This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home! No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin.
How many cups of coffee do you drink a day? One? None? Seven? As a former coffee-addicted, jittery madwoman, I now limit myself to one cup of the dark, caffeinated, liquid gold per day. What do I drink the rest of the day? Tea, of course! Sometimes, I even skip the coffee altogether, and swap it out for tea– because I’m a little wild like that. When Starbucks started flaunting their notorious Pumpkin Spice Latte back in the middle of summer (it was early, right?!), I immediately started craving pumpkin EVERYTHING. Of course, I made my own PSL (with REAL pumpkin), but what about when I wanted a refill? What then??? How can I get my fill of pumpkiny deliciousness without drinking coffee all day long? Well, my friends– meet the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.
I’d love to pat myself on the back, and congratulate myself brilliantly for inventing this lovely tea latte, but actually– Starbucks did it first. After inventing this little beauty, they packaged up their sugary version, put it in a box, and somehow it ended up in the food section at my local Marshall’s. When I saw it, I gasped. (Yes, really.) Did I buy it? No, of course not. Instead, I marched home (actually I drove, but that’s not the point), pulled out some pumpkin purée, and started experimenting.
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If you’ve already been making Pumpkin Spice Latte, this recipe is similar– except, obviously, the espresso is gone, and the chai has arrived. (Want to be REALLY crazy? Use the espresso AND the chai, and make a Pumpkin Spice Dirty Chai Latte. Be careful though– they lock people up for that level of insanity!) If you aren’t familiar with chai tea, it’s a spiced black tea. For this latte, you can use whatever brand of chai you prefer. (I like this chai from Teavana).
Making Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
To make your Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, start by making a Pumpkin Spice Purée. Simply add some pumpkin purée, spices, a little milk (or coconut milk), and a little sugar to a small saucepan. Heat it all up, and stir, stir stir! If you’ve been obsessively making my regular Pumpkin Spice Latte– this is the same purée used in that recipe. (Yes– that DOES mean that you can make the coffee-licious version first, and then finish your morning off with some tea. You’re welcome.) While your pumpkin is heating up, brew the tea.
To make your latte as ‘latte-ish’ as possible, you’re going to want froth your milk. Ideally, you’d use a milk steamer or electric milk frother. If you’ve been making espresso, and your machine came with a frother, use that! If the espresso maker uses a steam-powered wand on the side to froth milk, simply run the espresso cycle with water instead of coffee, and froth your milk without wasting coffee. If, however, you don’t have a milk frother, just heat your milk up on the stove-top, and then use an immersion blender or an inexpensive milk frothing wand to add some froth. It will be froth-tastic and latte-licious.
Next, simply divide your tea between two mugs. Scoop in some of your pumpkin mix, and stir it up! Make sure the pumpkin is dissolved, and then top your lattes off with some hot milk. Drink it as is, or add a little more spice to the top. If you’re feeling a little decadent, top it all off with whipped cream. Drink up, and enjoy fall!
Want even more pumpkin? Of course you do! Try this:
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
Makes 2 lattes, plus extra Pumpkin Spice Purée
Pumpkin Spice Purée:
- 1/4 cup pumpkin purée (either canned or freshly roasted)
- 1/2 cup milk OR full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp sugar, to taste
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte:
- 3 TB pumpkin purée
- 1 chai teabag OR 1 1/2 oz loose leaf chai
- 1/2 cup milk for frothing (use at least 2%, skim won't froth well) OR full-fat coconut milk
- To Serve (Optional): whipped cream, extra cinnamon
In a small saucepan, mix all ingredients for pumpkin spice purée, stir, and heat on medium until hot. If you aren't sure how sweet you want the purée, add the sugar last and sweeten to taste. Set purée aside.
Next, steep tea in about 6oz hot water for 2-3 minutes.
Steam milk. If you don't have a milk steamer, heat milk on stovetop and use a hand-held frother or immersion blender to create some froth (froth optional).
Scoop 2-3 TB of the pumpkin spice purée into 2 cups. Pour half the brewed chai in each cup, and then stir to help blend the pumpkin and chai. Pour milk into each espresso, holding back the froth with a spoon. Top with foam.
Optional: Top lattes with whipped cream and dust with more cinnamon.
Leftover pumpkin purée can be saved for 2-3 more lattes.