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Dirty Chai Latte Recipe (Hot or Iced)

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This Dirty Chai Latte recipe perfectly combines spiced chai tea with espresso. For a Starbucks experience, make this tea latte with your favorite frothed milk.

Have you ever thought of mixing your espresso with tea? This might sound like a strange combination to some, but it became one of the most popular drinks at many coffee shops. Why? Well, chai tea isn’t just any ordinary tea. Infused with spices like cloves, cardamom pods, nutmeg, and ginger, it adds a spicy kick that pairs with a bold energy boost from the espresso. 

While I made this dirty chai recipe from scratch using whole spices, I also wrote how to make it with chai tea bags or chai concentrate to demonstrate how easy it is to make this delicious drink at home.

How to make dirty chai latte vegan?

What’s a Dirty Chai Latte?

This Dirty Chai Latte is made from three key ingredients: spiced chai tea (masala chai), a shot of espresso, and a layer of frothed milk.

The “dirty” in Dirty Chai Latte refers to adding espresso, while “chai” signifies masala chai’s aromatic blend of tea and spices. “Latte” points to steamed milk and froth.

When you order a chai latte at Starbucks, baristas can customize this drink by adding one, two, or even three shots of espresso and calling it the Filthy Chai Latte, Java Chai, or Double Dirty Chai Latte.

Another common term for this drink is “Red Eye Chai. However, it contains the caffeine boost from the espresso and the traditional chai tea, with no milk added.

What's a Dirty Chai Latte?

Why You’ll Love This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe?

  • easy to make at home
  • This Starbucks copycat combines the spicy kick of masala chai with the energy boost from brewed espresso. It’s the perfect pick-me-up.
  • The comforting and cozy drink features creamy milk froth that you can customize to your preference.
Ingredients

Ingredients

Masala Chai

The word “chai” means “tea” in Hindi, and “Masala” means a mix of spices used in cooking.

A typical masala chai is made with brewed black tea and a blend of warming spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper. I blended whole spices with black tea into a homemade chai spice blend. You can also use ground spices, tea bags, or chai tea concentrate.

This cocoa tea is also made with spices but use cocoa beans instead of black tea.

Espresso

Brew your strong coffee shot using an espresso machine or any other tool that forces hot water through coffee beans under high pressure. 

Hot or Iced dirty chai latte?

Froth Milk

making froth milk is tricky. Timing, selection of the right milk and its temperature matter.

Wondering what kind of milk to use for a chai latte? Whole milk or 2% milk is fine, just don’t use skim milk, as it doesn’t produce enough foam. YOu can also use oat milk. I have seen some versions specifically made for making foam. However, Oat milk froths easily and disappears faster, so froth the oat milk immediately before drinking.

To achieve the perfect frothy foam, heat the milk to 150 F (65 C) If you are using this milk frother, it will warm it up for you. You can also use this hand mixer frother  or a french press, but you will need to use a thermometer.

Sugar (optional)

you can use any sweetener, like honey or maple syrup are fine too. I  found it delicious without it.

How to Make a Dirty Chai Latte at Home

First step: Make the Spicy Chai Tea

Heat water to just below boiling. Steep your chai tea bag or loose-leaf tea in 6-8 ounces of hot water for about 5-7 minutes. This creates a strong chai base.

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add chai spices and tea bag and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 2 minutes, and strain it into the mug using a fine mesh strainer.

using a chai concentrate: Pour chai concentrate into a heat-proof glass and add boiling water

using tea bags: Throw tea bags in the hot water in a mug for 3 to 5 minutes.

cooking the chai masala

Second step: Brew the Espresso

while the chai is resting, make the espresso. Use an espresso machine or a coffee maker that can produce a strong shot of coffee and pour it into the tea mixture. Add a sweetener and mix well.

making espresso

Third step: Froth the Milk

Heat the milk in a small saucepan to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring it doesn’t reach a boil. Use a food thermometer or heat until it’s hot to the touch and small bubbles form at the edges.

Froth the milk using a milk frother, French press, or hand frother. If using a French press, pump the plunger about 100 times or for 1 minute. You want the milk to be creamy and have a good amount of foam.  Add the frothed milk, spooning the foam on top. You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on top for extra flavor.

Dirty Chai Latte Recipe (Hot or Iced)

Spices, Chai concentrate or tea bag?

Spiced version

when using spices to make a chai latte with espresso, you will make the most authentic version; however, it will require 20 minutes extra time. While you can make it ahead of time and store the chai tea in the fridge for a couple of weeks, you will get an authentic Indian chai that is delicious. Moreover,  you can adjust the amount of spices as per your choice

Chai concentrate

with chai concentrate, you will probably be the most similar to Starbuck as most probably they are using it. but you cannot control the amount of sugar as the concentrate has a sweetener. 

Tea bags

are convenient and fast, the taste might not be as good as when you are using the spices.

Does a dirty chai tea latte have caffeine?

Does a dirty chai tea latte have caffeine?

Yes, a Dirty Chai Latte has caffeine. It combines chai tea and espresso, both of which contain caffeine. Chai tea,  made with black tea, contains moderate caffeine, while espresso has a higher concentration. Together, brewed chai tea and coffee create a warm and cozy espresso drink with a high caffeine content and strong energy boost.

When you order a dirty chai latte in Starbucks, you will get  95 mg of caffeine and chai latte and 150 mg in each  espresso shot.

Hot or Iced dirty chai latte?

To make this Dirty Chai Latte iced, I suggest preparing the chai masala in advance and letting it cool completely. You can store it in the refrigerator for several days. Add a shot of espresso, ice cubes, and frothed milk when ready to serve. You can use ice cream instead of ice cubes on hot summer days for an extra treat.

Spices, Chai concentrate or tea bag?

How to make dirty chai latte vegan?

To make a Dirty Chai Latte vegan, you need to replace traditional dairy products with plant-based alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. When fronting these plant-based milks, the milk froth is fast to make; however, it disappears faster. If you love foam, froth the oat milk immediately before drinking.

I love this dirty chai tea but I am caffeine sensitive.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine but still enjoy the flavor of a Dirty Chai Latte, you can create a lower-caffeine or caffeine-free version. 

Make the spice masala chai without black tea. The spiced version is also very tasty and caffeine-free. Alternatively, look for decaffeinated chai tea bags or loose-leaf chai. 

Use decaf espresso or caffeine-free coffee substitutes, like chicory or barley coffee, which gives a similar flavor without the caffeine.

dirty chai latte
Yield: 2 cups

Dirty Chai Latte Recipe (Hot or Iced)

Why You’ll Love This Dirty Chai Latte Recipe?

This Dirty Chai Latte recipe perfectly combines spiced chai tea with espresso. For a Starbucks experience, make this tea latte with your favorite frothed milk.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Instructions

  1. Heat water to just below boiling. Steep your chai tea bag or loose-leaf tea in 6-8 ounces of hot water for about 5-7 minutes. This creates a strong chai base. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add chai spices and tea bag and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 2 minutes and strain it into the mug using a fine mesh strainer. using concentrate: Pour chai concentrate into a heat-proof glass and add boiling water. using tea bags: In a mug, steep tea bags in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. while the chai is resting, make the espresso. Use an espresso machine or a coffee maker that can produce a strong shot of coffee and pour it into the tea mixture. Add a sweetener and mix well.
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring it doesn't reach a boil. Use a food thermometer or heat until it's hot to the touch and small bubbles form at the edges. Froth the milk using a milk frother, French press, or hand frother. If using a French press, pump the plunger about 100 times or for 1 minute. You want the milk to be creamy and have a good amount of foam.  Add the frothed milk, spooning the foam on top. You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on top for extra flavor.

Notes

You can also use 2 chai tea bags or Chai concentrate instead of masala chai

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 9gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Vladka Merva on April 29th, 2024

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