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Dirty Chai Latte

Dirty Chai Latte – Save money and make this coffee shop favorite at home! Homemade chai tea latte with a shot of espresso.

Dirty Chai Latte

Dirty Chai Latte

Can I just say how great dirty chais are? This drink is always one of my husband’s go-to drinks at coffee shops so to save money, I decided to try to figure out how to make it at home.  Now to make this recipe, I used my Starbucks Copycat Chai Tea Latte recipe and added espresso to it.  No worries if you don’t have espresso or instant espresso on hand, you can always use strongly brewed coffee instead in this recipe.  I love dirty chais because I feel like the addition of espresso/coffee really balances the sweet and spiciness of a chai.  It really is perfection in a cup!

Common Questions About Making a Dirty Chai Latte

What is a dirty chai latte?

A dirty chai latte is a classic chai tea latte that’s made with chai tea bags, milk, water, and honey along with a shot of espresso.

Do dirty chai lattes have caffeine in them?

Yes, dirty chai lattes have caffeine in them since they are made with black tea leaves and espresso.

What other drink recipes can I make using chai tea?

Some of my favorite chai recipes include –

What should I do if I don’t have espresso?

If you don’t have espresso, there are a few different options for ways to get close to espresso.  The cheapest option would be to brew quite strong coffee in a normal coffee pot which won’t be exactly the same but it’ll work.  If you have a moka pot or an aeropress coffee maker, those will get you pretty close to regular espresso.  If you use the moka pot or espresso, follow the same proportions in the recipe but if you choose to go the strongly brewed coffee route, use 1/4 cup coffee.

What should I do if I don’t have chai tea?

If you don’t have chai tea, simply use 2 black tea bags along with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and black pepper.

Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

How much sugar is in a dirty chai latte?

Usually chai tea lattes from places like Starbucks are pretty sweet but if you make it home, you can adjust the amount of sugar in the drink.  If you want just a lightly sweetened tea then only use about 1-2 teaspoons honey, adding more to taste.  Alternatively, you can use a different sweetener that fits into your diet better than honey but fair warning, that may effect the taste.

Are chai lattes dairy-free?

This chai tea latte recipe can be made dairy-free by using a dairy-free milk such as

  • Soy
  • Almond
  • Oat
  • Coconut
  • Cashew

These will each impact the taste a bit so I usually try to use the most neutral tasting non-dairy milk.  Depending on which milk you choose, it may or may not froth well.  So far, I have only tested frothing soy milk and it worked great using an immersion blender.

Are chai lattes vegan?

Chai tea lattes can be made vegan very easily.  With this recipe, use a non-dairy milk (listed above) and instead of honey, use a vegan sweetener such as pure maple syrup.

Can I bake with chai tea?

Yes! Some of my favorite recipes using chai are –

Homemade Dirty Chai

Yield: 2 Servings

Dirty Chai Latte

Dirty Chai Latte

Dirty Chai Latte – Save money and make this coffee shop favorite at home! Homemade chai tea latte with a shot of espresso.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes



  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add in tea bag and steep for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add in the milk and honey, reducing the heat to medium and warming the milk.
  3. Using a frother or immersion blender, blend until frothy (optional).
  4. Pour espresso into each cup and then divide the chai tea between the cups. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon (optional).


* Don't have an espresso machine? No worries - use 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee or make the "espresso" with an aeropress.

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Dirty Chai

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