Most people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, or maybe even multiple cups. But sometimes, you need something different, either because you don’t want the caffeine crash, or you’re just looking for a fresh flavor.
These drinks can also be made to fit dietary restrictions, as they don’t require dairy milk.
Here are 7 latte alternatives for a new kind of coffee taste at home:
- Chai latte
- Matcha green tea latte
- London fog
- Rooibos latte
- Turmeric latte
- Chicory latte
- Spicy hot chocolate
This article will break down seven great alternatives to lattes, how they’re made, and how you can add them to your coffee routine. So let’s get started.
1. Chai latte
Chai directly translates to “tea” in Hindi, which was itself derived from the word “cha,” or tea in Chinese.
But chai’s long and global history isn’t the only unique thing about it. It’s a versatile, flavorful drink that can be enjoyed by coffee and tea lovers alike.
Chai can be made up of various spices, but typically chai tea contains:
- Star anise
- and possibly other spices
While it’s been a popular street drink in India for centuries, chai lattes, or chai tea made with milk and sweetener, have gained popularity worldwide.
To make a chai latte, which you can drink hot or iced, you’ll probably want to use a chai concentrate. There are recipes for homemade chai, but these can be rather time-consuming and may require spices you don’t have on hand.
If you’d like to try your hand at a homemade chai latte, you can check out my step-by-step recipe here.
If you’re looking for a chai concentrate, the Oregon Chai Tea Latte on Amazon is a great one that you can use for hot and iced drinks. They even make the Oregon Chai Caffeine Free Concentrate (also on Amazon).
If you decide to make this drink at home, make sure to steam the chai and the milk together so you can taste the spices in every sip. Or, you can buy chai tea in tea bags, brew it, and add your sweetener and creamer for a simpler version.
2. Matcha green tea latte
Matcha is another perfect alternative if you’re looking to switch up your latte game.
Everyone has probably heard that green tea has countless health benefits, but matcha, in particular, is an increasingly popular drink option in coffee and tea shops across the world.
Matcha is made by grinding tea leaves until you get a bright green powder, rather than just brewing the tea leaves as you would normally. The matcha powder is then mixed with hot water and added to whatever drink you’d like to use it in.
While excellent as a hot latte, which is made by pouring your whisked matcha into heated or frothed milk, matcha is also an energizing, refreshing beverage served cold.
There are many relatively cheap options for matcha mixes, but the highest quality matcha may be more expensive. That being said, you’re paying for quality, and you’ll be able to taste it when you prepare this delicious tea.
For an organic, culinary-grade matcha mix, try the Jade Leaf Authentic Japanese Matcha from Amazon.com.
For a whisk and other matcha accessories, this TEANAGOO Matcha Ceremony Set (also on Amazon) has everything you need to get started.
When making this drink at home, the most important thing to remember is whisking your matcha thoroughly. If you don’t whisk it well enough, the texture and flavor may not be correct.
3. London fog
This one is perfect for a rainy day, and you don’t have to go to London to enjoy it. A London Fog is a tea latte made with:
- Earl Grey tea
It’s cozy, won’t give you the energy crash of a traditional latte, and you probably have all of the ingredients you need for it sitting in your cupboard.
While the first two drinks on this list have a long and storied history, this drink only goes back a few decades.
Invented in 1997 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the London Fog has grown in popularity since and is now sold in coffee shops worldwide.
To make this drink perfect, you’ll want to go with a high-quality Earl Grey tea, like the Harney & Sons Organic Earl Grey (available on Amazon).
For the vanilla, make sure to froth it with the milk, so you get the complete flavor profile. If you make this drink at home using vanilla extract and don’t taste the vanilla as much as you’d like, try a cafe-grade vanilla syrup.
This Torani Vanilla Syrup (also on Amazon) is perfect for this drink and plenty of others.
Alternatively, you make your own vanilla syrup in just a few minutes by following this recipe.
When making this drink, or any other tea latte, at home, make sure to let your tea steep for a few minutes before steaming the tea bag with your milk.
4. Rooibos latte
Continuing with latte alternatives from all over the world, this is a traditional southern African beverage that is caffeine-free, delicious, and increasingly popular.
Although it’s often called “rooibos tea,” rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is an herb that’s ground and brewed as an herbal infusion. That doesn’t make it any less great addition to your latte routine.
Like many of the other drinks on this list, rooibos tea has some sweet health benefits. It’s naturally caffeine-free, is rich in antioxidants, and is also anti-inflammatory.
You can make a rooibos latte in a pretty similar way to a London Fog:
- Simply let your tea steep for a few minutes.
- Add honey or vanilla extract to sweeten it.
- Heat and froth milk of your choice.
- Top with cinnamon, and you’re done!
To prepare this drink at home, make sure to start with a good tea, like this Cederberg Tea Company Organic Red Rooibos from Amazon.com.
Tip: Learn to froth milk at home using various techniques by reading this article.
5. Turmeric latte
Turmeric is known for its bright yellow color, countless health benefits, and delicious flavor in savory dishes.
But what about drinking it with your morning coffee? Despite what the name suggests, a turmeric latte doesn’t contain any coffee.
Instead, you can think of this drink as a kind of spicy milk, and another name for this drink is actually golden milk.
Made with turmeric, steamed milk, and a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, and a sweetener such as a maple or an agave syrup, this drink is fantastic for your health.
Turmeric and the other ingredients in this beverage have been linked to:
- Improvements in digestion
- Decreased risk of cancer
- Improved mood
The great thing about this drink is that its low caffeine content but positive health benefits will keep your energy up without keeping you awake too late.
If this drink sounds perfect for you, the FGO Organic Turmeric Powder on Amazon is a great place to start.
Add it to some milk and add in your other spices, and you’ll be golden, if you’ll pardon the pun.
If you want to have authentic golden milk, you could try it without the sweetener or other spices.
A friend from India told me once that all they do there is put turmeric powder in milk and stir it until it is dissolved. You can either have it hot or cold, but it dissolves better when it’s hot.
He also told me that the fancy additions are an American thing, and it’s rare that they do that in India.
6. Chicory latte
If you’ve ever had coffee from Cafe Du Monde, you’ve tasted chicory in your coffee before.
Chicory is a root that’s harvested, minced, roasted, and then brewed either as an alternative to coffee or is mixed into regular ground coffee, which is how Cafe Du Monde makes it.
Chicory root has been used as medicine for centuries, but drinking it like coffee or mixing it into your coffee also affects health benefits and flavor.
Chicory coffee has been linked to better digestive health and decreased inflammation.
Brewed by itself, chicory is a naturally caffeine-free alternative to coffee, and it can also be made with milk to create a chicory latte.
To do this:
- Cover chicory root, and dandelion root, if you want some extra flavor, with water in a pot.
- Bring it to a boil.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Add in steamed and frothed milk.
- Serve with cinnamon on top, and your latte is ready to drink.
For an excellent chicory coffee mix, the Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory from Amazon.com is one of the best. It’s a bit saltier and darker than regular coffee, so try it with your sweetener of choice.
For pure chicory root that can be used for a chicory latte, Anthony’s Instant Chicory Root (also on Amazon) is a winner.
7. Spicy hot chocolate
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate? Perfect for a cold winter day when you just don’t feel like drinking espresso, spicy hot chocolate might be exactly what you need to make your coffee routine feel new.
This one is especially perfect for coffee lovers who usually enjoy a mocha latte.
Some people also call this drink Mayan Hot Chocolate or Mexican Hot Chocolate, but the basic recipe is:
- Cayenne pepper
Chocolate provides light caffeine and cayenne has some excellent health benefits, but most of all, this drink is delicious.
This is another drink that you can probably make with things you already have, especially because you can use a traditional hot chocolate mix to create it.
If you do want to make this drink extra good, though, opt for a rich, dark variety like the Lindt 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate on Amazon.com.
To make it:
- Melt your chocolate over medium-low heat.
- Add milk and whisk for about five minutes until your chocolate and milk are well combined.
- Finish by adding in 1 tsp (6 g) each of your spices.
Feel free to serve this drink with whipped cream and add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
So, if you’re looking for a change of pace in your coffee routine or want to try something new and exciting, I’d definitely recommend giving some (or all!) of these latte alternatives a shot.
Personally, I’m excited to experiment with more flavors and combinations; but no matter what you choose, I think you’ll find that the taste of home-brewed coffee is still as delicious as ever.
If you’d like to learn more about coffee, you can find more information below: