From our Pantry: Iced Chai Tea Latte like Starbucks!

The following is a weekly feature brought to us by Sumiko from Near to Nothing.  I’ve asked her to share tips and tricks (and recipes!) that show us ways to replace the items we’d typically buy canned or frozen from scratch at home for less!  You’ll find a new From Our Pantry post each Monday.

Did you miss the free Starbucks last Friday?  No worries!  You can make Starbucks-like drinks at home for pennies!

Neither my husband nor I are coffee drinkers, but we love a lot of their coffee-free drinks.  Unfortunately, Starbucks doesn’t fit in our budget.  Fortunately, my husband’s students keep us well-stocked with Starbucks gift cards so we can treat ourselves every now and then.

Over the last couple years, I’ve set out on a mission to try to copy some of their drinks at home.  The results have been good so far. Lately I’ve been drinking a lot of iced chai tea lattes.  I only ever bought one at Starbucks and will never buy another one again!  It was good, but definitely not worth the $2.95 they charge for a tall, especially considering it is mostly ice.

Starbucks iced chai tea latte

There are a lot of variables when making iced chai tea lattes at home, so you might need to experiment a little to figure out what you like:

  • Tea –The brand and variety of tea you use will definitely affect the final outcome.

    Try different teas to find what you like best.

  • Sweetener –Use whatever sweetener you choose.  The type of sweetener as well as personal preference will determine how much you need to add.

    I’m very excited about the honey, which my mom just brought me from Pennsylvania. It’s from my Uncle Stu’s hives! You can also add flavor with syrups.

  • Milk–I use non-fat because that’s what we drink.  You can use whatever you have.
  • Ice –Yes, the ice you use will affect the outcome.  Smaller ice cubes or crushed ice will melt into the latte faster than larger ice cubes.
  • Ratios –You can change the ratios to fit your preferences.  Want more chai flavor, use more tea.  Want less, use more milk.

Iced Chai Tea Latte

  1. 1/2 c. water (more or less)
  2. 2 chai tea bags
  3. Sweetener, to taste
  4. 1/2 glass ice
  5. Milk

Bring water to boiling on stove or in microwave.  If on stove, remove from heat.  Add tea bags and steep about 5 minutes.

I usually make the tea quadruple strength since it will be diluted by the milk and ice.

Remove bags and stir in desired sweetener.  Fill a large class half-way with ice.  Pour hot tea over ice.  Add milk to top off.

I estimate that it costs me well under $0.50 per glass.  That’s more than $2.45 savings over buying it at Starbucks, and I don’t even have to leave home or use a gift card.  I’d much rather use the gift cards for double chocolaty chip frappuccinos!

I usually make a double batch–one for me and one for my husband!

Don’t forget to prin this new $1/1 ANY Torani Flavored Syrup coupon!  Keep your eyes open for the smaller bottles, they are a lot more affordable.  Use zip code 77477 to find this coupon.

Torani Flavored Syrup – $3.98 at Walmart
$1/1 ANY Torani Flavored Syrup coupon – Use zip code 77477
Final Price: $2.98


  1. Ami says

    This is great…Thanks for this post! I’m also a big fan of Starbucks Green Tea Frappucinos and have been trying to replicate them at home. I would love it if you can post more of these Starbucks-like drinks recipes!

  2. Kelly says

    Better than the Torani, why not make your own syrup? Just do this:

    2 1/2 cups water
    2 cups white sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar

    Combine and boil for about 7 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in:

    4 tablespoons vanilla extract

    Be sure to let it boil so that it preserves a little better. I’ve only done vanilla but I imagine the possibilities are great!

  3. Jen says

    This tastes so yummy! I just had to use more chai since I love the strong taste of chai. Otherwise, so yummy!!!

  4. Sandra says

    You could just make your own sweetener. At Starbucks they just use a syrup made of 2 parts sugar 1 part water. Heat it up in the microwave for around 30 seconds and add it to your drink. :)

  5. says

    Thank you for this! My daughter has fallen in loved with the Iced Vanilla Chai Teas available and I’d like for us to be able to make them at home.

    Just a note: You should *never* boil water in the microwave. I had seen the warnings for years about the water essentially “exploding” but had never had it happen to me, so I kept boiling water in the microwave. The day it happened to us was the day we stopped boiling water in the microwave!

    For more info, check out Snopes:

  6. Cynthia says

    Just tried this after discovering Chai tea! So simple and it really does taste like Starbucks! I will definitely be trying to perfect this lol


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