Dirty Chai Latte vs Chai Latte – Which One Is Better?

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There is a misconception that Chai Latte and Dirty Chai Latte are the same. In reality, they are very different drinks with different ingredients and intensity levels. The post will discuss the differences between dirty chai latte vs chai latte, with some other relevant information about them! Scroll down for more!

What Is A Dirty Chai Latte?

How would you like to enjoy your morning cup of coffee without bitterness? If a stronger version is what’s desired, then dirty chai provides just that. This delicious latte contains an espresso shot and steamed milk with spices (masala chai) for those who don’t like their mouth on fire! 

The flavor profile can be characterized as smooth, milky fragrant, and milf coffee taste. Besides, you can add more espresso if you love a stronger taste of coffee.

It’s really not surprising that dirty chai is one of the many ways in which spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger are used to flavor drinks. The most common addition for this drink would be black pepper because it has such a strong aroma when burned as well as being an excellent spice itself!

The dirty masala is a great way to start your day. You can have it both cold and hot, with the choice of adding either hot steamed milk and/or ice for an iced drink! If you would rather have something more blended in texture, sweeteners can be added depending upon personal preference.

What Is A Chai Latte?

A chai latte (masala chai) is a type of tea drink that uses black steamed milk with spices, usually cinnamon or cardamom. You can top it off with foam to make it more special! The recipe varies depending on each café because some have their own signature blend and secret ingredients, while others use sweetened or powdered versions of chai syrup for quickly brewing on demand!

Many people think that chai tea lattes and masala chai are the same, but they’re actually quite different. Unlike an espresso latte with a strong mix of coffee and steamed milk to make for more flavor complexity (in other words: richer taste), traditional masala chai is served with a foamy texture and lighter taste.

What Are The Differences Between Dirty Chai Latte Vs Chai Latte?

Features Dirty Chai Latte Chai Latte
Base drink Chai Latte Black Tea
Spices Yes Yes
Coffee 1-2 Espresso shots No
Variations Iced Dirty Chai Latte Iced Chai Latte
Taste Strong Coffee Flavor Dominant Tea Flavor
Calories 200 190
Caffeine level 160 mg 50 – 70 mg

Taste

A chai latte is a strong, espresso-based drink that’s made by using concentrated tea and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. The drink is stewed with milk to create an interesting balance between sweet flavors! Meanwhile, the dirty chai contains an espresso shot for a strong coffee taste.

The masala chai is the perfect drink for people who don’t like bitter coffee. It has a unique taste that can be spiced up with spices and then topped off by espresso shots, giving it an extra kick of caffeine without tasting too strong or overwhelming in any way!

Caffeine Content

You may not be able to tell by its color, but the dirty chai latte has more caffeine than a chai latte one.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the ingredients of dirty chai latte: Steamed milk, spiced black tea, and espresso.

  • Espresso: It’s made from finely ground coffee beans and hot water pumped through them under pressure in an espresso maker to create rich crema on top for flavor enhancement. You can make Espresso with any variety of beans or roasts that are ground finer than regular filtered coffees like lattes, as it will result in more intense flavor but less caffeine due to its higher pressure.
  • Steamed milk: In a cup of latte, milk is heated up and creates bubbles. People use nonfat or full-fat milk like soy, almond, and oat milk to make this beverage.
  • Masala chai: The Masala Chai is an India-made classic that usually consists of spices such as cinnamon bark, cardamom seeds mixed in black teas, cloves, or ginger.
  • Flavored syrups and sweeteners: Popular syrups are added with honey, sugar, artificial sweeteners in a dirty chai.

The dirty chai obtains cozy and warm notes as the masala chai one; yet,  with an additional caffeine kick. This latte drink contains just one or two espresso shots for greater strength coffee flavor!

As people brew the chai tea latte in a much stronger way than they do with pure tea, the chai tea latte contains more caffeine. For those looking for an extra espresso shot or to boost their morning, pick me up with some added energy – this is where you should be going!

The Starbucks chai tea lattes contain a little more than half the caffeine of a coffee, at about 50 milligrams. The average cup still packs quite the punch, though- with 70mg in every 12-ounce serving! Indeed, the caffeine level in traditional masala chai is remarkably less than in typical coffee.

The delicious, creamy, and spicy chai latte without the espresso is a regular Chai. When you need an extra boost of energy or want something different than just plain old coffee – request shots for the “Dirty” version that is specially blended with spices that will leave your mouth watering for more.

Calories

Dirty masala chai is a delicious addition to any day, but the nutrition and calories can be increased by adding milk. A 12 ounces drink has a total of 200 cal, and 20 ounces drink equals 340 cal.

Chai tea lattes are sweeter than pure, calorie-free black teas, and they’re not for those who want an extra boost of energy. For example, although the Starbucks Masala Chai is delicious to beat the winter blues, it contains over 128 calories from sugar alone!

Popularity

Chai lattes are often prepared like an espresso-based drink, but instead of brewed coffee, they use spiced water. The chai found in many restaurants and cafes is often mistaken, as there’s no real tea involved when making them. However, these drinks have some relation with Indian tradition known for its masala chai created centuries ago by adding various spices into hot milk.

You can always tell that the dirty one is traditional and authentic or not based on the way it is served. When you walk into your local coffee shop, ask them how their famous drink is made because it’s not just about flavor – concentration matters as well! 

Most shops use packaged concentrates or pre-brewed which lack intensity compared to those prepared using fresh leaves at higher potency levels. As a result, the taste won’t be as delicious as you expected.

When To Drink Dirty Chai Latte Vs Chai Latte? 

If you need an extra jolt of energy for a long working day, ask for a dirty chai instead. The exotic flavors of this blend are sure to make any espresso lover’s mouth water with desire!

Traditional masala chai is perfect for consuming in the evening since it’s not as caffeinated and won’t let you struggle with insomnia as the dirty chai will!

What Are The Variations Of Dirty Chai Latte?

You can either create your very own dirty chai at home or order it as an “executive” on the secret menu of your favorite coffee shop!

There are various options to choose from when it comes to preparing your dirty chai lattes. You can get them iced or blended depending on what you prefer, and there are also dairy-free versions like almond or soy chai. The options for adding more flavor are endless with these exotic variations, such as the green tea variant! For those who want it sweeter, there’s always vanilla or toffee.

Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

It can be difficult for those who love a dirty chai latte in the crack of dawn or after midnight to find time for coffee runs. Luckily you don’t need an early wake-up hour, and there’s no such thing as too late if this drink is your drug of choice! 

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 shots of espresso/ 2 – 4-oz of strong coffee
  • A black tea bag
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of Chai tea powder
  • 1/3 whole milk cup

Iced version:

  • A black tea infuser
  • 2 espresso shots, or 4 ounces of strong coffee
  • A tablespoon of Chai Tea powder

Instructions

  1. You can choose from two methods when brewing your tea. You can either use a bag or leaves depending on what type of beverage you want and how strong it will be in the flavor.
  2. Pour boiling water into a big-sized coffee cup, make sure that the water covers the whole teabag. Next, leave it there for about 3-5 mins according to your preference of the strength of coffee. 
  3. Throw away the teabag. Then, give the cup 1-2 espresso shots.
  4. The second method is adding sugar cubes inside a saucepan filled with water. Next, set a medium level to cook it up. Remember to stir it! Once the water is boiled, put tea leaves inside (1-2 teaspoons) and steep it for around 3 to 5 minutes. Following that, put the lid on and wait about 2 minutes before you start straining out the tea. Then, add 1-2 espresso shots. 
  5. Once your tea is done, add 1-2 spoons of chai tea powder containing cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg.
  6. Put the milk inside the microwave for around 45 secs or more till the milk is completely hot. You can also opt for the milk frother. Or else, store the milk inside a jar and put it inside the microwave. After the milk is hot, let’s shake it!

Additionally, you can enhance the drink’s taste by adding frothed milk or sprinkling some cinnamon powder on top of it!

Chai Latte Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¼ powdered cane sugar cup
  • 1 ¾  non-fat milk powder cup
  • 2 scoops of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ natural sweetener ( coconut sugar or sucanat) cup
  • A scoop of Pimento
  • 2 ground ginger scoops 
  • A scoop of dry cloves
  • 2 ground cinnamon scoops
  • ½ scoop of cardamom
  • ½ scoop white pepper 
  • A scoop of ground nutmeg

Instructions

  • Mix cane sugar and vanilla together in the bowl. Allow the mixture to dry out thoroughly, then divide it into lumps.
  • Measure the spices. Grind whole spices into powders via a food processor or blender. 
  • Mix spices, powdered sugar, and cane sugar inside another bowl. To make the latte mix, stir them well!
  • Next, have a tea bag or brewed tea leaves cup! Stir the black tea with the latte mix ( 2 teaspoons).
  • After finishing this process, you will get a gallon of latte that can be stored in the mason jar!

If you want to add some extra flavor and aroma, blend the mix in a food processor or blender. For people who are too busy, mix the latte powder with 1 ½ container of instant tea. 

Vanilla isn’t necessary for those who prefer their chai black. Leave it out if you want!

How To Choose Great Ingredients for Dirty Chai Latte vs Chai Latte?

Chai Concentrate

Making the perfect dirty chai latte couldn’t be easier with Chai concentrate! In particular, simply mix espresso and steamed milk together.

Masala Spice Mix

Now, you can take your chai latte to a whole new level with the raw ingredients. You could cultivate these yourself or buy pre-made spices from an Indian grocery store and mix them together in small doses for increased flavor! A great way of spicing up anything would be by using masala spice mixes which are available at most supermarkets today.

Black Tea

The world is full of different black teas, and all of them can work out for this recipe. For example, Assam-style blends are typically used in masala chai drinks because they’re stronger than most other types of tea.

Espresso Beans

Just like any other espresso drink, the dirty chai requires specific types of beans. You’ll want to make sure you’re using dark roast coffee for this one-shot, as it has more intense flavors and aromas than lighter roasts do!

Sweeteners

A range of sweeteners can be used to flavor your latte. The most popular choice would probably be sugar, but some coffee shops also offer options such as honey or syrup that contain other ingredients like fruit juice for added depth in taste!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dirty Chai Lattes Good?

Yes, absolutely! The steamy aroma of hot chai lattes fills the air as you walk through an Indian restaurant. The sweetness and warmth from this unique drink will soothe your soul on even one’s worst days! 

It’s not just the taste that makes this drink so good, but its benefits for your health are what really make it special. With all those ayurvedic spices in there, you could call it medicine!

Can I Use A French Press To Make A Dirty Chai Latte?

The best way to get a perfect coffee cup is by utilizing the French Press. This will give you the strong aroma and flavor that espresso has without having an expensive machine at home! 

To make sure this happens, we recommend you get beans that have been roasted for their density so they can withstand higher temperatures when being brewed in french presses. When you are heating the water with the French Press, make sure it is around 190 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Besides, a Moka pot or Chemex is also a good idea for brewing coffee for your dirty latte!

What Chai Latte Mix Brand To Opt For?

The powder mix – Oregon Chai Original is a great way to add some spice and warmth. With clove, cardamon, ginger, and cinnamon, this blend will give you that perfect cup of tea with just the right amount o’ kick!

Dirty Chai Latte vs Chai Latte – Who Is the Winner?

A cup of dirty chai is a perfect way to warm up on those chilly winter mornings. With Indian ingredients and western flavors, this fusion creates an autumnal blend between the comfort of a traditional latté or cappuccino with some added spice that will get you through until springtime arrives once again! 

The single-shot espresso gives it more sweetness than your average morning joe. More about the name of this drink; it is called “dirty” as people use espresso – the unconventional ingredient, to make it.

Interestingly, you can make a double ditty latte by adding two more espresso shots! A range of sweeteners like honey or sugar is used to make the perfect cup of dirt chai latte! Yet, the taste will vary based on the ingredients and sweeteners you use!

For those who are looking for an energy boost, go ahead and enjoy a dirty chai latte. Otherwise, you can get a regular chai latte to feel the heavenly taste of its ingredients!

The winner has not been determined because everyone drinks differently in accordance with your personal preference!

Final Thoughts 

So, what is the difference between a dirty chai latte vs chai latte?

In summary, the dirty masala chai is made with espresso and sweetened condensed milk. It includes your typical chai spices- cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ginger root, cloves – but it also has a dash of black pepper for some extra flavor. 

Meanwhile, the standard Chai Latte only contains brewed tea infused with ground spices like cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks and ginger root and cloves to create a fragrant brew.

Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. And then, I finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). ugvermont.com is a website that I dedicate my whole heart to sharing all knowledge related to coffee. Read more