Dirty Chai Latte

dirty iced chai latte

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 4 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 lattes
Yield: 1 cup

Dirty chai lattes are spicy, creamy, and the perfect afternoon pick me up on a hot day or served hot on a cold winter morning. Chai is a spiced tea, typically served in India, comprised of cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and other ingredients. What makes this chai latte "dirty" is the shot of espresso you add-in for an extra kick. You can add two shots if you need extra caffeine. 

They’re easy to make, much healthier, and less expensive than buying at your favorite coffee shop. It’s only five ingredients and low in sugar, however, you can make it as sweet as you want. You can also make this latte vegan by using dairy-free milk.


  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 shot of espresso, cooled (or 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee)
  • 1/3 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • Optional: ground cinnamon or cardamom

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for dirty chai latte

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

  2. Allow the tea bags to steep in the cup of boiling water. The longer it steeps, the more intense the flavor. Whisk in the honey. Allow the tea to cool.

    tea steeped in a cup

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

  3. Add ice to your glasses. Pour the tea and espresso over the ice. Then add as much milk as you like.

    dirty chai latte in a glass

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

  4. Serve with a sprinkle of spices and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Variations

  • Serve this latte hot by not allowing the espresso and tea to cool. Then you can also heat up the milk and whisk it with a frother to create a foam. 
  • Pour the foam over the top of the hot drink and add a sprinkle of cinnamon. 
  • Add more sweetener if you enjoy a sweeter drink. You can also use simple syrup, regular sugar, molasses, or agave syrup. 
  • Make this recipe keto by omitting the honey and replacing it with a monkfruit sweetener. 
  • Use dairy-free milk like almond milk or coconut milk. 
  • Season the milk by adding some vanilla extract or spices like ground cinnamon or ground cardamom. 
  • Use instant espresso to make this recipe the easiest. You can also add more powder for a stronger flavor.

Recipe Tips

  • You can easily double, or triple this recipe. Store it in an airtight pitcher or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • Make it ahead of time and enjoy the drink all week long. 
  • It may also be easier to use instant espresso or strongly brewed coffee rather than espresso when you are making a large batch.