Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte with Warm Spices

Homemade coconut milk is my all time favorite messy recipe. If you’re lucky enough to live in the tropics and have access to fresh brown coconuts, you will feel like Tarzan after smashing those babies open on hard surfaces. If that’s not enough to get you excited, the creamy dreamy texture and taste of homemade coconut milk will make you wonder why you ever went store-bought in the first place. I’m in love with the coco. nut. 
After getting a fresh flavorful coconut milk for your base, it’s all about quality ingredients for the rest on this recipe gotten off Laura Wright’s The First Mess blog. I was lucky enough to have a recent trip to Abu Dhabi where I bought incredible cinnamon, coconut oil and Medjool dates from Jordan. Haiti is also blessed with vanilla pod trees, so we have incredible extracts in the mountainous regions. 

Latte Ingredients

1 vanilla rooibos tea bag (I have previously used pure rooibos)

6 oz boiling water

6 oz unsweetened plant-based milk (homemade coconut milk recipe included below) – yes you can buy at the groceries but I’m hoping you won’t)

1 pitted Medjool date

1 teaspoon coconut butter/oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + extra for dusting

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste


  1. In your serving mug, brew the rooibos tea in the boiling water for at least 3 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium, bring the plant milk, date, coconut butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to a light boil. Carefully transfer the milk mixture to your blender and blitz on high for 20 seconds or so.
  3. Pour the frothy warm milk mixture over the tea. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg over the top. You can leave the teabag in or take it out. Rooibos only gets better with longer steeping time.

Homemade Coconut Milk Ingredients

1 Brown mature coconut (dry meat inside)

4-5 cups of water

You’ll need a good blender and a fine strainer or clean cloth


  1. Smash open the coconut on an outdoor surface (you know you want to) Don’t break your ceramics like I did once out of excitement. 
  2. Scoop out the white meat using a knife – this is harder than it sounds, and the two most common outcomes are cutting yourself or breaking the tip of your knife (I know, I know, but it tastes amazing so keep going) The best method is usually to wedge your knife between the white flesh and the husk, and to wiggle it deep enough and give it an easy flick to separate the two. 
  3. Place about 3 Cups of water in you blender with the coconut’s chunks and blend for a good 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the milk in a jug over a strainer or through a clean cloth and squeeze all the milk from the flesh. 
  5. Place the coconut flakes back in the blender and add the 2 remaining cups of water. Repeat step 3 and 4.

Ta-da, you’ve made coconut milk. Refrigerate it and save the rest of the milk and flakes for some Thai Coconut Curry soup or coconut macaroons. 

If you need a quick fix on a hot day, mimic Clear Café in Bali. They blend chilled coconut milk with ice, vanilla extract and honey for hot and thirsty travelers. 

Laura’s Note: Rooibos is my favourite variety of tea. It’s naturally sweet, caffeine-free, and apparently it helps with iron absorption too, which can never hurt for the plant-inclined. Because of the natural sweetness and a slight nutty edge, it makes a perfect latte. I do this up with coconut milk, warm spices and extra vanilla (in addition to the vanilla imbued rooibos that I start with). It’s so cozy and comforting to sip.


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