Dirty chai vs chai latte: Exploring the differences!

dirty chai latte vs chai latte

Do you love tea? A flavorful drink with different spices. In some countries, people prefer tea over coffee since tea is much smoother and delicious. It is also called a chai latte. In India, it is the most famous and most consumed drink. But a dirty chai latte differs from a chai latte because it adds espresso. So, Dirty chai vs chai latte is the comparison of two different flavors in many ways.

If you love a flavorful drink with many spices, the chai latte has no competition. On the other hand, if you love espresso to add to your chai latte, the dirty chai latte is the best option. So here I will explain all the differences.

A chai latte is a highly concentrated drink that includes spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and it is simmered with milk. And when we add one or two espresso shots, it becomes a dirty chai latte.

So a chai latte is a blend of spices (masala). It doesn’t have bitterness like coffee. A dirty chai latte is the best option if you want a bitter coffee with high caffeine.

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What is a chai latte?

Chai latte is a milder, more flavorful drink, similar to masala tea (masala chai). It originates from India. Still, many countries prefer chai latte over coffee flavors.

What makes it more exciting chai latte is that it is a highly customizable drink. It can be made with different variations. It is prepared by adding steamed milk to spiced tea.

The chai latte follows a different ingredient and brewing method. Even in the same city, every coffee shop will make it differently. It is important to ask the barista about your favorite ingredients and brewing process.

chai latte cup

Traditionally, the Chai latte was made with tea and milk. With time, spices are added to make it flavorful. You still can make it with tea and milk; it tastes better and is delicious.

But with time, It adds many spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. There is no restriction on how many flavors you add.

What is a dirty chai latte?

The dirty chai latte has an espresso shot, making it more robust than the chai latte. It adds single or double-shot espresso. Also, it consists of spiced black tea. This latte also adds spices like black pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.

Again, like the chai latte, the Dirty chai latte is a flavorful coffee with a delicious taste, adding many flavors and spices. But adding an espresso shot gives it an intense flavor with spices.

dirty chai latte

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What is a dirty chai latte vs a chai latte?

The difference between the two drinks are pretty obvious; let’s check it in more detail. One adds tea and spices, and the other adds tea, spices, and espresso.

Do chai latte and dirty have differences in ingredients?

Well ingredients make all the difference between chai latte and dry chai latte. Whereas both add many spices and flavors. But the real difference comes when chai latte adds tea bags and dirty chai latte adds espresso.

Chai latte ingredients

Chai latte has tea or tea bags as the base drink. It also includes steamed milk. This tea is spiced tea. It has the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.

But you can add any other spices as well. The steamed milk pours at the top of the tea, making it creamy.

Also, the chai latte usually adds sugar or any other sweetener to make it sweet. In fact, people even add honey to it. You can add sugar or honey according to your preference.

Tea and milk have an equal volume in a chai latte.

Dirty chai latte

Like the chai latte, the dirty chai latte also adds tea as the base drink. But the real difference comes when it adds espresso to the tea. The combination of tea and espresso gives a unique, pungent taste.

Also, steamed milk adds creaminess and smoothness to the flavor. However, if you find the drink bitter and intense you can add sugar of honey.

Chai latte vs dry chai latte: Which flavor tastes better?

These drinks are spiced dominant so that you can expect a flavorful taste. The taste actually depends on what and how much spices are added. Infact spices dominates the taste.

A chai latte is a smoother coffee with a sweet and spicy flavor. On the other hand, a dirty chai latte adds one espresso shot, giving it a strong and slightly bitter taste.

In dirty chai, latte espresso dilutes the sweet and spicy taste and makes a balanced latte.

Why does a dirty chai latte have more caffeine than a chai latte?

If you avoid high caffeine, the dirty chai latte is not for you because it contains high caffeine. Because tea already contains caffeine, and when espresso is added, it doubles the caffeine content.

In contrast, chai latte has less caffeine since it doesn’t add espresso. The only caffeine source is tea. A dirty chai latte contains around 150 to 160 mg of caffeine. And chai latte only has about 60 to 70 mg of caffeine.

dirty chai cup

Dirty chai vs chai latte: Which drink has more calories?

There is nothing much difference in the calorie count of both coffees. Since both have almost similar ingredients except the espresso shot. And espresso almost has no calories.

Chai latte has around 190 calories per serving. While a dirty chai latte with an extra espresso shot has 200 calories.

Both coffees use milk and sugar, which increase the calorie content. The ten more calories in a dirty chai latte come from espresso.

Dirty chai latte vs chai latte: Which drink is better and healthier

There is little here to choose between the two flavors. Each drink has certain features that you may look into.

Chai latte is a smoother drink with added spices. It has fewer calories and caffeine than a dirty chai latte. Though, it contains only tea without espresso.

And dirty chai latte is a comparatively potent drink combining tea and espresso. It comes with high caffeine, which may cause health issues if you consistently use many cups.

It is best not to drink dirty chai latte frequently due to the high caffeine and calories. A Chai latte is a better option for drinking many cups daily.

Also, let’s check the recipes for a dirty chai latte and chai latte.

How to make a dirty chai latte at home?

A dirty chai latte takes a little more time to brew than a regular one.


  • One shot espresso
  • 1 tsp of chai tea powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish (optional)
  • Sweetener (optional)
  • If you are using a chai tea bag, heat a cup of water to near boiling and steep the tea bag for about 5 minutes, or follow the instructions on the tea packaging.
  • If you are using tea leaves, add one or two tablespoon of leaves to hot water.
  • Here, strain out the leaves, and the tea is ready.
  • Meanwhile, make one or two shots of espresso.
  • Now, pour espresso shots into the cup of tea.
  • Optionally, you can sugar at this point.
  • Also, add two tablespoons of chai tea mix. This tea mix includes spices like cardamom and ginger.
  • In the last step, heat the milk. Add steamed milk to the cup of coffee and espresso when it is hot. You can sprinkle cinnamon or cardamom powder on top.
dirty chai latte

 A dirty chai latte is ready to enjoy.

How to make a chai latte?

It is an easy drink to make at home. It is made with milk, tea, and different spices.

Spices can make deliciously tasty chai. However, if you don’t have all the spices, you don’t need to worry; all the available spices can still make a perfect drink.


  • 2 cup water
  • ¼ tsp powdered sugar
  • 4 grams of tea leaves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  1. First, mix all spices. And add sugar and stir them well. It is better to use a blender or processor.
  2. Add powdered milk to the mixture. And put the mixture into the cup. A mix is ready to add to
  3. Now brew black coffee by pouring tea leaves into hot water.
  4. When black coffee is ready, add the mixture of all spices to it.

A chai latte is ready to enjoy.

chai coffee

Do Chai lattes vs dirty chai lattes available at Starbucks?

Yes, you can get delightful, delicious lattes available at Starbucks. Chai tea latte at Starbucks comes with black coffee, steamed milk, cinnamon clove, and other spices—a Grande 16 oz. The cup size has 240 calories.

Also, dirty chai latte can be customized at Starbucks. You can order black coffee with one espresso shot sprinkled with spices. It is available in all four sizes.


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Final thoughts

If you like tea, you will love these flavors. The addition of spices makes them unique and delicious. If you visit India, you will get tea shops on the corner. Tea enthusiasts always prefer it over any other drink.

Tea can brew with or without spices. However, a chai latte usually adds one or more spices. However, the dirty chai latte has espresso, which gives a unique combination of tea and coffee. And spices add extra attraction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why a dirty chai latte is called dirty?

Because espresso is mixed with black coffee. Combining espresso and coffee makes a strong caffeinated coffee, so it is named as dirty.

Is dirty chai latte bitter?

While combining espresso with coffee enhances the caffeine content and gives a strong bitter taste, adding spices and milk somewhat smooths the taste.

What spices are used for chai latte?

Generally, cinnamon, cardamom, clove ginger, and many other spicy can add to a chai latte and dirty chai latte.

Dirty chai vs chai latte: Exploring the differences!
Article Name
Dirty chai vs chai latte: Exploring the differences!
A chai latte is a highly concentrated drink that includes spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and it is simmered with milk. And when we add one or two espresso shots, it becomes a dirty chai latte.
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my latte coffee
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