How to make a chocolate chai latte

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The combination of sweet, warm cinnamon and bitter, chocolatey cacao makes this chai latte recipe the ultimate comfort drink. And we’ve further enhanced it through the addition of ashwagandha powder. This ancient Ayurvedic herb helps to tackle stress, improve sleep, and balance mood. All of which means this beverage is a true hug in a mug!

What is a chai latte?

Chai tea, also called masala chai, is a type of strong black tea mixed with a flavorful assortment of spices. The drink first originated in the Indian subcontinent, with some legends saying it dates back more than 5,000 years. The story claims that a king in what is now India created it as a healing Ayurvedic beverage. Interestingly, this early variation might not have contained any actual tea leaves.

However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that chai really took off. British colonialists began cultivating tea plants in the region, and encouraged Indian companies to give their workers regular tea breaks. To keep costs down, many tea vendors would substitute some of the expensive tea leaves for cheaper ingredients like milk, sugar, and a variety of spices. The popularity of masala chai quickly spread, and it remains a staple drink in the country to this day.

People have continued to develop different modern variations of chai. This includes the chai latte recipe, which you make by mixing steamed milk into chai tea. There’s plenty of flexibility when it comes to which spices you use in a chai tea or chai latte recipe. Some of the most common choices include ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and star anise.

And then there’s the chocolate chai latte recipe. This uses cocoa or cacao powder to make a warming cup of chai even more comforting. But before we get into the specifics of how to brew it, let’s explore why sipping a chai tea latte recipe can be good for your wellbeing.

Time for a cuppa: the health benefits of black tea

The base of any chai latte recipe is, of course, black tea. And as well as being tasty, these leaves bring a wealth of wellness benefits to your cup. For instance, black tea is rich in an array of potent polyphenols and flavonoids. These act as antioxidants, helping to protect your cells against damage caused by pesky free radicals.

Drinking tea can be especially beneficial for heart health. Evidence shows that consuming black tea could significantly lower blood pressure, lessening the risk of numerous associated health complications.(1) Likewise, research has linked drinking tea with a reduced risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.(2) The beverage may also help to decrease levels of cholesterol, although results in this area are mixed.(3)

Interestingly, studies have found that black tea might work to lower blood sugar levels after eating and improve insulin sensitivity.(4) However, bear in mind that this benefit will be reduced if you over-sweeten your chai latte recipe!

The polyphenols in black tea could additionally be beneficial for gut health. Research suggests they may promote the growth of good bacteria and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the microbiome.(5) This helps support not only the digestive system, but also immunity and the health of your brain.

And that’s not the only way in which drinking black tea can be good for your mental health. The drink contains both the stimulant caffeine and an amino acid called L-theanine that promotes relaxation and focus. When consumed together, these help to enhance your concentration and alertness in a more stable manner than caffeine alone.(6) So a chai latte recipe could be perfect for times when you need to get some work done.

Cacao: the food of the gods

We’ve used cacao in this chocolate chai tea latte recipe to add a rich flavor and extra nutritional value to the drink. Cacao comes from the same beans as cocoa, but via a slightly different process. Producers ferment the beans and leave them to air dry, but skip the roasting stage. This gives cacao a lighter color and more bitterness than cocoa, plus even greater health benefits.

For starters, cacao is bursting with minerals like magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and zinc.(7) Each of these plays a key role in our overall wellbeing. As an example, we need iron to make haemoglobin. This is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

In addition, cacao possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties.(8) This is important because experts have linked chronic inflammation to numerous harmful health conditions, from obesity and arthritis to dementia.

It probably comes as no surprise that adding cacao to your chai latte recipe could additionally benefit your mental health. One reason for this is that cacao contains tryptophan. This is an amino acid that the body converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate emotions like anxiety and happiness, and may also improve the quality of your sleep.

Excitingly, cacao might be able to boost your cognition too.(9) This is thanks to flavonoids like epicatechin, which increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain and promote neuronal function. Evidence indicates that consuming cacao may enhance memory, attention, and learning. That’s an excellent reason to treat yourself to a chocolate chai latte recipe when you’re in the office!

How to make this chocolate chai latte recipe

Enough talk of the benefits – let’s move on to discussing how to whip up this delicious chocolate chai latte recipe. Start by adding the water and black tea leaves to a saucepan. Using loose leaf tea rather than tea bags results in a more flavorful drink. That’s because leaves tend to be fresher, of higher quality, and have more room to infuse.

Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for two or three minutes to steep the tea. You can adjust the length of time depending on how strong you like your brew!

Next, take the pan off the heat and pop in the honey, ground cinnamon, cacao powder, ashwagandha powder, and almond m*lk base. More on the latter two ingredients below! Whisk the mixture well to dissolve the powders and achieve an even consistency. At this point, you might like to taste the drink and add more honey if you prefer a sweeter cup. For a completely plant-based chocolate chai latte recipe, swap the honey for agave nectar, maple syrup, or another liquid sweetener. Likewise, you can add more cinnamon – or other spices – to suit your tastes.

Once satisfied with the flavor, strain your chai latte to remove the tea leaves and pour it into a mug. Sprinkle some more cinnamon and cacao powder on top and your drink is ready to enjoy!

The benefits of adding ashwagandha to a chai latte recipe

One ingredient that makes this chai latte recipe stand out from the rest is ashwagandha. Including it not only pays homage to the drink’s Ayurvedic origins, but it also takes its health benefits to the next level. We have a dedicated article about the uses of ashwagandha, but here’s a quick overview.

To begin with, ashwagandha acts as an adaptogen. In case you’re not familiar with the term, that means the herb helps us to cope with stress more effectively. Evidence suggests ashwagandha may reduce feelings of anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.(10) Similarly, studies indicate that, like cacao, the herb might be able to enhance the quality of our sleep.(11) All of which is invaluable for balancing mood. It also means ashwagandha could be useful in easing symptoms of conditions like depression and insomnia.(12)

What’s more, adding ashwagandha to your chocolate chai latte recipe has the potential to support your cognitive functions. Research has found that it may improve attention, memory, and concentration, although further investigation is necessary to confirm this.(13)

Another interesting benefit of ashwagandha is that it could enhance your athletic performance. Studies have discovered that taking the herb can increase muscle strength, raise VO2 max, and boost recovery.(14) So a chai latte recipe might be a surprisingly good choice on days when you’re hiking or hitting the gym.

Finally, there is evidence to indicate that ashwagandha may be useful for lowering both inflammation and blood sugar levels. However, we need more research in both areas to clarify these results.

All about our ashwagandha

To get the maximum benefit from using ashwagandha in your chai latte recipe, it’s important to choose a high-quality product. That’s why we source ours from small farmers in India who use sustainable and organic techniques to cultivate the plants. In addition, experts believe the therapeutic advantages of ashwagandha come principally from its roots rather than the leaves. As such, we only include that part of the plant in our organic ashwagandha powder.

Our producers harvest ashwagandha between December and January. They first sun-dry the roots, then grind them into a fine powder. We pack this in environmentally friendly amber glass jars, which you can reuse or recycle once empty.

There are plenty of delicious ways you can add ashwagandha to your diet besides this chocolate chai latte recipe. The traditional method is to stir a teaspoon of the powder into a glass of warm milk. You can transform this into moon milk by adding cinnamon and agave nectar. This is a great option for balancing out the herb’s earthy bitterness and creating a blissfully soothing bedtime drink.

Alternatively, try using ashwagandha in your favorite smoothies or other hot drinks. Warm beverages are a particularly good choice because they help to draw out the herb’s active compounds.

Please note that ashwagandha may not be suitable for everyone. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, have an existing health condition, or are taking any pharmaceutical medication, seek medical advice before adding it to your diet. This will help you avoid any unwanted interactions or side effects.

Introducing our organic almond m*lk base

While you can make this chocolate chai latte recipe with store-bought plant-based milk, we think our almond m*lk base is a fabulous alternative.

We source our almonds from small, organic farms in Italy. Producers pick the nuts by hand during the harvest season, then immediately dry and store them. The unshelled almonds remain in humidity-controlled containers until we place an order. Our team then shells the nuts, and cold presses them to extract the oils. They then carefully grind the remaining solids into powder, ready to ship out to you.

This results in a fine, water-soluble powder that’s highly concentrated in key nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium. It’s rich in fiber and protein, while also being low in saturated fat. Plus, we don’t add any filler ingredients, so what you receive is 100% pure.

To transform the base into almond milk on demand, simply stir two teaspoons into hot or cold water until fully dissolved. Keep the milk refrigerated and enjoy it within two days. As well as this chai latte recipe, you can also use the powder to make a creamy base for smoothies. Alternatively, try adding it neat to baked goods like cake and bread. You’ll soon wonder why you ever bought pre-made almond milk!

Customizing your chocolate chai latte recipe

We mentioned at the start of this article how you have lots of flexibility when making a chai latte recipe. So with that in mind, here are some ideas for customizing yours!

The easiest way to mix things up is by using different spices to flavor your drink. Besides cinnamon and cacao, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, vanilla, and star anise are all fabulous choices. By switching up the ingredients like this, you’re able to adjust the chai latte recipe to perfectly match your preferences.

Another option is to transform your drink into a dirty chai latte recipe by adding a shot of espresso. Thanks to the extra caffeine, this is especially good if you want to enjoy the beverage early in the day. For greater refreshment during hot weather, you might like to opt for an iced chai latte recipe (dirty or not!). To do so, simply pour your drink into a glass filled with ice cubes once it’s ready.

As you can see, there’s a chai latte recipe variation to suit every person and every occasion. We therefore encourage you to have fun experimenting with the drink – maybe you’ll invent a new style of your own!

  • Serv. size: 320 g
  • Calories: 60 kcal
  • Total Fat: 0.3 g
  • Total Сarbohydrate: 15 g
  • Protein: 0.3 g

  1. In a pot, add the water and black tea. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Take off the heat and add honey, ground cinnamon, ashwagandha powder and m*lk base. Taste and add more honey if you want your chai latte sweeter. Stir well then strain the chai latte.
  3. Serve hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cacao on top. Enjoy!
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