Vegan Chai Latte

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Two glasses of our Vegan Chai Latte recipe with coconut whip and cinnamon

Do I miss the Midwest? Hmmm.

I don’t miss needing a car to go everywhere.
And I don’t miss the freezing temps, ice and snow.

But I do miss family and friends,
our little corner apartment,
and my goodness do I miss the chai lattes at Kaldi’s.
I shudder just thinking about how good they were.

It’s been weeks and I’m having withdrawals. Straight -withdrawals.
I suppose it’s time I learn to make them at home.
You see where this is going.
From scratch vegan chai lattes at home –  we’re doing this.

Grabbing a scoop of our homemade Chai Spice Mix

First of all, if you are ever in Kansas City on the Plaza, go to Kaldi’s and try their chai latte. It’s the best I’ve ever had. Not that I’ve tried anything authentic from the source, but of my many coffeeshop experiences, it’s hands down the best.

Ingredients for making our homemade Vegan Chai Latte recipe

Perfectly spiced
Not too sweet
Piping hot
& Addictive

I’ve done my best to make the latte of my dreams at home and think I’ve nailed it!

I even did my research on what goes into those sneaky powder mixes coffee shops use, which they assure me are dairy-free. I still have my suspicions…

This latte? It’s from scratch. No powders, no pre-mixed packets, no pre-fab concentrate. We’re going old school.

What is Masala Chai?

Masala chai is a creamy, spiced tea that’s most popular in India but is increasingly enjoyed around the world. The primary difference between chai and masala chai is that masala chai includes spices, while chai is simply tea and milk.

Chai is typically made with four components:

  1. Black tea (we prefer bagged or loose-leaf, decaf when possible)
  2. Milk (we went dairy-free with coconut and/or cashew )
  3. Sweetener (we went for a little maple syrup)
  4. Spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black pepper)

The spices vary depending on the recipe, but our favorite combination is cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and ginger.

For a more authentic recipe and to learn more about this delicious Indian tea, see this video from Bhavna’s Kitchen.

Making our Chai Latte Recipe in a saucepan

For this latte you’ll need:

  • black or chai tea
  • ground or whole chai spices (listed below)
  • sweetener of choice (cane sugar, maple syrup, stevia)
  • dairy-free milk of choice (almond is best)
  • raw cashews (optional for thickening)
  • coconut whipped cream for topping (optional, but c’mon)
Mixing bowl filled with freshly whipped Coconut Whipped Cream
Glasses filled with our Simple Vegan Chai Latte recipe

Because everyone really wants whipped cream on their latte. I will cry the day coffee shops offer dairy-free whip; tears of joy. 

The method is simple and allows for customizing. Steep tea with spices in water. Sweeten to taste and add dairy-free milk for creaminess. Strain and serve.

At that point you can thicken with cashew cream and heat a little in the microwave or stovetop once more, and top with coconut whipped cream + ground cinnamon.

The result is a perfectly spicy-sweet chai latte that rivals most coffeehouse offerings.

If you try this chai latte, let us know what you think (and leave any tips you might have)! Leave a comment, tell us on social media, or our favorite – tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see.

Cheers, friends!

Glasses of our perfectly spicy Vegan Chai Latte
Glasses filled with our Creamy Vegan Chai Latte with coconut whip

Vegan Chai Latte

Our inspired take on classic Indian chai lattes! Creamy, plant-based, perfectly spiced, and customizable to taste. The perfect warm drink for chilly winter days.
Author Minimalist Baker
Dairy-free milk, spices, and two glasses of our homemade Vegan Chai Latte recipe
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 (chai lattes)
Course Beverage
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 heaping Tbsp loose leaf black tea*
  • 2 Tbsp whole chai spice blend* (use less if ground)
  • Cane sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice (to taste)*
  • 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (more to taste)
  • Coconut Whipped Cream (for topping)
  • 1/2 scant cup raw cashews (optional // soaked in cool water overnight or very hot water 1 hour – then drained)


  • Add water, tea and spices to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes to fully steep.
  • Remove from heat and add almond milk and sweetener of choice and stir. Warm for 2-3 minutes off the heat, and then pour over 2 serving mugs (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) using a fine mesh strainer.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more for sugar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan) for sweetness, and ground cinnamon for a little extra warmth.
  • OPTIONAL: For extra creamy texture, add your chai tea mixture + soaked cashews to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness/seasonings as needed. I added more sweetener, ground cinnamon and ground ginger for extra spice.
  • Either reheat briefly on the stovetop or microwave and serve. Heat modestly as the mixture can thicken quite a bit when reheated for too long (due to the cashews). If it gets too thick, thin with more almond milk or water.
  • Top with coconut whip and a dash of cinnamon and serve. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days, though best when fresh.


*If you don’t have loose leaf tea, use 2-3 black or chai tea bags per 1 Tbsp loose leaf tea.
*Chai Spice Blend (if using ground spices): 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp each black pepper, ground cloves + cardamom (more tips at The Kitchn). Mix these spices together and then add according to desired spiciness.
*If you don’t have whole spices, use ground and then strain with a fine-mesh strainer.
*Don’t forget to adequately sweeten. If it’s overly spiced and under-sweetened, it’s a no go. When in doubt, add a little more sugar, maple syrup, agave or sweetener of choice.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 2 lattes calculated with 1 Tbsp sugar and without cashews.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 chai lattes Calories: 36 Carbohydrates: 5 g Protein: 0.5 g Fat: 1.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 292 mg Fiber: 0.5 g Sugar: 3.8 g

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  1. Tanvi Jindal says

    Hey, thank you for this recipe! Love it! As a chai lover who can’t eat dairy any more, this makes me happy!

    I have a question though: My almond milk (made at home using your recipe) keeps separating when I add it to the chai, or even just heat it in the microwave. Is that expected?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tanvi! We’re so glad you are enjoying it! Almond milk can have a tendency to separate when heated.

  2. Chris says

    Long-time fan, first-time commenter: this is the Chai recipe I’ve been looking for! I’ve been wanting something bold to replace coffee and this does the trick for me. The ground spices create a very robust flavor. I used homemade coconut milk for my milk choice and it paired nicely. I also enjoy the ritual aspect of making this on the stove top.

  3. Austin says

    Hi, like others, I’m confused with the quantities of the spices.

    In the ingredients section, you say,

    “2 Tbsp whole chai spice blend*”

    In the notes section, you say,

    “*Chai Spice Blend: 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp each black pepper, ground cloves + cardamom (more tips at The Kitchn). Mix these spices together and then add according to desired spiciness.”

    But that spice blend doesn’t equal 2tbsp as you mentioned in the ingredients? I looked in the comments and there are at least 3 or 4 people asking for clarification with the spices, and one answer from Support @ Minimalist Baker even said, “Hi Wendy, we haven’t tried it with whole spices so cannot provide precise measurements.” (Then why did you specify and even italicize “whole” in the instructions..?).

    Anyways, I don’t feel like a clear answer was ever given so I’m trying again. Is “1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp each black pepper, ground cloves + cardamom” the amount used for 2 servings of this latte? Or is that just the recipe for some quantity of chai spice blend, and then two Tbsps are required of it. For example, perhaps you double the “Chai Spice Blend” (1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp each black pepper, ground cloves + cardamom) in order to get 7 tsp of Chai Spice blend, and then use 2 Tbsp of it?


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Austin, thank you for bringing this to our attention and sorry for the confusion of that answer (we must have thought the comment was on a different recipe and will be sure to adjust). Yes, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp each black pepper, ground cloves + cardamom is the amount used for 2 servings of this latte. The reason it doesn’t add up to 2 Tbsp is that ground spices are going to be more potent that whole spices. Hope that helps and again, our apologies for the lack of clarity!

  4. Emanuela says

    Would love to try one of your chai recipes! What’s the difference in taste between this one and the easy masala chai? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emanuela! The main difference is that this version uses fresh ginger and whole spices, so it has a stronger flavor! Let us know if you give one of them a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rashida, sorry for the confusion! We mean to let it sit off the heat for 2-3 minutes and the milk and sweetener will warm up from the heat of the pan and its contents. Hope that helps!

  5. Marco says

    I didn’t have cardamom in the house so I went ahead and substituted the chai mix for 2 chai tea bags, tasted AMAZING!! Used 4 tbsp of agave syrup (what can I say except I have a sweet tooth!). Highly recommend!

  6. Quillin Musgrave says

    I am still drinking my first cup right now! I made the ground spice blend and added 1 tsp of that to my steeping liquid with two Ceylon tea bags. Then I added one cup of unsweetened soy milk and about 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup for the sweetener. It is perfect!

  7. Eli says

    The recipe was easy to follow and the chai was amazing. I only followed the first 3 steps ( no coconut or cashew ). Tastes like the real thing.

  8. Liza says

    Delicious Chai! I was also a little confused as to what amount of ground spices to add. And the intro says you’ll need vanilla but then doesn’t specify it in the ingredients/instructions. Still turned out great!!

  9. Sarah says

    So excited to try this one out–I just switched jobs and used to be above the cutest coffee/grocery shop in Chicago that served THE BEST Chai. Hoping this helps fill the chai-sized hole my new job has made (luckily it’s the only negative of the job).

    Also–I had no idea you were from the midwest, and I assume based on your love for Kaldi’s…St. Louis!? My best friend worked there for years, St. Louis has such a lovely coffee culture.

  10. Madison says

    Hi! I skimmed through the comments but didn’t see how to make this without caffeine? Is there such a thing as a chai latte without the tea? I’m loving chai lattes but I’m trying to get away from
    Caffeine! HELP PLEASE :)


  11. Wendy Janda says

    Hi, I’m also hoping for the whole spice measurements, PLEASE! You mention using either whole or ground. Thank you!

  12. Candace Jurado says

    Help! ! I found this delicious sounding recipe in my search for homemade chai tea for company arriving. I cannot, like others, seem to locate the whole spice measurements. Can you clarify this so that I can move forward with the recipe. Thank you

  13. Karin Cockroft says

    Just made this today. It is so delicious. I followed the recipe to create the mix and used the wand of our coffee machine to heat the milk. It was so delicious. Five star rating. Thank you so much Dana

  14. Cynthia says

    Hi, Dana!
    I have tried many of your recipes and have never met one I didn’t like. True to form, this one looks amazing.
    However, like Kami above, I am wondering how much of each WHOLE spice to use when making the chai blend, as the recipe recommends using whole but the ingredients list for the chai blend list only ground. ???

  15. Alicia says

    My family is moving to KC this summer, so I especially love to read about your favorite vegan spots there. I might need you to make me a list of all your favs! I love your blog, and every recipe I’ve tried so far. Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us ;-)

  16. Tala says

    Hi Dana,
    i’ve been wanting to make this for a while but I don’t have a whole spice blend recipe and the one you have provided is for ground spices.
    Could you provide the recipe for your whole spice mix?

  17. Rebecca says

    This is one of the many recipes I’ve tried on this blog and it’s honestly so great and amazing! Definitely my go to for dairy free chai! It’s so hard to find a chai recipe that doesn’t taste artificial, but this one is definitely refreshing.

    • Jessica says

      I’m really excited to try this out! I’ve loved every recipe from this site :) I have the same question as others…if I use ground spices (as measurements have been provided with the asterisk), how much of the total ground spice blend is used? It says 2 tbsp of whole spice blend…

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Jessica, ~2 1/2 teaspoons. You can find the recipe for ground spices in the notes. Hope that helps!

  18. Kami says

    Hi Dana! What are the measurements to make a whole spice blend? Would love to make a batch to have on hand. I only see measurements for ground. Thanks!

  19. Elizabeth Borelli says

    I love chai so much I created a company around it, Tonic and Bloom! My favorite milk to latte with is Pacific oat milk. It’s rich and creamy, slightly naturally sweet and contains no carrageenan. In fact, I’m enjoying right now!:-)

  20. Dee says

    Love this recipe. But when I try to add almond milk to tea and warm it, it kind of gets a wierd flavor to it. What brand of almond milk do you use or suggest?

  21. Arasht says

    Awesome recipe. I make mine with almond milk only and use arrowroot powder to thicken it a little.(and sometimes cashews too if i can) Thanks for the recipe!?

  22. Kate says

    This was an amazing recipe. I love it. =) But I’m having trouble getting the cashews to dissolve into the liquid. Any tips? Thank you so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kate! Did you use raw cashews and then soak them over night? After soaking, blend until creamy and smooth.

      • Kate says

        Yea, I did. But maybe I’m just not blending them quite enough. I have no problem trying again. Even imperfect, this recipe is great. Thank you^^

  23. Laura says

    I made this this morning! It came out perfect! Just like my local coffee shop.
    I used ground spices and followed the notes to a T. I used my french press to strain, and there were of course a bit of spices at the bottom of my mug, but that didn’t bother me. Wonderful recipe! Thanks!

  24. Margo says

    I’m from Columbia, MO and born in Kansas City! My sister lives in Kansas City at the moment! I’ll have to try Kaldi’s Chai Latte the next time I’m in town at Christmas time, since now I live in LA. Such a small world!

  25. Nancy says

    I found this recipe almost a year ago and bookmarked it. This morning I was able to walk to Kaldi’s in Kansas City and enjoy a cup of their chai. Glad my travels finally brought me to KC and I was able to check this off of my bucket list. Yum!

  26. Jane says

    I love this! The spice combo is lovely (albeit pretty strong), but the part that really got me was the whipped coconut cream. Wow! Just irrestible. I made it without the ground cashews & was satisfied with the smoothness. I’ve made it several times since always with the ground spices but today I was out of any sort of milk and substituted ice cream (not a vegan) for the milk & coconut cream, & that was a yummy treat.

  27. Meghan says

    Do you recommend unsweetened almond milk (or something like the “Original” from Silk)? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Anything soy will infuse a soy flavor. I recommend sticking with coconut, almond or rice milk!

  28. J says

    Could you please make a version to rival the bolt house farms vanilla soy chai tea latte? I tried this and it didn’t quite come out with the same intensity and ‘omg this is so delicious’ness sinilariyy that I was on my own hoping for.


  29. Lora O'Brien says

    Hi, just to let you know we recreantly featured this recipe if our latest Eluxe article.
    Love this recipe, great work!

  30. Nastasha says

    Love this recipe! Your blog is fabulous. Would love to chat about reblogging or having you guest blog for us. Please email me when you have a chance! XO

  31. Marina says

    After trying your vegan chai latte recipe, I became completed addicted to it! My favorite is adding coconut milk (unsweetened) and maple syrup. I tried hemp milk once and it was good too.
    Thank you Dana

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Thanks for sharing, Marina! I tried a hemp chai latte at a coffee shop this weekend and loved it!

  32. Jerry says

    Aren’t you in Portland now? You should DEFINITELY go to Pip’s Original Doughnuts. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t make a vegan latte you couldn’t trust!

  33. Latha says

    HI there,
    This looks simply soul warming for the type of winter day we are having today! One question though…your picture of the chai spices show more spices than what you list out in the details. For example, I see fennel seeds. Could you please clarify what all spices did you use to get the taste you were going after? Can’t wait to try this! Thanks.

  34. Anne says

    I love chai lattes and they are helping me drink less coffee. I will try yours! Right now I am frothing Bonsoy in an electric frother (the best taste and froth ever) and adding a honey and a chai spice blend I found at an Indian food store. Sometimes this is enough, caffeine-free. Sometimes I add a “shot” of black tea or a roobois-based chai blend ( caffeine-free). I make my shot by brewing in an espresso cup – lots of flavour, minimal water.

    I’m totally having one this morning. Yum!!!

  35. Brandi says

    I’ve been stalking your site for EVER &-didn’t realize exactly in MO where you were. I’m in the hopeless hinterland of the Northland, so, a decent chai is at least a haul to the river market. Meh. Thanks for the homemade hook up! :-)

  36. Vegan Donkey says

    There is nothing like a warm, spiced drink like this when it’s snowing outside (and it is right now!). I tend to add some cayenne or extra ginger to make it spicier. Haven’t tried the coconut cream, though…sounds delicious.

  37. Ashlee says

    I’m trying to get away from drinking coffee every morning, so I need to make more fun coffee drinks every so often so I have a treat to look forward to, instead of looking forward to my morning coffee every night as I lay down for bed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      This would make the perfect switch up drink from coffee. I find myself craving it over traditional coffee a couple times a week. Hope you love it, Ashlee!

  38. Lauren says

    I love a good chai latte but echo your concerns on what exactly is in those powder mixes. Lattes are supposed to be coffee/tea with frothy milk, not some concoction out of a carton or box. I’ve always preferred to make them at home – although I’ve never become completely comfortable with what is in chai tea bags. Leave it to you guys to come up with a simple, delicious looking recipe for one of my favorite winter treats.

  39. Active Vegetarian says

    Mmmm I love making homemade chai – and have been told I am a master at it! Lol I use mostly all the same ingredients however I love adding a little anise, and masala spice! Blend all of that with some fresh ginger and honey in a Vitamix for delicious frothy morning beverage! :)

  40. Jennifer says

    This was fun to make and tastes amazing! I had to scrounge my spice cabinet for your alternate suggestions for chai spices as I don’t have any whole spices or loose-leaf tea, but it all worked so wonderfully. I am now completely spoiled for taste and Starbucks just won’t satisfy anymore…which is nice for my pocketbook too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad you liked it, Jennifer! It takes a little fancy foot work if you don’t have a chai blend, but once you find the right spice quantities for you, it’s perfection. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Jessie Snyder | Faring Well says

    This whole post is super lovely and yummy looking! I love the ingredients shots. Plus now you have me craving chai, it’s been so long! Hope you’re getting some chill time on this Sunday with a cup of this in hand.

  42. Shana says

    I read that Silk is coming out with a non-dairy whip similar to cool whip and it should be in select Whole Foods soon! I’m sure its highly processed compared to coconut whip but to have whipped cream at my disposal could be the greatest thing of all time.

  43. Inge says

    Oh! I’m going to have to try that this afternoon! It’s the perfect drink for a cold, snowy Sunday like today. Thanks!

  44. April Baiella @ Infinite Yoga says

    “I will cry the day coffee shops offer dairy-free whip; tears of joy. ” Could not agree more Dana! This is one of my most common cafe orders and I’ve tried making my own at home, but I think this recipe will finally do the vegan chai latte justice. Thanks for sharing! Perhaps a vegan matcha green tea latte recipe will be forthcoming one of these days?

  45. LS says

    Really enjoying your recipes since joining your mailing list. Can’t wait to try this one. I live in Toronto (ON, CAN) so always looking for easy hot drink recipes. Dana – I’m happy to say that one of the dairy co-ops in this province has just launched a new coconut whipping cream product. It’s going to be in all conventional grocery stores… one step closer to being offered at coffee shops! :)

  46. Meg says

    This sounds delicious. Trying it tonight! Do beware of the powdered mixes at coffee shops. I work at one and we use big train, which is tasty, but has tons of sugar and is NOT dairy free!!

  47. Stephanie Darby says

    LOVE Kaldi’s! My fave spot when I am in St. Louis! This looks so cozy, perfect for our chilly weekends!

  48. jess alice says

    looks great! starbucks has nothing on this!!! it seems we’ve both had the same craving this week!! i just did a vegan chai post too! great minds think alike :)

  49. Amy says

    That’s so funny, I have made the same article on my blog yesterday! :) Anyway, I am going to try it with the whipped cream, it looks absolutely delicious!

    Enjoy your weekend,

  50. Rosie says

    Mmmm this looks delicious, I’ve never made anything like this but it looks so good. I’ve never heard of coconut whipped cream before, I’ll have to scour the supermarkets.

  51. Chrissy says

    Funny how something so simple can take you back somewhere in so many ways. The best regular latte I’ve ever had EVER was like 8 years ago at this coffee shop I used to frequent in Glasgow. I’m sure it was because of the purity of Scottish milk (happy cows, happy milk?). I still dream about nestling up in the window seat reading with one in hand while the rain drizzled outside…Glad you found a way to channel your KC comfort at home!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Glasgow?!! I WANNA GO TO THERE. So jealous and so great that this post brought back those memories for you! Hope you love this one, Chrissy!

  52. Bethan says

    Love your photos!

    I don’t really know if I can get coconut whipped cream here in the UK, thought maybe I can make it! (Research time)

  53. Amanda Meyer says

    Ahhhh I LOVE Kaldi’s! I live in Saint Louis and you’re right, it’s freezing in the midwest right now. Nevertheless I walk to Kaldi’s once a week for a “coffee and tea” date with my bf. But like you guys we are picking up and moving to the west coast (Los Angeles – next Friday! Egads!) At least now I can bring some of Kaldi’s with me :) xox

  54. Danielle {Styelleish } says

    I am addicted to tea lattes, but I don’t know if I have ever made one using chai. Definitely something to try soon!

      • Vane says

        I bought the vanilla chai from
        Nordstrom in powder form but realized it contains milk and it gives me such a stomachache, which chai do you recommend? I would just mix the vanilla chai powder with a cup of almond milk and ice. Help! I love this latte!