What is a Starbucks dirty chai latte? (how to order, How to make dirty chai latte, what is in a dirty chai latte + more FAQs)

The Starbucks dirty chai latte is a perfect drink to start your day and reactivate your mind on a busy, tiring day. But what is a Starbucks dirty chai latte?

The dirty chai latte at Starbucks is a chai latte with an espresso shot. I enjoy tea and coffee in equal measures, and I felt like I had to make a difficult choice between the two sweet beverages for a long time. That was before I discovered that the Starbucks Secret menu had a perfect solution, and I did not have to choose anymore. Thanks to my boss, who handed me the drink for the first time on one of the winter’s cold field days. I was freezing and tired, but within the first few sips of the drink, I was ready to begin my day again. You will also learn about the drink and how to make it in the comfort of your home.

What does a dirty chai latte taste like?

A dirty chai latte has a unique and memorable taste. First, the taste can be described as perfectly delicious. It has a sweet and spicy flavor, and like most chai lattes, you will notice the vanilla taste that blends perfectly with the taste of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. The spices are in considerable quantities and therefore allow you to taste the rich flavor of the chai tea concentrate in perfect harmony with the slightly bitter flavor of the espresso. It has a bubbly form that creates a smooth, creamy texture as you take the sips. The espresso shot makes its taste different from a regular chai latte.

A customer on Instagram described the taste as ‘delicious’ and noted that she previously could not take espresso because it tasted bitter. However, she can now experience the magical espresso kick in the dirty chai latte without having to bear the bitter taste. Another social media user describes the taste as good.

What makes a chai latte dirty?

A shot or two shots of espresso makes chai latte dirty. Two shorts of espresso make the chai latte double dirty and is also referred to as a filthy chai latte. The regular dirty chai latte contains milk, but if it is made without milk, it is referred to as a dirty hippie chai latte. The history of dirty chai latte perfectly answers the question. It is rumored that the first dirty chai latte was made accidentally in England in the 1990s. A confused barista added a shot of espresso to a traveler’s chai latte. On noticing his mistake, the barista wanted to put a fresh order of the chai latte, but the traveler insisted that he would have it with the espresso. It was perfect, and he ordered it wherever he traveled. From history, it is clear that a shot of espresso makes chai latte dirty.

What’s in a Dirty Chai latte

what is in a dirty chai latte

A dirty chai latte comprises three primary ingredients: espresso, milk, and spiced chai black tea concentrate. The chai black tea concentrate includes black tea, vanilla, star anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom. One of the chai tea concentrates used at Starbucks is the Tea Vana Chai Tea latte concentrate, which is much more concentrated than the regular ones sold at the stores. Finally, the dirty chai latte consists of a sweetener of choice. Some sweeteners include maple syrup, brown sugar, stevia, or granulated sugar.

The black tea concentrate – is made by placing the industrial-size Teavana tea bags in hot water to allow them to produce the tea flavor. Vanilla, star anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom are spices that complete the taste of a dirty chai latte.

Espresso – is made by forcing warm water through finely-ground coffee.

Milk – is an essential ingredient and contributes to the creamy texture and the foam. The froth is made by exerting high pressure on steamed milk.

How much caffeine is in a dirty chai latte?

A 12-ounce serving of dirty chai latte has about 135 to 160 mg of caffeine. A Starbucks chai latte is among the highly caffeinated drinks. A 12-ounce serving of the chai latte has about 50 to 70 mg of caffeine. The espresso shots significantly increase the caffeine, thus making the dirty chai latte a highly caffeinated drink. A shot of Starbucks espresso has more than 75 mg of caffeine. The beverage contributes significantly to the healthy daily limit of 400mg.

Other nutritional facts

A 16 fl oz serving of dirty chai latte has 240 counts of calories and about 15 mg of cholesterol. Dairy milk contributes to cholesterol, and changing the milk to almond or soy milk will drastically reduce the quantity of cholesterol. The drink has 40 g of total carbohydrates and about 8g of protein. Although the drink does not exceed the daily calorie count of 2000, it significantly contributes toward that limit.

The table below shows the nutritional content of a 16 fl oz serving of a dirty chai latte.

240 calories
Element Quantity Percentage
Total fat 4.5g 6%
Saturated fat 2g 10%
Trans fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg 7%
Sodium 130mg 4%
Total carbohydrates 40g 16%
Dietary fiber 1g
Sugars 35g
Protein 8g
Caffeine 160mg

How to Order a Starbucks Dirty Chai Latte

To order a Starbucks dirty chai latte, request the barista add one or two shots of espresso to a regular chai latte. Although the Starbucks chai latte is on the secret menu, it has become pretty popular, and most baristas in all Starbucks locations understand how to make a dirty chai latte. Therefore, ordering the dirty chai latte is easy. On the rare occasion that the barista does not realize what a dirty chai latte is, you need to tell the barista to prepare a chai latte using the spiced black chai concentrate and add one or two shots of espresso. Remember to state the kind of sweetener that you prefer. Additionally, to order from the app, select a chai latte and a shot of espresso as an add-in. Finally, you can request a caffe latte and add a chai syrup.

Can you make a dirty chai latte at home?

What is a Starbucks dirty chai latte?

How to make a dirty chai latte at home

Kai Jordan
You can make a dirty chai latte at home.


  • Espresso maker
  • Hand frother or whisk
  • Glass jar
  • Cups


  • 4 chai tea bags
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spices, which include (star anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom)
  • Vanilla


  • Using an espresso maker, make two shots of espresso and allow it to cool
  • Place the chai tea bags in the two cups of boiling water and allow them to steep, and add honey to make a black chai concentrate
  • Using a whisk, make a milk frothAdd the black tea concentrate to a jar and the two espresso shots
  • .Pour in glasses and a ¼ teaspoon of spices and 2 pumps of vanilla
  • Add milk and the frothServe and enjoy

Final thoughts

The Starbucks dirty chai latte is a great beverage in the morning because the caffeine keeps you alert and active during your most productive hours. The excellent taste makes you crave more. You should, however, control your uptake because caffeine is addictive.

FAQ Section

Is dirty chai latte healthy?

Yes, a dirty chai latte is healthy. According to several studies, black tea in the beverage regulates blood pressure.

Is a Dirty Chai better iced or hot?

Iced and hot dirty chai latte is good depending on the weather. The iced one is better on a hot summer day, while the hot one is better on a cold winter morning.

How many shots of espresso are in a dirty chai at Starbucks?

You can ask for a single or double-shot depending on your preference

How many pumps of vanilla are in a chai latte?

A short serving has two pumps of vanilla, while a venti can have up to five pumps

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