Creamy, spicy and perfectly sweet, pumpkin chai lattes taste like autumn in a glass. Warming spices are gently simmered with milk, black tea, brown sugar and pureed pumpkin to create a chai latte that is rich, comforting and deeply delicious. Inspired by the masala chais of India, this pumpkin chai latte is so good it may replace your morning coffees when the temperature starts to drop!
Pumpkin chai lattes come together quickly and are really easy to scale up or down. They’re perfect for everyday morning tea, fancy holiday brunches or any gathering where warm beverages are requested. They go great with sweet and savory pastries, biscuits, cookies, pumpkin pie and so much more!
To extract the most flavor from the spices, crush them with a mortar and pestle. This will encourage their oils to release, resulting in optimal flavor and freshness as well as a beautifully perfumed chai. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a heavy-bottomed pan or wine bottle to crush the spices.
The tea comes together in a saucepan, and it’s very important not to let the liquid come to a boil once the tea has been added to the pan. There will be an initial boiling of the spices and sugar, but at no other point should the liquid boil. This will prevent the tea from becoming bitter and overpowering.
What You Need to Make a Pumpkin Chai Latte
To make this pumpkin chai latte, you’ll need high-quality loose leaf black tea and whole warming spices. Cardamom pods, whole cloves, whole black peppercorn and cinnamon sticks are recommended, but you can use their powdered forms if you’re in a pinch.
If you don’t have loose leaf tea on hand, tea bags are perfectly fine to use, but avoid scented black teas and Earl Gray. Use 1 bag of tea for every 2 tsps of loose leaf tea.
- High Quality Loose-Leaf Black Tea (Preferably Assam or Ceylon)
- Cardamom Pods
- Cinnamon Stick
- Whole Cloves
- Black Peppercorn
- Fresh Ginger (Optional)
- Demerara or Brown Sugar
- Pumpkin Puree
- Milk (Dairy or Non-Dairy)
- Filtered Water
How To Make a Pumpkin Chai Latte
Using an immersion blender or a whisk, mix together the milk and pumpkin puree until homogenous and set aside.
Place the cardamom pods, whole cloves and black peppercorns into the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Crush the spices with the pestle until the cardamom pods open and the spices become fragrant, but are still intact. About 6 grinds.
Fill a medium saucepan with 3 cups of filtered water and add the crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, minced ginger and demerara sugar.
Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Let the spices boil for one minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Once the water has stopped boiling, add in the black tea and the milk and pumpkin mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the milk doesn’t begin to boil or froth. Once the milk forms a “skin” on the top of the pan, the tea is ready.
Strain the tea into a large teapot or other serving vessel using a fine-mesh sieve. Equally distribute into tea cups and optionally garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Does a pumpkin chai latte have coffee in it?
Nope! In many languages, “chai” is the word for “tea” and as such the beverage is inherently coffee free. However, if you’d like to add a shot of espresso to make a “dirty pumpkin chai latte” you’re more than welcome to do so!
Is a pumpkin spice latte the same as a chai latte?
No, but they do have similar flavor profiles due to the spices used in the beverages. Both pumpkin spice lattes and chai lattes are flavored with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and cardamom. What really separates the drinks is the use of espresso in the pumpkin spice latte and the use of black tea in the chai latte.
Can I serve this over ice?
Yes! Pumpkin chai lattes are delicious hot or cold. For best results, let the tea cool down completely before pouring it over ice.
Pumpkin Chai Latte
- 6 tsp high quality loose-leaf black tea
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ tsp whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 inch fresh ginger minced
- ¼ pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp demerara or brown sugar (more or less depending on desired sweetness)
- Using an immersion blender or whisk, mix together the milk and pumpkin puree until homogenous and set aside.
- Place the cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns into the bowl of a mortar and pestle, and crush the spices until the cardamom pods open and the spices are fragrant but still intact.
- Add the crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger, brown sugar and 3 cups of filtered water to a saucepan and place the saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil, and boil for one minute then reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Once the water stops boiling add in the black tea and milk and pumpkin mixture to the saucepan.
- Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, taking care not to let the liquid boil.
- When the tea is done, strain the contents of the saucepan into a large teapot or another serving vessel using a fine-mesh sieve.
- Distribute the pumpkin chai latte into tea cups and optionally garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
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