Life seems to finally be calming down after one of the more crazy summers of my life, and it feels so good to get back into the kitchen and cook just for the sake of cooking and eating. I’m an equal-opportunity season lover, but something about being in the kitchen with fall-inspired ingredients on a crisp day while the leaves tumble outside the window makes my heart happy. I have dreams of stews and soups and roasts and casseroles and all that delicious, hearty food.


One of the tell-tale signs that I’ve shifted into the autumn mindset is when I stop icing my beverages and instead drift toward hot coffee and hot tea. We’re pretty vigilant about keeping our heat off as long as possible, and as the thermostat dips lower and lower, my hands seem to get colder and colder. That poor husband of mine. Pretty much from September through April, the second I touch him, he jumps out of his skin thanks to my ice cold hands. Wrapping my hands around a warm mug is to benefit both of us. And, hey, it doesn’t hurt that the mug contents are totally delicious.

me mug

This isn’t the first chai tea latte recipe on the blog. But I’ve been working and tweaking this recipe for awhile now, and I’ve landed on a concoction I love as much as the original.I added in natural, flowery honey. Also added: a decent amount of vanilla extract and freshly cracked black pepper, which sounds like a weird combo, but trust, me, it’s beautiful together. Sweet, a little bit spicy, and so crazy aromatic that your husband will walk in the kitchen and say, “Holy crap. That smells amazing.” #truestory

Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Latte

I also love this recipe because the sweetness level is 100% customizable. In the recipe, I include a base amount of honey (1/4 cup) and that gives you a lightly sweet version—much less sweet than the chai lattes you get at the Bux, but still treat-worthy. If you like a little more sweetness in your latte, just add more honey. In fact, if you’re serving this to a crowd, I’d say the best plan of attack is to make the recipe as written, and then have more honey on the table for folks to customize their drink as they like.

Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Lattes

Of course, if you happen to get another heat wave in the next few weeks, this also works beautifully as an iced chai. But let’s just pretend like that’s not going to happen, okay? I’m ready for fall to be here to stay.


Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Latte

Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Latte

Yield: 4 small or 2 large
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Latte is sweet, a little bit spicy, and crazy aromatic. Customize the sweetness to your liking!


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 black tea bags, tags removed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom OR 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the water, tea bags, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the pepper, salt, honey and milk. Bring back to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve into mugs. Top with whipped cream or more ground cinnamon.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 large latte
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 9g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

What are you most excited about for the new season? Anyone going on any trips or have anything fun planned?

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  1. Hi Cassie, do you have a powder version of the Chai latte please? Many thanks, Charmaine xc

  2. I dont like chais although I am OK with straight teas or ones with at most a splash of milk or mildly flavored otherwise mostly plain ones. The things I cannot stand about chai is that it is everywhere – it is often flavored with strange things (cinnamon overpowers tea, cardamom is all right). Also I have never come across a chai which is not highly milky and over one half of them are. I hate chais actually and never drink them with masala the top of the most disgusting chais

  3. 1. Chai is my FAVORITE.
    2. We keep our house pretty chilly (and it is 120+ years old, so there is only so much insulation we can do, anyways). One thing I’ve found to be a lifesaver? Fingerless gloves!

  4. MMMMMM! Definately going to try this version. I love warm tea. Where I work it’s always cold, so my hands and feet are like ice cubes, regularly.

    I am getting really excited to put up the Halloween Decorations with my son. We have 4 fresh sheets of Window Clings just begging to be put onto the windows. 🙂

  5. Oh yes. Chai. I used to really dislike it actually but this changed this summer when I had an amazing chai and now I’m all about them. I love the recipe. Honey is a great touch!

  6. Oh man! I LOVE LOVE LOVE chai, but tried making a chai smoothie once (basing the spice ratios off a tea recipe), and it was a total disaster. I’ll have to try this one!

    Also, can you use ground cloves? If so, how much would you recommend?

  7. Haha I always have cold hands in the fall/winter too, so I pretty much always have a hot drink in my hands. This tea recipe looks amazing! There’s something about chai tea that makes it so perfect for the fall.