With warm, rich ingredients like brown sugar, chai tea and espresso, this dirty chai latte recipe will make your mornings so much more delicious. This cozy latte has completely replaced my usual cup of coffee. Try a mug of this delectable drink today and you’ll see why I’m obsessed!

Two chai lattes are garnished with star anises in glass mugs.

Dirty Chai Latte

If you’ve ever waited in the drive-thru line at Starbucks for a chai latte, you seriously wasted your time and money! Don’t worry, I did the same thing, which is why I created this amazing recipe. The drive-thru lattes are tasty, but they can’t compare to this homemade concoction.

Did I mention it’s way less expensive to make your own chai latte at home?! At most coffee houses, a dirty chai latte will cost you about $4. You can pretty much buy all of the ingredients for this recipe for the same price, and make so many lattes!

This recipe also produces a more delicious drink. Not to mention, it’s customizable! For example, if you like your lattes super sweet, add a pinch more brown sugar. Want to make it vegan friendly? Swap the half & half for oat milk! When you’re your own barista, you have the ability to make yourself the perfect drink in the comfort of your own kitchen.

White frothy cream sits on top of two brown lattes.

How to Make Them

All you need is 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes of your morning to whip up this warm, sweet, perfect drink. I mean, there’s the perfect amount of brown sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth, and a shot of espresso to wake you up. What’s not to love?!

Also, if you have any little ones running around the house, you can make a kid friendly version of this drink by cutting out the espresso and doubling the half & half. This latte smells so incredible, don’t be too shocked when they ask for a sip!

First, prepare the chai tea. Start by placing the chai tea bag in your favorite mug. Then, pour 3 tablespoons of boiling water on top. Cover the mug, and allow the tea bag to steep for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes has passed, squeeze the water from the tea bag into the mug and discard the tea bag.

Cinnamon stick sit around a glass mug of chai tea.

Add the brown sugar. Personally, I love using dark brown sugar in this recipe to really create that rich, sweet flavor. If you were only able to find light brown sugar at the store, that’s okay! You can add molasses to the sugar until it’s the desired color you want.

Add the espresso. This recipe only calls for 1 shot of espresso. If you have a long day ahead, though, go ahead and make it a double! Just remember that you might want to balance the bitterness of the espresso by adding more brown sugar and half & half as well.

Prepare the half & half. Before you can add the half & half, heat it up to 150 degrees. You can do this right on your stove in a pot. Just make sure to use a thermometer to make sure it reaches 150 and not any higher. You don’t want to burn the milk!

Froth it. This part is my favorite! Using a milk frother, froth the half & half until it reaches the desired consistency.

Serve! Pour the frothed half & half over the tea mixture in the mug and sprinkle with chai spice, if desired. Serve immediately, and enjoy this mouthwatering latte!

A small cup of half and half site next to two cups of chai latte.

How much caffeine is in this latte?

There’s certainly enough to jump start your day! One bag of chai tea has about 25 mg of caffeine. A single shot of espresso typically has 60 mg of caffeine, so together, this drink has about 85 mg of caffeine.

Can I make this recipe more diet friendly?

Sure thing! Start by cutting the brown sugar and substituting it with a sugar free sweetener. This will affect the taste, but it should still be delicious.

How can I make it iced?

If you’re more of an iced coffee fan, I totally get it! Especially when the summer rolls around, it can be difficult to enjoy hot drinks. You can make this an iced coffee two different ways.

You can pour this latte right over ice for an immediate iced coffee. However, the ice cubes will melt slightly, watering down the latte. If you have the time, you can put your mug in the fridge and wait for it to cool off a bit before adding ice!

Are you craving more coffee? Check out my recipes for boozy peppermint mocha coffee, whipped coffee mudslide cocktails, and vanilla coconut cold brew!

Spiked Peppermint Mocha in a glass mug with whipped cream and a candy cane.

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White frothy cream sits on top of two brown lattes.

Get the Recipe: Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

A calming beverage with a kick, the warm spices of this Dirty Chai Latte with a hit of espresso is the perfect pick me up morning or during the afternoon slump.
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Ingredients

  • 1 bag chai tea
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 2/3 cup half & half

Instructions 

  • Place the chai tea bag in a mug. Pour 3 tablespoons of boiling water on top. Cover the mug and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water out of the tea bag into the mug and discard the tea bag.
  • Pour 1 teaspoon brown sugar into the mug.
  • Add 1 shot of espresso.
  • Heat the half & half to 150°F (65°F). Froth the warm half & half using a milk frother.
  • Pour the frothed half and half over the tea mixture in the mug and sprinkle with chai spice, if desired. Serve immediately