This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe combines a subtly sweetened masala chai latte with a shot of espresso for a drink that’s as aromatic as it is caffeinated!
As far as unique coffee shop beverages go, I hadn’t heard of this one until recently when a friend told me about it.
She said this is her go-to in the fall instead of a Pumpkin Spice Latte. You still get the warm spices and subtle sweetness, but without the flavor of pumpkin!
I was intrigued. One sip in I realized that Dirty Chai is a hidden gem.
What is Dirty Chai Latte?
This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe basically combines a Masala Chai Latte with a shot of espresso.
A Masala Chai Latte is typically black tea steeped with spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and peppercorns, served with steamed milk.
The “dirty” part of this drink comes from the fact that a shot of espresso is added to the Masala Chai Latte.
To make it extra dirty (or filthy!), add two shots of espresso per serving!
Why is it Called a Dirty Chai?
The name of this drink comes from the fact that when you add espresso, it “muddies” or “dirties” the color of the latte.
Dirty Chai Latte Recipe
This coffeehouse beverage is very easy to make at home!
The recipe below is the from-scratch version if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet. Here’s what goes into it:
- Cardamom pods
- Star anise
- Cinnamon stick
- Fresh ginger
- Freshly-grated nutmeg
- Coconut sugar, or sweetener of choice
- Black tea bags
- Espresso or strong hot coffee
Pro Tip: If you prefer, you can omit the cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns, nutmeg, and black tea bags and instead use 2 chai tea bags (find chai tea bags on Amazon).
Check out my Honey Vanilla Masala Chai Recipe if you want to make sweet spiced chai concentrate that you can keep in the fridge to make a Dirty Chai Latte anytime!
How Much Sugar is in a Dirty Chai Latte?
This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe uses 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar per serving.
The nice thing about making this drink at home is that you can add less sweetener if desired. Also, you can use a different sweetener if you prefer, such as honey, brown sugar, stevia, etc.
Pro Tip: Feel free to swap out the type and amount of sweetener in this recipe to suit your tastes.
Can You Drink Chai Without Milk?
Traditionally in India (where chai is from), chai (meaning “tea”) is served with milk.
However, if you prefer a non-dairy Chai Latte when you’re making Dirty Chai, you can use whatever type of plant-based milk you like.
Alternatively, you can omit the milk and use hot water instead, just note that the drink won’t be creamy like a latte.
How to Order a Dirty Chai Latte at Starbucks
A Dirty Chai Latte is part of the Starbucks “Secret Menu”. To order this drink at Starbucks, simply ask for a chai latte with a shot of espresso!
More Fun and Unique Drinks to Try:
- Iced Bubble Coffee
- Thai Iced Tea
- Bulletproof Matcha Latte
- Butternut Butterscotch Latte
- Blended Iced Cinnamon Lattes
- Rose Tea Latte with Vanilla Rooibos
- Cranberry Latte
- 5-Minute Low Carb Hot Chocolate
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Dirty Chai Latte Recipe
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
- 2 black tea bags
- 1/2 cup whole milk steamed or warmed
- 2 shots hot espresso or 1/2 cup strong hot coffee
- Add the cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger slices, peppercorns, nutmeg, and water to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat off, stir in the sugar, and add tea bags. Cover the saucepan and steep for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want it.
- Strain out the spices. Whisk in the warm milk and hot espresso. Serve.
- If you prefer, you can omit the cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns, nutmeg, and black tea bags and instead use 2 chai tea bags (find chai tea bags on Amazon).
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!