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This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe combines a sweetly spiced masala chai latte with a shot of espresso for an aromatic, cozy beverage. And don’t worry if you don’t have a milk frother or steamer; I’m sharing two methods to easily froth milk at home without any fancy equipment!

dirty chai latte with espresso

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.

dirty chai

What is Dirty Chai Latte?

This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe basically combines a Masala Chai Latte with a shot of espresso. It has an alluring spiced aroma, and is a perfect marriage of tea and coffee.

A Masala Chai Latte is typically black tea steeped with spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and peppercorns, served with steamed milk.

masala spices

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!

steeping chai tea

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 with description

The Best 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
  • Cloves
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Fresh ginger
  • Peppercorns
  • Freshly-grated nutmeg
  • Water
  • Coconut sugar, or sweetener of choice
  • Black tea bags
  • Milk
  • Espresso or strong hot coffee

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 to froth steamed milk in french press

Tips for Making a Dirty Chai Latte

  • Simplify the chai. 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).
  • Swap out the sweetener. Change the type and amount of sweetener in this recipe to suit your tastes. You can even use a keto sweetener to keep this low carb!
  • You can froth milk easily at home. To froth milk in a French press, heat milk in a saucepan on the stovetop until steaming. Carefully pour the hot milk into a French press, put the lid on top, and plunge up and down until you have a good amount of foam on the top (it should almost double in volume). Or to froth milk in a mason jar, fill a 1-cup mason jar about halfway with milk, put the lid on tightly, and shake vigorously until it’s frothed (about 30 seconds). Remove the lid and microwave briefly (about 30 to 45 seconds) to warm the milk.
masala chai with espresso in a dirty chai latte

Dirty Chai FAQs

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 more or less sweetener if desired. Also, you can use a different sweetener if you prefer, such as honey, brown sugar, stevia, etc. And to make it low-carb, use a keto sweetener.

dirty chai latte

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.

festive masala chai with espresso shot

How Do I 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!

homemade dirty chai latte

More Fun and Unique Drinks to Try

dirty chai latte recipe

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Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Other Time10 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe combines a sweetly spiced masala chai latte with a shot of espresso for an aromatic, cozy beverage. And don't worry if you don't have a milk frother or steamer; I'm sharing two methods to easily froth milk at home without any fancy equipment!

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • Use Chai Tea Bags Instead of Spices. 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).
  • Swap Out the Sweetener For Your Favorite. You can change the type and amount of sweetener in this recipe to suit your tastes. You can even use a keto sweetener to keep this low carb!
  • Make frothed milk easily at home. No worries if you don’t have a milk frother, you can froth milk easily at home. To froth milk in a French press, heat milk in a saucepan on the stovetop until steaming. Carefully pour the hot milk into a French press, put the lid on top, and plunge up and down until you have a good amount of foam on the top (it should almost double in volume). Or to froth milk in a mason jar, fill a 1-cup mason jar about halfway with milk, put the lid on tightly, and shake vigorously until it’s frothed (about 30 seconds). Remove the lid and microwave briefly (about 30 to 45 seconds) to warm the milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dirty Chai, Dirty Chai Latte, Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

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dirty chai latte recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 3, 2020. I updated it with more information on December 14, 2021.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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