what is Dirty chai latte

What Is a Dirty Chai Latte? Origin, History, Starbucks, and Recipe

We all have experienced the craze of dalgona coffee. Once, almost every second post or video explained how to prepare it at home during lockdown. A dirty chai latte is the same, but it never became a part of a viral trend.

Chai is tea in Hindi and is a popular drink that people in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and other neighboring countries drink regularly. It’s famous for Asians! However, many people don’t like the taste of tea and look for alternatives. That’s the main reason behind the popularity of dirty chai latte.

It’s not a new thing. Instead, the drink has been served for many years. Although, its recent inclusion in the Starbucks menu has brought it to light and made more people search for it on the Internet.

We took a step ahead to explain everything about the viral drink. Its history, the recipes to prepare it, storage guidelines, health benefits, and much more. If you are looking for in-depth information about the drink with all the latest updates, please read until last to get all your answers. The article also includes FAQs for more elaborated info.

What is a Dirty chai latte?

As mentioned, chai-flavored drinks and food are getting very popular these days. A dirty chai latte is often seen as an alternative to coffee. Although it includes more caffeine than coffee, still it’s famous because of its mixed tastes.

It’s a chai latte that contains one or two shots of expresso, chai masala, and steamed milk. When you add an expresso shot to thick tea, it looks dirty and changes the fragrance. That’s why it is called a Dirty chai latte.

People who want more coffee flavor can increase the expresso shots, but around two shots would be more than enough.

It’s much different from regular tea and coffee. It gives you a milky and smooth texture with added chai masala and coffee flavor. The taste enhances when you add ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and tulsi leaves. It becomes authentic and includes the western taste too.

You can serve the latte hot or cold. The versions are much similar to coffee, where the hot dirty chai latte includes steamed milk, and the cold one provides ice. You may add flavors and sweeteners on top to adjust the taste accordingly. We have explained the exact recipes below in this article.

Origin and history

Before we head over to discuss the preparation process and benefits, let’s first understand its history.

It is said that the dirty chai latte finds its links back to the 90s in England. A barista was making a chai latte for a traveler, but he accidentally poured a shot of expresso into the drink. He was about to discard it, but the traveler said he wanted to try the wrongly brewed drink.

To baristas’ and everyone’s surprise, the drink was a hit and was loved by many. Whenever the traveler visited the place, he ordered the same drink. Also, he took the recipe with him and introduced it to multiple cafes worldwide.

The idea of mixing an expresso shot in a chai latte was praised by people worldwide. Initially, the recipe was only limited to local cafés, but eventually, with increasing demand, the drink successfully found its place in multiple cafes. Its inclusion in the Starbucks menu gave it widespread popularity.

what is Dirty chai latte

Where to find a dirty chai latte?

It’s a standard drink, and you can easily find it in any café. However, if it’s not in your favorite café, order a chai latte and request them to add a shot of expresso to it. You may increase the intensity and flavor of coffee by requesting them to add another shot of expresso to it.

Similarly, if you want to try an iced dirty chai tea latte, request an iced tea and ask to add one or two expresso shots. It’s often very smooth and includes toppings and whipped cream. But, mostly, it’s readily available, and you don’t have to take this much hassle.

If you want to enjoy the dirty chai latte at home without the hassle of learning the recipe and preparing it on your own, then look for brands that offer tea bags containing the same flavor. You can also find it in the concentrated form that you need to mix with milk to consume.

Various startups now provide a quick solution, and you can easily order it online. Store these packets in your pantry, and take them with you while traveling or at work. Blend and consume; it tastes amazingly well.

How to make a dirty chai latte at home?

People who love the taste of home-prepared food and drink will never find satisfaction in consuming the products available in the market. That’s why we brought these four recipes of different types of dirty chai latte that you can prepare at home. Make sure you arrange the ingredients before starting.

1. Plain dirty chai latte

For people who don’t like to experiment with their drinks. The process is pretty simple, and you also don’t need many ingredients.

Ingredients to prepare the drink

  • Tea leaves
  • Chai powder/masala 2-3 tablespoons
  • Regular chai ingredients like cardamom, clove, ginger, and tulsi. According to taste.
  • 1 shot of expresso
  • 1 or 2 cups of hot milk

The process of preparing the drink

  1. Heat the milk until it starts boiling, and then add 2-3 tablespoons of chai masala, tea leaves, and chai ingredients
  2. Wait for two minutes to let the powder mix well with the milk
  3. Now pour the shot of expresso. One or two shots, depending on the taste and flavor of coffee you want in your dirty chai latte
  4. Season with a bit of chai masala; just a pinch, and your drink is ready.

Serve it hot and enjoy the fantastic fragrance of coffee and a mixed taste that will make you fall in love with a beautiful treat.

what is Dirty chai latte

2. Iced dirty chai tea latte

Preparing the iced version is slightly different from the regular one, but most prefer this drink to a simple dirty chai latte:

Ingredients you need

  • Tea leaves
  • Milk, preferably the one with cream, but any milk will work
  • Chilled coffee – instead of expresso, use chilled coffee. Brew some coffee and let it get cold, at least to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • Ice

The process of preparing the drink

  1. Heat water until it boils, then add tea leaves and wait for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the water and discard the used tea leaves.
  3. Add sugar and coffee to the tea water and mix it until the sugar dissolves completely.
  4. Take a jar filled with ice and pour the mixture into it. Add milk and stir until it mixes well.
  5. Add whipped cream from the top, and be ready to serve.

Try to serve it as soon as possible because the ice will turn into water, directly affecting your drink’s creamy texture. People will surely praise you for your effort.

3. Dirty Dalgona Whipped Chai Latte 

The Dalgona trend will be remembered forever – why not take it to the next level?

Dalgona is famous honeycomb chocolate in South Korea, but the coffee includes nothing. It just tastes like Dalgona candy. That is why people refer to it as Dalgona coffee.

The process of preparing Dalgona coffee is pretty simple. You need to whip instant coffee and sugar, add some water to create a whipped cream-like texture, and pour it on cold milk.

We will imitate the process with slight changes to prepare Dirty Dalgona Whipped Chai Latte.


To prepare whipped cream

  • Two tablespoons of Instant coffee.
  • One tablespoon of chai masala.
  • Two tablespoons of white sugar.
  • Two tablespoons of boiling water.

For chai latte

  • One tablespoon of water
  • One tablespoon of chai masala
  • 1-2 cups of cold milk, preferably chilled.
  • Ice

The process of preparing the drink

  1. Take a large bowl and add all ingredients to prepare whipped into it. Beat it for 8 to 10 minutes until you get a creamy texture.
  2. To prepare an iced latte, take a cup of water, add chai masala, and stir it for a minute.
  3. Add ice and milk to your chai latte mixture, and top your drink with whipped cream to enjoy.

It’s similar to an iced dirty chai tea latte but includes the essence of Dalgona Coffee. It tastes like candy.

Why you should try Dirty Chai Latte Starbucks

Indeed, the coffee tastes amazingly well but also delivers fantastic health benefits. Here are some proven health benefits that make you drink excellent:

Boosts immunity

Black tea is packed with antioxidants that help your immune system to fight external viruses and diseases. It also promotes your well beings and provides overall health benefits.

Helps in digestion

The properties of black tea increase the number of good bacteria in your gut and promote better digestion. It also shows subsequent repairs on your digestive tract lining.

Weight loss

It’s a good alternative for people on a diet to tackle weight. Expresso shots reduce the urge to eat something immediately, which often becomes the reason for being overweight. Caffeine is proven to increase thermogenesis, increasing the calorie-burning process that helps break down the food eaten immediately. Reduces the risk of obesity.

Tackles hypertension

Black tea also shows promising results in regulating your body’s blood pressure. It includes potassium that releases tension in your arteries and veins. It also reduces bad cholesterol.

Improves memory

Like almonds, expresso in your drink is also beneficial to improve your memory which ultimately helps to reduce short-term memory problems. Caffeine helps to increase concentration and make you feel energetic throughout the day.

what is Dirty chai latte

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some essential questions people often ask on the Internet; you might find them interesting:

1. Does a dirty chai latte has health benefits?

Yes, a dirty chai latte has numerous health benefits. It boosts your immunity, helps digestion, promotes weight loss, improves memory, and reduces hypertension.

2. What does a dirty chai latte taste like?

It includes the taste of regular tea with a speck of expresso shot into it. The taste of tea overpowers the taste of coffee, but you can feel both of them with a fantastic aroma of added ingredients.

3. Is a dirty chai latte Starbucks tasty?

Starbucks invests time, money, and research to prepare its recipes. Indeed, the dirty chai latte sold by them is tasty and creamy.

4. Does a dirty chai latte has more caffeine than regular coffee?

Yes, expresso is pure coffee blended with water, and an average dirty chai latte includes around two shots of expresso. That increases the amount of caffeine in each serving—obviously, more than regular coffee.

5. Can a diabetic person drink a chai latte?

A person with diabetes can drink a chai latte, but please check the sugar quantity. Otherwise, you can use sugar-free cubes. Also, it tastes pretty good without sugar; try it once!

Final thoughts

The trend of Dirty chai latte started in the 90s when a barista mistakenly added expresso to the chai latte. His customer was a traveler who loved it promoted wherever he went. People loved the taste of equally blended expresso and tea latte, which became popular.

The inclusion of the drink by Starbucks in their menu gave it popularity the wings, and now multiple startups have also jumped to sell instant dirty chai latte powders and tea bags.

I am preparing it at home is pretty simple where. You need a couple of ingredients and follow the directions described in the article.

With taste, it also provides multiple health benefits and is worth trying. Have you ever tried a dirty chai latte? Please leave your comments.