For me, few things beat a cup of hot, spicy chai on a chilly day. I love the aromatic blend of chai spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, black pepper), and a steamy mug is always so soothing and uplifting. Since I try to limit my intake of caffeine, chai is a special treat for me … but I enjoy every sip and the kick
I get from the black tea.

I first experienced chai (which means "tea" in Hindi) while traveling to India in the 90s. There, chai is part of daily life and sold hot on the streets for pennies, but the best chai is made at home. I used to visit some Indian friends regularly and loved going at tea time, as they brewed a family recipe using freshly ground spices with the perfect amount of sugar and milk. When I went vegan, I would bring soymilk for my cup of tea. At first, my friends were reluctant (why mess with perfection?), but we quickly figured out the best balance of spice, sweetness, and creaminess.

Before becoming a healthy vegan, Starbucks was my go-to spot for chai. A few times a month, I'd stop in and savor a soy chai latte—but often wished it was more spicy and a little less sweet. When I decided to clean up my diet and get sugar and chemicals out of my life, I experimented with a lot of homemade versions of a healthier chai tea (a few of which I'll be sharing on Healthy Vegan!). Hands down, this vanilla-infused coconut blend is my absolute favorite. The coconut makes it creamy, the fresh ginger and vanilla make it wonderfully fragrant, and the date gives it the perfect amount of sweetness. And when comparing the ingredients with a coconut milk chai from Starbucks, you can see which one comes out on top. Enjoy!

Serves 1

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai spice blend (I like Tipu's)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup hot water

What you do:

  1. In a blender, place all ingredients.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds until creamy and frothy.

Healthy hints:

  • >> Vanilla bean powder (I like Terrasoul Superfoods) is one of my favorite ingredients, and I love it in this recipe. It's a bit pricey, but you don't need much and it adds tremendous flavor to
    desserts and hot drinks.

  • >> Whirling this recipe in the blender is key for a frothy, super creamy chai. Plus, doing so allows you to sweeten with a whole food (a date) versus dissolving sugar into the chai.

    >> Enjoy a cup of chai on a daily basis? Make a large batch of this Coconut Vanilla Chai, pour into a glass bottle, and keep at home or at the office. It also tastes great chilled during the warmer months.

Comments

Dawn | KitchenTravels

Dawn | KitchenTravels

I completely agree about Starbuck's being too sweet. Love making my own chai lattes at home, and this version sounds delicious! Have you ever tried using Rooibos tea in place of black tea? It's a tasty substitute, without the caffeine. :)

Healthy Vegan

Healthy Vegan

Hi there Dawn! Yes, homemade chai lattes are the best! I have tried Rooibos at cafes but not at home yet. I don't want to get *too* addicted to these lattes (which I could see happening), so the caffeine sort of makes it special. But it's a good reminder! Also, you could just use a medley of chai spices without any tea at all. Cheers!

Patti

Patti

Hi Colleen! This recipe looks great and I can't wait to try it. I have missed having a chai tea. Quick question- do I brew the tea first? In the directions it states to put everything into the blender- does that include the tea as is? Thanks so much! Love your website!

Healthy Vegan

Healthy Vegan

Hi Patti! Oh, I'm so glad you're liking Healthy Vegan. There's much more to come! For the Coconut Vanilla Chai, you actually don't brew any tea. You simply need the actual chai spices, and the liquid comes from the water and coconut (which makes a creamy coconut milk). Please let me know if you have any other questions! xo

Elyse

Elyse

This was really good. The coconut didn't blend out, even with my Blendtec but I didn't mind the texture. Most delicious!

Healthy Vegan

Healthy Vegan

Hi Elyse! Thanks so much for your note and for trying the Coconut Vanilla Chai. In my Vitamix, it gets pretty smooth, but not completely (which I like). The flavor is so robust and wonderful, though. Enjoy, and have a great day! xo

Gina

Gina

This recipe looks great! But after reading the recipe and comments, I'm still a bit confused. Do I tear open a tea bag and add it all to the blender? Or just the spices? In that case there would be no tea at all in the latte. Or is there instant tea in Tipu's blend?

Healthy Vegan

Healthy Vegan

Hi Gina! Thank you so much for your question. You can purchase chai spice blends, most of which have black tea in them. However, if you prefer your chai without caffeine, you can easily find a blend with just the spices and no black tea. You can also make your own blend of spices, but I just don't have the time for that. Enjoy!

Sharada

Sharada

Hi, as an Indian, I inherited my mom's chai recepie. If you want to add a little more kick to it, instead of using regular hot water, use flavored water with lemon grass and roasted cardemom. It spice it up a little more ....for those of you who like it a little more spicy, add 2 to 4 pcs of roasted black pepper to the mix b4 grinding up. Rosted cardemom can be put into the grinder instead also.