What’s your comfort drink? Mine is a tea latte! It’s not the same as tea with milk or milk tea, because you brew the tea stronger, like a concentrate, and you add frothed milk, like a true barista! In this post, I’ll make you an expert on how to make a perfect tea latte (it includes a video tutorial) and I’ll get all of your questions answered. You can thank me later (wink!).
- What is a tea latte?
- What tools and ingredients do you need to make a tea latte?
- What’s the best tea to make a tea latte?
- How to make a tea latte?
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What is a tea latte?
A tea latte is a type of milk tea (or tea with milk!). Same as a coffee latte, it is traditionally made with steamed milk, but can also be made with frothed milk. It is commonly made with a tea concentrate (tea brewed stronger), but can also be made with Matcha or Hojicha powder. It can be made hot or cold.
You can make a tea latte with any type of milk. I personally don’t like cow’s milk and I only drink vegetal milk. I always look for barista versions of almond and oat milk. They froth perfectly. Otherwise, cow’s milk always froths well.
Check out this video for step by step instructions.
What tools and ingredients do you need to make a tea latte?
The ingredient list is very simple: a brewed tea concentrate (your favorite tea! + hot water), any type of milk and a sweetener (optional).
To make a tea concentrate you’ll need double the amount of tea leaves than the ones you would use for a regular cup of tea. The tea needs to be brewed stronger because the added milk will dilute its flavor. Brewing stronger tea means adding more tea leaves, not steeping longer, because longer steeping times can result in teas turning bitter.
Although tea lattes are usually made with steamed milk at tea/coffee shops, you can equally make your tea lattes with frothed milk.
The key difference between steamed milk and frothed milk is that steamed milk is less dense than frothed milk and it’s the cornerstone of the traditional latte. Having said this, it’s not a must and many DIYers are happy to enjoy a tea latte at home with a simple frother!
To froth milk, you can use several tools, like a french press, a handheld frother or a standing frother. This, in combination with the milk you choose, is key to make perfect froth. And froth is a huge part of your tea latte.
Remember that not all types of milk froth equally. Dairy-free alternatives are often harder to froth, but I recommend you to look for barista versions of plant-based milk.
As for sweetening, you can use whatever you prefer, or not use any at all. I like to add a bit of maple syrup to my lattes but you can also try date syrup (this is my favorite) for a natural sweetener.
What’s the best tea to make a tea latte?
The right answer is whichever one you like!
But I know you want something more specific, so I’ll recommend a few. Think of teas that go well with milk, like an Earl Grey, Matcha, Masala Chai, and Black teas in general. I personally think black flavored teas usually work the best as tea lattes. Teas that have a stronger flavor like Hojicha, a flavored Pu-erh and some herbals can also work well. One of my favorite herbal tea lattes is a rose latte. Check out more recommendations on teas that work great as lattes.
There is always room to experiment and try different tea types, combinations, and flavors. Teas that I don’t recommend drinking with milk are the delicate and light ones because milk will overpower the tea’s flavor.
Here are some tea and herbal blends I recommend for amazing tasting lattes:
How to make a tea latte:
The first thing you’ll need to make is a tea concentrate.
In order to make this, use 2 tbsp of loose leaf tea (or 2 tea bags) and brew them in 1/2 cup of hot water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for temperature and steeping time. Remember that in order to make a tea concentrate you must increase the amount of tea leaves that you use, not the steeping time! (if you’re unsure about steeping temperatures, here is a tea brewing guide for your reference).
Once you finish brewing your tea, strain the tea leaves or discard the tea bags and add sweetener if using any.
Froth the milk and add it to the tea concentrate. Done! I guarantee a delicious latte.
You can customize your tea latte by adding more ingredients, like store-bought syrups or flavored homemade simple syrups, rosewater, or even bitters. There are no limits to what you can create.
I encourage you to experiment with different flavors and ingredients (and report back!), but with this recipe, you’ll make a perfect tea latte every.single.time! I’d love to know if you tried it. Share and tag me on Instagram -> @teacachai
The Perfect Tea Latte
- 2 tbsp loose leaf tea (or tea bags)
- 1/2 cup hot water (variable temperature depending on tea type)
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- Make a tea concentrate: Read the tea's steeping instructions to learn what's the brewing temperature and time. Add 2 tbsp loose leaf tea (or tea bags) to a cup. Heat water to the desired temperature, or boil and let cool. Add 1/2 cup hot water over the tea leaves and let it steep for the suggested time. Strain leaves or discard tea bags.
- Add optional maple syrup or any desired sweetener.
- Froth 1/2 cup of milk in a frother and pour over the tea concentrate.
Iced Tea Latte VariationFor the iced version:
- Make a tea concentrate and let it cool down.
- Sweeten with a liquid sweetener like maple syrup, agave date syrup or simple syrup.
- Pour the concentrate over a glass filled with ice.
- Top with cold milk of choice (you don't need to froth it this time).