. These roasted beans are then ground to create fine coffee grounds, which can be brewed using various methods such as drip brewing or espresso machines.

The History of Chai Latte

Is Chai Latte Coffee Or Tea (3)

Chai Latte has its origins in India, where it was traditionally prepared by brewing black tea with a mixture of warm spices such as cinnamon and clove. Over time, Chai Latte gained popularity and spread to various parts of the world, becoming a beloved and comforting beverage for many.

Origins of Chai Latte

Chai latte has its origins in India, where it is known as “masala chai.” In Indian culture, chai tea has been enjoyed for centuries. The traditional drink is made by brewing black tea with aromatic spices like cinnamon and clove, creating a warm and flavorful beverage.

Chai latte became popular in the Western world in the 1990s when coffee shops started offering their own versions of this comforting drink. Today, chai latte can be found on menus worldwide, providing a sweet and warming alternative to coffee or tea.

Popularity and spread of Chai Latte

Chai latte has become increasingly popular in recent years, spreading its warm and comforting flavors across coffee shops and cafes worldwide. This tea-based beverage, made with a combination of black tea and warming spices like cinnamon and clove, offers a unique alternative to traditional coffee drinks.

Its popularity can be attributed to its sweet balance of flavors, the frothed milk that gives it a creamy texture, and the comfort it provides on cold days. Chai latte has quickly gained a dedicated following among those who enjoy trying new and flavorful beverages.

Chai Latte and Caffeine

Chai Latte contains caffeine, but the amount varies depending on the type of tea used and how it is prepared.

Caffeine content in Chai Latte

Chai Latte contains caffeine, although in smaller amounts compared to coffee. The black tea used as the base of Chai Latte naturally contains caffeine, providing a subtle energy boost.

However, the overall caffeine content can vary depending on factors like brewing time and the amount of tea used. While Chai Latte may not have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, it can still provide a comforting and warming beverage option for those who prefer a milder pick-me-up.

Comparison to coffee

A comparison of chai latte and coffee can provide useful insights especially considering their caffeine content and the implications for consumers who are managing alcoholism.

Chai Latte Coffee
Caffeine Content Approximately 25-50 mg per 8 oz serving, depending on the tea and spices used. Approximately 95-200 mg per 8 oz serving, depending on the type and amount of coffee beans used.
Ingredients Typically made from black tea, milk, sugar, and a blend of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Traditionally prepared from water and coffee beans, but may also include milk, sugar, or other flavors.
Effects Low caffeine content in chai latte can help to reduce caffeine dependency and withdrawal symptoms. High caffeine content in coffee may lead to increased dependency and more severe withdrawal symptoms.

So, while both beverages contain caffeine, coffee generally has a significantly higher content. This is an important consideration for individuals with alcoholism, as excessive caffeine intake can interfere with sleep patterns and trigger cravings for alcohol. It’s always a good idea to monitor your caffeine intake and opt for lower-caffeine options where possible.


In conclusion, Chai Latte is not coffee but a tea-based beverage. It is made from black tea and a blend of warm spices like cinnamon and clove. With steamed milk and froth, it offers a sweet balance that warms you up.

So if you’re looking for something different from coffee or tea, give Chai Latte a try!