Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte

September 6, 2013 • Autumn, Beverages, Recipes, Seasons

Weather: 48 degrees, high winds and blowing rain
What I’m listening to: Boat Song, JJ Heller

This recipe has a little story. Last fall, I made this lovely cup of pumpkin chai amazingness on a whim and I was thrilled with the results. Imagine for a moment yellow leaves falling, the scent of recent rain intertwined with smoke from someone’s wood-burning fireplace, and walking along a winding dirt road wearing a cozy burnt-orange sweater, a fluffy scarf, and some sturdy brown boots. This tastes like that, autumnal splendor in a hot steaming mug. After making it, I posted a photo of it to various social media locations, and soon after, got several eager requests for the recipe. Hooray! But, despite its deliciousness and seeming popularity, I never posted the recipe on the blog.

Why? you ask. Because, it’s not exactly from scratch. Essentially, I wasn’t willing to bend my own rules out of a desire to stay very true to my homemade point of view. And, I’ve been having an internal debate with myself about it ever since. This Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte recipe has taught me a lot about how strictly I want to define the words “from scratch” and has made me evaluate the unspoken rules I’ve developed for myself as a blogger.


For the chai base, I used a boxed chai tea concentrate similar to the kind served in many coffee shops across the country when you order a chai latte. The brands I use (like Tazo and Oregon Chai) include: water, organic black tea, organic vanilla, spices, honey, and cane sugar. You can find them in tall boxes with a pour spout in the tea section of your grocery store. Or, if you’d like to try making the concentrate from scratch, brew some very strong chai tea and sweeten it to taste (but assertively, since you’ll be diluting it with milk later). Then, I took the chai concentrate and added pumpkin puree, milk, vanilla, and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s a fall favorite of mine.

Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte

A chai latte made with pumpkin puree, vanilla, and cinnamon. All the flavors of fall in a toasty mug.

Yields: 1-2 servings

  • 1 cup prepared, sweetened chai tea concentrate (like Oregon Chai or Tazo)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Add the chai concentrate, milk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture up until it just reaches a simmer, whisking as you go. Taste for sweetness level, adding more milk if needed. (You can strain the pumpkin puree out at this point, if you prefer. I leave it in). Pour the latte into mugs and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve immediately while steaming and frothy.