A tea latte is not just tea with milk in it. It’s a strongly brewed tea with hot, steamed milk added and they’re usually served lightly sweetened. Unlike regular coffee lattes, tea lattes open up dozens of flavor possibilities because you can make them with just about any type of tea. A London Fog tea latte, made with earl grey tea, is a great choice, but when the weather is cold I like to make my tea lattes with something a little spicier as the base.
This Orange Chai Tea Latte is made with chai tea and a little bit of orange zest to give it a bright, fruity note. You can use any type of chai tea that you have – I used Zhena’s Gypsy Coconut Chai in this batch because just about any kind will work well. I simply poured the hot tea over some freshly grated orange zest and let it steep for about a minute. This released some of the oils of the orange and added some extra flavor to the tea. A little orange extract will work if you don’t have a fresh orange on hand, but orange juice isn’t a good option as it might curdle your milk. Strain the orange zest out before topping the latte with steamed milk. I sweetened my tea latte with a little vanilla syrup, but there is so much flavor in here that you almost don’t need it at all. The orange goes perfectly with the spicy chai flavors without overwhelming them. A twist on top gives the whole drink a nice orange scent before serving.
Orange Chai Tea Latte
8-oz strong chai tea, hot
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp vanilla syrup or honey
twist of orange zest, for garnish
Pour very hot tea over orange zest into a large mug or measuring cup. Allow to steep for 1-2 minutes, then stir in vanilla syrup and strain out orange zest.
Steam milk, or heat it in the microwave and whisk until very frothy, and pour it into the sweetened tea. Squeeze twist of orange zest over the cup.