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dirty chai latte

What is Dirty Chai? Ingredients & Best Recipes

Are you a chai or coffee enthusiast? Perhaps you have heard of or even tried a dirty chai latte. If not, we have you covered. We have discussed everything about dirty chai (or dirty chai latte) from the common ingredients, benefits, and a few recipes. 

What is dirty chai? 

Dirty chai is a popular espresso beverage made with tea or chai concentrate, one shot of espresso, and steamed milk. Unlike ordinary chai (masala chai) or sticky chai, the outcome is a blend of regular latte and chai. Spices frequently used in dirty chai are black pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Dirty chai latte can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. 

dirty chai

Types of dirty chai 

The two most popular types of dirty chai are iced dirty chai latte and blended dirty chai latte. Other versions of dirty chai are:

  • Vegan/Dairy Free dirty chai – prepared using almond or soy milk.
  • Green Tea Dirty Chai – You only replace black tea with green tea with this alternative.    
  • Faux Dirty Chai – comprises either ginger latte, cardamom latte, or cinnamon latte with an espresso shot.  

Ingredients of dirty chai

 Dirty Chai contains three main ingredients – black tea, espresso, and ground spices. Let's look at each of these ingredients.

Black Tea

Spiced black tea is one of the key ingredients that gives dirty chai its premium taste. You can pick any black tea variety based on your unique taste and preferences, but a handcrafted high-grade Assam black tea would be an ideal option. A perfect example is the Monk's chai plant-based organic stash, rich in aromatics and blended to deliver the deepest and blissful flavors.


When brewing dirty chai, no other coffee comes closer to espresso. Its concentration and finest ground particles make it a top pick, especially when mixing different beverages, and you want to maintain that distinct coffee taste. Maintaining the steamy, thick, and creamy texture of the espresso is one way you can prepare an irresistible dirty chai drink. 

Ground Spices

Dirty Chai is never complete without a touch of some fresh ginger, cinnamon, cardamom pods, star anise, peppercorns, and cloves. Choose as many ground spices as you want, but be sure not to go overboard. You can buy a premixed package or fresh individual herbs from your grocery store. Monk's chai black tea comes with all these ingredients, but you can still use additional spices if you need a deeper flavor. 

Benefits of dirty chai

Like any chai product, dirty chai offers several health benefits. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Boosted immunity. Black tea in dirty chai is rich in Polyphenols such as catechins and thearubigins, the primary sources of antioxidants known to boost the immune system.
  • Diabetes management. Organic black tea regulates blood glucose levels, while coffee is known to be suitable for people with Type II diabetes.
  • Relieves hypertension. The high potassium content in dirty chai relaxes the tension in arteries and blood vessels.
  • Anti-cancer properties. Some studies have linked espresso to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
  • Improves digestion. Polyphenols in black tea increase the presence of good bacteria. It also reduces harmful ones, improving gut health.
  • Boosts cognitive function. The espresso in dirty chai enhances memory and brain functions. Caffeine is also known to boost energy levels and increase concentration.
  • Weight loss. Espresso helps reduce hunger pangs linked to regular snacking. The latter increases the likelihood of obesity and weight-related issues.

Calories in a cup of dirty chai

The calories in a cup of dirty chai depends on your ingredients such as the amount of sugar, honey, milk you put in your cup. But normally, dirty chai will contains around 200 calories for a cup, base on calories counter of WebMD. You can also count your carbs and calories for your own cup of dirty chai by using this calculator.

Caffeine content in dirty chai

Yes! As we know about the benefits of chai in general and dirty chai for particular, chai or dirty chai can boost cognitive function, it is because the caffeine content in black tea and espresso. The average caffeine is about 160 milligrams for 11-ounce dirty chai. Learn more on our post Is there caffeine in chai latte

How to Make Dirty Chai at Home

Brewing dirty chai latte at home is simple and fast. All you need is the right ingredients and directions. Depending on how you want your dirty chai to taste, you can add or eliminate some ingredients and spices. If you are health-conscious, you can choose healthier ingredients that meet your health or lifestyle goals.

dirty chai

For instance, substitute artificial sugars with honey for that natural and soothing sweetness. You can also go for organic, handcrafted black tea rich in antioxidants instead of the ordinary tea stash from your local grocery shop. If you are vegan, consider using dairy-free milk. Below are some common dirty chai recipes you can make at home. 

3 best dirty chai recipes

To prepare a dirty chai latte at home, you'll need some ingredients, mostly whole milk, espresso, and some spiced black tea, such as Monk's chai organic tea. Here are some of the common recipes. 

Dirty Chai Latte


  • Two heaped tablespoons of Monk's chai organic spiced tea.
  • One espresso shot.
  • A quarter cup of boiling water
  • A cup of plant-based milk or whole milk.
  • Sugar or honey.
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg (optional).


  • Put two Tbsp of Monk's chai organic tea in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Make the milk foamy.
  • Pour brewed chai, an espresso shot, and frothed milk into a cup; season with honey or sugar.
  • If you like, add a little cinnamon.
  • Serve hot or cold, and enjoy!

Iced Dirty Chai Latte

Want something unique with some blend of ice? Below is our secret recipe for iced dirty chai, which will make the coffee expert in you squeal with glee. It's a tried-and-true recipe that will be your favorite pick-me-up.


  • Two heaped tablespoons of Monk's chai organic spiced tea.
  • One espresso shot.
  • A quarter cup of boiling water.
  • A cup of plant-based milk or whole milk.
  • Sugar or honey.
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg on top (optional).
  • Two blocks of medium-sized ice cubes.


  • Prepare your dirty chai as illustrated in the first recipe, but do not add honey or sugar.
  • Put two ice cubes in a cup.
  • Pour your favorite dirty chai latte over an ice-filled cup.
  • Add a substantial amount of honey or caramelized sugar for some extra flavor.
  •  Enjoy your refreshing treat.

Vegan Dirty Chai

Vegan coffee lovers would be delighted to learn that this exquisite Indian-American brew can be made vegan-friendly. Change the milk in the dirty chai latte to your preferred non-dairy variety. The plant-based alternatives to regular milk include oat, almond, and soy milk. That's all you need to go vegan.

*Tips: Make dirty chai lattes throughout the week by refrigerate a big batch of the spiced tea. When you’re craving a latte, warm up ¾ cup of the tea, add espresso and froth the ½ cup milk!

Dirty Chai Latte vs. Chai Latte

It's worth noting that there's a difference between a chai latte and dirty chai latte. One key difference lies with the use of coffee. Chai latte doesn't have any coffee, while dirty chai latte has espresso as one of the main ingredients. Similarly, chai latte is popular among chai lovers, thanks to its dominant tea flavor, while dirty chai favors coffee lovers.

See more: What is Spring Tea?

Brew You Dirty Chai Today!

Get all your ingredients ready and stick with the above recipes to brew your favorite dirty chai latte. Remember, you can always substitute the ingredients to suit your unique taste. Get the Monk's chai organic tea from our shop today to enjoy a healthy, tasteful dirty chai latte.

... Want more drinks? Explore Karak chai!

FAQ about dirty chai

What is Dirty Chai?

Dirty chai is a popular espresso beverage made with tea or chai concentrate, one shot of espresso, and steamed milk.

How Many Calories in A Cup of Dirty Chai?

Dirty chai will contains around 200 calories for a cup, base on calories counter of WebMD.

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