What is a Dirty Chai Latte?
Despite its name, there's nothing dirty about a Dirty Chai Latte at all! In short, a Dirty Chai Latte is simply a chai latte with an added shot of espresso. Yep, it's a combination of tea and coffee to make a cross between a regular latte and a chai tea latte. Making a drink “dirty” simply means to slightly change the color and taste by adding or changing some of the essential ingredients. In this case, it's the addition of a shot of espresso muddying up the color of the tea.
It's said that the Dirty Chai was invented as an accident in the 1990s in England when a barista accidentally poured a shot of espresso into a Chai Latte for an American, who ended up trying and loving the concept! Now, you can find the Dirty Chai all over cafes in the USA.
How Much Caffeine in a Dirty Chai?
We've done a full comparison of the caffeine content in black tea vs coffee before and noted that black tea has approximately 45mg of caffeine per 8oz cup while coffee has anywhere from 90-110 mg of caffeine per 8oz cup. Most chai blends use black tea as a base, so a normal chai latte will have around 40mg of caffeine. For some people, that's just the right amount of caffeine to get through the day. For others, a higher caffeine content is desired. When you add a shot of espresso to your chai latte - you add approximately 65mg of caffeine, resulting in a whopping 105mg of caffeine in an 8oz serving!
How Do I Order a Dirty Chai Latte?
Dirty Chai Lattes aren't always written on the menu, however most places that serve espresso and chai tea will make it! Simply ask for a Chai Latte, hot or iced, with a shot of espresso. If you still need more caffeine, add two shots of espresso and to get a Filthy Chai Latte!
Making Your Own Dirty Chai Latte
We've already made a post showing you how easy it is to make your own chai latte at home hot and iced, and now we're here to show you how to up the caffeine content!
How to Make a Hot Dirty Chai Latte
- Servings: 1
- Yield: 1 8oz serving
What You Need
Pour boiling water (212 F) over your infuser or tea bag until your glass is ½ filled.
Let your tea steep for 4-5 minutes.
Remove infuser/tea bag and stir in 1 tbsp of sugar or sweetener (optional) until dissolved.
Make the espresso in an espresso maker. Add the brewed espresso to an empty cup.
Add your steeped tea into the cup with your brewed espresso.
In a separate cup, heat up ¼ cup of milk or dairy alternative until steaming (do not boil).
Froth milk using your electric milk frother until it reaches your desired foaminess.
Pour frothed milk into the chai and espresso, scooping any leftover foam onto the top of your latte. Enjoy!
Iced Dirty Chai Latte
If you want to make your Dirty Chai latte iced, it's simple!
Fill a glass with ice
Pour your brewed espresso over the ice
Add your chai concentrate (let cool to room temperature)
Top with cold milk or dairy alternative