Vegan Chai Milkshake

My parents like to joke that the "coffee gene" skipped a generation. All four of my grandparents are/were avid coffee drinkers. My brother and I both adore coffee. My parents however, hate the stuff. My dad can't even handle the smell when I'm home for a visit and make a French press full. (That's the best smell in the world as far as I'm concerned.)

When I first dipped my toe into the world of coffee I felt like I had been missing out on an important aspect of society. 

My brother and I started frequenting coffee shops as teenagers. I fell head over heals for every part of this ritual: the togetherness, the chic soundtracks playing in the background, the option to sip in quiet solitude or over conversations with friends. I was at once intimidated and enthralled by coffee culture. The baristas were undoubtedly cool (or so they thought) and I soaked up every bit of this delightful, dark, rich, earthy pastime. 

Going to coffee shops played an important role in informing my social life. It encourages people to sit down, slow down and enjoy time together. Since my parents have always been pretty busy folks, I really wanted to share this with them and insist on bringing them along just to hang out. 

The only problem was that neither one of them likes coffee. Despite my numerous attempts to convert them, it never quite caught on until they discovered something they both love: chai. Chai lattes, chai milkshakes, chai tea. Anything chai. They even like chai chocolate bars.

Chai really is a special treat and it carved out a place in my heart too. When I'm at coffee shops I tend to stick to the cheaper and sugar free, tried and true classic that is drip coffee. But when I'm at home and looking for a delicious afternoon snack, I make this vegan chai milkshake lickety split and in no time I'm sippin' on a frosty, creamy, spicy sweet treat whose ingredients sound more like a health drink than a once-in-a-while dessert. Both my parents love it. Coffee lover approved. Coffee hater approved. Check and check.

If you feel like you missed the "coffee gene" but still want to enjoy the communal aspects of coffee klatch, invite some friends or family over, whiz this baby up and have your own little coffeehouse-esque chai milkshake party.

Or just, you know, make it and drink it all alone while you tippity-type on your computer. That too.

Vegan Chai Milkshake

Yield: Makes 20 ounces


  • 1/2 cup almond milk, or vegan milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup brewed strong black tea
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (omit if using sweetened milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch of white pepper or cayenne


  1. Boil water and pour 4 oz. over 1 black tea bag. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes. 
  2. In blender combine all ingredients starting with the liquids and spices then adding the ice and bananas. (If the spices are added last they tend to stick to the sides of the blender.) Blend until smooth. 

Comments & Questions