Cardamom Tea Latte
This fragrant Cardamom Tea Latte is as creamy and comforting as a specialty coffeehouse drink. It can be made caffeinated or decaf, so it’s perfect any time of day!
There’s a ton of memes out there about how you know you’re getting older. Like if you remember Saved By The Bell, it’s time to start using night cream. Or something like that.
For me, I knew I was getting older when I could no longer drink anything with caffeine after lunch time, or it would affect my sleep.
This made it harder to stop by my favorite coffee shop for a treat like caramel coffee while doing afternoon errands! Until I discovered the tea latte portion of their menu.
With all the warmth and comfort of a typical coffee latte, a tea latte is ideal for a decaf treat. I love something like this in the afternoon, maybe alongside a pear muffin or a baked apple for a little snack.
Tea lattes are also good at breakfast if you abstain from caffeine. It’s something comforting to sip on while you’re cooking bacon in the oven and waiting for it to be ready, or making ice cream French toast. It works equally as well alongside brunch food.
This cardamom tea latte spiked with vanilla bean is my homemade version of my favorite decaf coffee house drink.
How my cardamom tea latte differs from the coffeehouse version:
While the coffeehouse version of a cardamom latte usually involves foamed milk, a decaf tea bag, and a shot of vanilla flavored syrup, most people don’t keep flavored coffeehouse syrups at home.
At least, I sure don’t, except every once in awhile when I make homemade caramel syrup for coffee so I can make a caramel iced coffee. But I digress.
So I decided to skip the syrups for this cardamom tea latte and flavor a pot of milk with a split vanilla bean (also great for a vanilla bourbon cocktail or vanilla bean creme brulee), as well as a few cardamom pods.
All about cardamom:
If you’ve never tried cardamom, it has a very unique flavor that can be described as floral, slightly sweet, and a little bit citrusy. There’s really no substitute for it that will duplicate it’s flavor in this cardamom tea recipe.
I don’t cook with it a ton, but I do like a batch of cardamom granola and a cardamom latte here and there.
Cardamom pods can be very expensive, but if you have a store in your area that sells bulk spices, you should be able to score a handful of them for just a couple dollars to use for cardamom tea lattes.
What kind of tea for cardamom latte?
Just like with my tea ice cream, I simply use basic black tea bags for cardamom tea lattes. Fully caffeinated ones in the morning, and the decaf version in the afternoon version of this cardamom tea recipe.
If you wanted to experiment with using a flavored tea in this cardamom latte, you could! You could use a vanilla-scented tea to really amp up the vanilla flavor, or any other flavored tea that you think might work.
Just have fun and experiment with it if you want!
How to make cardamom tea lattes:
First, you’ll be heating milk while infusing it with cardamom and vanilla flavor for this cardamom tea recipe.
Simply combine milk, a half of a split vanilla bean (scrape the seeds out of the other half of the bean and use them to make shrimp with vanilla beurre blanc) and some whole cardamom pods in a small pot on the stove.
Heat it until it’s just about to boil, but not quite, and then reduce the heat and let it simmer 2 minutes.
Then, I like to strain the milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer for the best texture for this cardamom tea latte. Sometimes, while the milk is heating, some milk solids with kind of curdle on top, and I like to get rid of those.
Once the milk mixture is strained, return it to the warm pot (but off the heat), and use a milk frother or immersion blender to whip the milk until it’s kind of foamy.
You don’t have to go FULL OMG FOAM like a cappuccino, but I do like a little frothiness for my cardamom latte.
Divide the frothed milk between mugs or large tea cups and add 1 tea bag to each mug. Allow the milk to steep for 2 minutes, and then it’s time to drink it up!
More cozy hot drinks for chilly days:
We have our fair share of cold, wet days here in the Midwest. Those days were you just need to curl up under a blanket with a steaming mug of something delicious, like one of these recipes.
- S’mores Hot Chocolate
- Mocha Hot Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate from Homemade In The Kitchen
Cardamom Tea Latte
This fragrant Cardamom Tea Latte is as creamy and comforting as a specialty coffeehouse drink. It can be made caffeinated or decaf, so it's perfect any time of day!
- 4 whole cardamom pods
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 2 cups (16 ounces) milk
- 2 black tea bags (regular or decaf)
- Place cardamom pods on work surface and gently press on them using the heel of your hand and the back of a knife until they are lightly smashed.
- In small pot, stir together cardamom, vanilla bean and milk. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a bare simmer (just a few bubbles around the edge of the pot but not a rolling boil), then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 2 minutes.
- Strain milk mixture through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids. Return mixture to pot; use milk frother or immersion blender to whip milk until foamy.
- Divide frothed milk between mugs or large tea cups; add 1 tea bag to each mug. Steep 2 minutes, then remove tea bags and serve immediately.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information was calculated using whole milk. This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
I’m always interested to see how people describe the flavor of cardamom, because no one ever says what it reminds me of: fir trees. Can this be done with vanilla extract? I do have one vanilla bean that I bought last time we were in Tahiti, but am hesitant to use it (I’ve never used a vanilla bean before, and don’t know what I’d do with any leftovers). When you mentioned flavored tea, my immediate thought was the vanilla rooibos I like to drink. This sounds like a fun thing to try, if I can use vanilla extract.
Oh yes, vanilla extract absolutely works here, Susan. I’d say start by adding 1/4 teaspoon at a time and tasting until it’s vanilla-flavored enough for you 🙂
Hi, love that you used a vanilla bean for your chai tea instead of flavored syrup. Love the froth. Cardamom will definitely give a nice hint. I will try it for sure. Thanks for the sharing this.
Lori, thanks for sharing your yummy recipe. Can’t wait to try! Particularly like that the milk is 2% and tea is decaf. That way I can drink all I want. 🙂 Also, glad I found this recipe since it isn’t your newest one.
Yep, the more tea lattes you can drink, the better, right? Thanks Sylvieann!
I don’t drink enough tea . . . Everything at work is centered around coffee. Some of that might be because my wonderful wife got me a instant k-pod brewer. I have seen you get the vanilla tea latte at the coffee place many a times and only sipped it. I think, with this recipe, I’d be down for an afternoon homemade tea latte on the weekends.
You could get some tea k-cups. They exist 😉
I’m a a bit tea tea totaler and lover of Chai soy latte. I can’t wait to give this a try as a healthier version (devoid of all the sugar) when I get a chai craving. Pinned it! 🙂
Thanks so much for pinning, Lynn. I appreciate it!
This sounds so freaking good. It’s so dreary here right now, and all I want to do is curl up with a mug of this, a book, and my giant fuzzy blanket. Plus, I got an immersion blender for Christmas I’m dying to use, so obviously this has to happen.
Ugh, I KNOW. Such a gloomy day here, too! Over it. Have fun with your immersion blender. They can be a little tricky to get the hang of (like, if you make one wrong move, you can end up with puree / warm milk all over you counter), but they are fun!
It is currently -34ºC with the windchill here in Winnipeg. I would like nothing more than a big mug of this right now, a big blanket, some woolly socks, and a cozy fire. This is going on the “to do” list.
We had some -20F windchills here in Detroit last week, and I thought THAT was brutal, Anna! Stay warm, and enjoy the recipe if you get a chance to make it 🙂
oh yum! I’m obsessed with cardamom at the moment… this tea latte is right up my alley!
I’m going to have to GET obsessed with cardamom now, Lauren. I don’t want the rest of these pods to go to waste – too expensive!
I love the use of cardamom here – it’s one of my favorite spices! This is such a beautiful latte and I love that it’s made at home. It looks like the perfect thing to warm up with on a chilly afternoon!
Thanks Faith. ALL we’ve been having here in Detroit are chilly afternoons. Brrrrr.
This sounds so great! I love a good coffee latte and never would have thought to make it (or buy it) with tea! Love the cardamom too. Hopefully this will spare you moving to that cot in the back room!
Yeah, I had definitely never heard of a “tea latte” until I went in one afternoon and asked what would be good without caffeine. Who knew?
Love the froth! Cardamom will definitely give a nice hint. Love it!!
Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx
Thanks for stopping by!
This sounds absolutely wonderful, definitely worth trying. I’d definitely use decaf tea (or perhaps my red rooibos) because I can’t do caffeine at all. To me, cardamom tastes like Douglas fir trees (what we always used as a Christmas tree) smell. I’ve always liked it, but have found recently that the flavor can be overly strong if I’m not careful about how much I use. I’m looking forward to trying this.
So interesting, Susan. To me, cardamom tastes soapy when it’s too strong. Up until now, most of my experience with cardamom was using it for homemade spiced nuts, where the cardamom would be just one of many spices in the mix, so it was hard to single out just the cardamom flavor.
It took me a few tries to get this tea recipe right. I started with 6 cardamom pods, and it just tasted like soap to me! I thought 4 was quite nice, but I’m also not too sure how fresh the cardamom pods were (my grocery store sells spices in bulk, and there’s no telling how long they’d been sitting there). So maybe if the pods were really fresh, just 2 would be more than enough! I think when it comes to cardamom, it’s all SO subjective, but I just do the best I can to make a recipe most people would like.
Looks like I need to start drinking tea! This is beautiful.
Aw, thanks very much, Amy!
I love how this is so simple yet so flavorful. Looks delicious Lori!
Thanks Alida! “Simple but flavorful” should be my 3 middle names. If only my parents would have known . . .
Oh my gosh, it’s like fate! I was just looking at a post this morning that had a recipe for vanilla syrup and a link to a milk frother. I had already decided to get it, but was looking for other ways to use it! This is perfect!
Oh, I’m so jealous of your soon-to-be milk frother! I used my immersion blender which worked pretty well, but I think I would have gotten a lot more foam with a proper frother. Have fun with it!
I love that you used a vanilla bean for your chai tea instead of a flavored syrup. I’ve cut out sweetened syrups so this is a perfect way to enjoy a chai tea without the extra sugar from a syrup.
P.S I am in love with that tea cup where did you buy it?
Thanks so much, Arlene! I love the flavor of actual vanilla beans way more than any sort of flavored syrup, so this worked well for me. I think that teacup is from Anthropologie, but I got it a few years ago now 🙂
I just love that little kick of citrus that cardamom adds to things! This sounds so good!!
Thanks so much Marye!