I am usually the first one to argue that coffee beats tea. I don’t even consider them in the same category, really. Hot drinks for the morning? Sure. But they couldn’t be more different.
Don’t get me wrong – I love tea! But coffee has a depth of flavor that tea just can’t touch. From the slight varieties in the beans to the roasting, there are a million little flavor punches in coffee that I’ve never found in tea.
But when you give me something like a spicy, sweet, chocolatey chai to sip on? Then coffee and tea are basically on the same level.
A few months ago, I saw an ad for a **new** Chocolate Chai latte at Starbucks. Of course I had to try it. But silly me – I was thinking it was either a chocolate chai tea bag steeped with the steamed milk or something they made. I didn’t even think about it being a mix until I saw the barista break out the box of tea concentrate.
It was pretty good, but way too sweet for me. I knew I could try to make it better at home. And it would be cheaper! And with ingredients that I know and love.
And you know what? This was way better than the box concentrate! And it’s super easy to make.
I started by brewing up some of my favorite super-spiced Chai tea, and added some extra things like orange peel, a hunk of fresh ginger, a little honey, and some extra cayenne (I like a nice punch in my chai). Then I added a cocoa powder-water slurry to the tea, chilled it, and served it over ice with some coconut milk.
Homemade > box concentrate. But that’s almost always true, right?!
Iced Spicy Chocolate Chai Tea
This spicy tea is delicious served iced with the milk of your choice (cream, almond milk, and coconut milk are all great!), but it's also fantastic heated up with some milk added, too. I like making a bigger batch of the tea like this so I have it ready for a few days, just waiting on me in the fridge.
Also, I like mine on the spicier side, so if you don't want as much of a kick, either leave out the cayenne pepper or cut it back.
- 4 of your favorite Chai tea bags
- 4 cups water
- the peel from one orange
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less - or none - if you don't want it spicy)
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup water
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then pour over the 4 tea bags and let the tea steep for 5 minutes.
- Stir the orange peel, ginger, honey, vanilla, cayenne pepper, and salt into the tea. Let the orange peel and ginger steep in the tea for 5 minutes.
- While the tea is steeping, mix the cocoa powder with the 1/4 cup of water until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour this mixture into a large container/pitcher, stir in the cocoa powder mixture, and refrigerate until chilled.
- To serve, pour tea into a glass with ice, then add milk of choice. Stir and enjoy!