The Best Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Modifications

August 5, 2022

The Starbucks chai tea is already a flavorful and delicious combination, but there is so much more that you can do with this drink! If you are looking for the top Starbucks chai tea latte modifications, then you have come to the right place. Here you can discover the best ingredients and components that you can add to your chai latte to take it to the next level...

Chai Latte Without Water

Do you enjoy the warming spices of the chai tea latte and also like a stronger brew? If so, ask your barista to skip adding water to your latte. With only milk diluting the drink, you get a richer and creamier concoction. If you find the spices to be a bit too much, you can ask for more milk.

Vanilla Chai Latte

One of the simplest - yet best - modifications is asking for a pump or two of vanilla syrup. This added vanilla sweetness elevates the overall flavor of your chai latte without making the drink overly sugary. Want to make your Starbucks chai tea latte a touch healthier? Then opt for the sugar-free vanilla syrup.

This addition goes really well with Starbucks iced chai tea latte too!

Cinnamon Chai Lattes

Here are some cinnamon-based Starbucks chai drinks you can try:

  • Cinnamon Oat Chai Latte: this is yet another drink that works well as a hot or iced chai latte. Here, order your Starbucks chai latte with oat milk, giving you a delicious and creamy oat-y flavor. For this drink, you can add cinnamon syrup or cinnamon dolce - it is up to you. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on the top for added effect.
  • Cinnamon Dolce Chai Latte: ask for one pump of cinnamon dolce syrup to be added to your hot or iced chai tea latte. The larger the drink, the more pumps that you should add. For a bit more decadence, top off your drink with vanilla sweet cream cold foam. If you are all about that cinnamon flavor, ask for the cinnamon dolce to be blended with the cold foam. You can also top the drink off with sprinkles.
  • Iced Cinnamon Caramel Chai Tea Latte: for this concoction, ask for caramel drizzle and cinnamon dolce to be added to your iced chai latte. This creates a drink that is equal parts creamy, sweet, and just a little bit spicy. Top off your drink with vanilla sweet cream for a bonus treat. You can top off with either cinnamon powder or syrup.
  • White Chocolate Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte: use the chai tea concentrate as a base. For the best results, ask that no water be added to your chai latte. Instead, ask for whole milk for added creaminess. Then, ask for a pump of cinnamon dolce and white mocha syrup. Request additional pumps for latte modifications larger than a grande. Add whipped cream and some dolce cinnamon syrup or leave the drink as is for a slightly healthier option.

Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Lattes

There is no denying that pumpkin spice lattes and chai lattes are two of the most popular Starbucks drinks. So, what if you combined the two together? Here are some of the top concoctions:

  • Pumpkin Spice with Oat Milk: Adding oat milk to your hot or iced chai latte is a great way to add creaminess and a subtle taste of oat. It makes for a cozy and comforting concoction. If you don't want the pumpkin flavor to overpower your chai tea latte, then ask for the sauce to be mixed in with the sweet cream cold foam and added as a topping to your drink.
  • Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chai Tea Latte: this is one of the more daring latte modifications, but the flavor combination is worth the risk. Ask for a chai latte with no water and add pumps of pumpkin spice and mocha syrup. Choose the quantity of the syrup based on the size of your drink. Whipped cream makes this drink even more special, specially when it is topped off with pumpkin spice powder.

Dirty Chai Latte

This is becoming an increasingly popular drink. Here, you simply add an espresso shot or two to your chai tea latte. This allows you to get the best of both worlds - tea and coffee!

Keep in mind, that as a tea and espresso beverage that this drink will contain quite a bit of caffeine. Be mindful of how you take your drink.

If you are looking to save money, some people have found that they can achieve the same results by adding chai syrup to a latte. This prevents you from having to pay extra for the espresso.

Chai Cookie Lattes

If you are looking for dessert in a cup, then these are the items on the Starbucks secret menu that you just have to try.

  • Hazelnut Cookie Chai Latte: start with the chai tea concentrate and add in hazelnut syrup. Ask for java chips to be mixed in with your chai latte. You can top off with hazelnut syrup and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.
  • Sugar Cookie Chai Latte: add vanilla syrup and white mocha sauce to the chai concentrate and milk. You can top it off with vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Or, you can simply add sugar cookie syrup - the white mocha is optional.
  • Butter Cookie Chai Tea Latte: you can order the drink as a hot or iced chai latte. Simply add brown sugar syrup to the drink.

Eggnog-Based Chai Tea Lattes

Unfortunately, the eggnog addition is no longer on the official Starbucks menu. The good news, though, a quick and easy addition to your chai tea latte is enough to do the trick. Here is what you can do and all the cold and hot drinks you can enjoy as a result:

  • Eggnog Chai Latte: all you have to do is to ask for caramel sauce to be added to your chai latte - it is as simple as that! For one reason or another, the sauce appears to add just the flavor that you need to recreate the eggnog taste. You don't have to wait for winter to roll around to enjoy this brew. These flavors work just as well with an iced chai tea latte!
  • Gingerbread Chai Latte: warm, spicy, and just the right amount of sweetness, this really is Christmas in a cup. Now, gingerbread syrup is available year round in stores. Due to this, you can substitute this with brown sugar syrup combined with cinnamon powder. Add this to your chai tea latte, along with caramel. For extra decadence, have some whipped cream on top and add crushed cookies.
  • Holly Jolly Chai Latte: if you really want to get into the festive feeling, this chai tea latte is the ideal drink to get you started. Order a chai latte and ask for caramel syrup and peppermint syrup. This drink works well as an iced chai latte, but it is truly unbeatable as a hot drink. It will certainly get rid of all those winter blues!

Caramel Chai Tea Lattes

Here are the top beverages to try:

  • Iced Caramel Brulee Chai Latte: the caramel brulee syrup has a bit more of a toasted flavor to it, which can really elevate the overall drink. Topping your iced chai latte off with sweet vanilla cold foam is a nice touch.
  • Caramel Apple Spice Chai Latte: there are a few ways that you can go with this drink. Your options largely depend on which flavors you prefer and what ingredients are available at your local Starbucks. You can add the spiced apple drizzle to your chai tea latte, along with caramel. Apple brown sugar syrup is an option as well, although you may want to skip the caramel drizzle if you don't want your drink to be too sweet. If you can find caramel apple spice, then you can add this instead. Top off with sweet cream cold foam if ordering an iced chai latte.

Matcha Chai Tea Latte

This can be a bit of an acquired taste, so you should proceed with caution. Simply ask for matcha fcapowder to be added to your hot or cold chai latte.

For your first experiment, you can start by adding just one scoop of matcha powder. You can slowly increase it from there if you enjoy the flavor combination.

Remember that matcha has caffeine - just like a chai tea latte. Therefore, you can expect quite a jolt from this concoction.

Choosing Your Chai Tea Latte Modifications

Here is a breakdown of how you can modify your Starbucks chai drinks to suit your tastes:

Flavored Syrups

The easiest way to transform your hot or iced chai tea latte is with help of syrups. The most common options are vanilla syrup and cinnamon dolce syrup. You can also get the sugar free vanilla syrup if you are trying to cut down on your sugar consumption.

The reason that the above syrups work so well is because the two flavors already exist in the pre sweetened chai concentrate. When you add the flavorings, you are simply enhancing these notes. At the same time, you are also adding sweetness to the mix.

Of course, there is no need for you to be boring about this addition. The brown sugar syrup is a wonderful component to this drink. Caramel and sugar cookie syrup will work well if you have a sweet tooth.

In case your focus is on flavoring rather than sweetness, hazelnut or peppermint can help to brighten things up.

Flavored Sauce

On the surface, sauces and syrups can seem like the same thing. In fact, they are often used interchangeably. Despite this, they aren't the same.

Sauces don't just add flavor - they also add body, making the drink thicker and creamier. The dark caramel and brulee sauce are excellent if you want deeper, smokier notes. That slightly toasted flavoring works especially well with hot drinks.

The pumpkin spice sauce is naturally a favorite and works well as it contains plenty of yummy spices as well.

If you are looking for something a bit more daring and decadent, then try a few pumps of mocha or white mocha sauce. White moch is the most common choice, but chocolate does add interesting depth to your chai latte.

If you would like to add an additional layer of flavoring, consider the toasted white mocha sauce for your beverage.

Different Milk Options

As a rule of thumb, Starbucks baristas will always add 2 percent milk to your drink unless specified to do otherwise. For a creamier texture, you can opt for full fat milk, half and half, or even heavy cream!

On the other hand, non dairy milk is an excellent option as well. Oat milk, in particular is a favorite due to its flavor and texture. Some people also swear that soy milk makes the drink taste better.

creamy chai tea latte

Adding Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Whipped cream is great, but it can be a bit too overpowering for some. This is why with iced chai tea lattes, sweet cream cold foam is the best. It is light, airy, but offers a lot in terms of flavoring.

Another benefit to sweet cream cold foam is that you can ask for it to be blended to with other syrups. This can often be better than adding a drizzle on top as the sweetness is muted, but the notes of the syrup stand out, melding beautifully with the iced chai tea latte.

Adding Toppings

Think of the toppings as a finishing touch or flourish to your drink. They are also great for adding texture or crunch.

Cinnamon dolce sprinkles is one of the more popular option as the flavoring works well with the other components of the beverage. Pumpkin spice powder is also a pretty good choice.

Again, it is all about trial and error. Why not try out some chocolate curls or crushed cookies just to see what they may add to your chai latte.

How to Modify Your Starbucks Chai Latte to Be Healthier?

There is no denying that the hot or iced chai tea latte aren't the healthiest items on the Starbucks menu. Fortunately for you, you can change this.

It all begins with your base. Skip the chai concentrate and instead, ask for your drink to be brewed with chai tea bags. It is important to get a really strong base, so have the barista use more tea bags to maximize on flavor. Remember that tea bags do need several minutes to brew, so you will need to be patient.

Don't tell the barista to allow the tea to steep for longer than the recommended period. This concoction does contain black tea. If it is steeped for more than 3 to 5 minutes, it can end up being quite bitter and ruining the entire drink for you.

If you don't particularly like how the naturally brewed tea tastes, then an alternative would be to ask for fewer pumps of chai. This concentrate contains sugar so by asking for less, you are introducing fewer calories into your drink. It is a good idea to ask for a smaller sized drink as well or you may risk diluting the taste of the spices.

Next up, ask for almond milk instead of 2 percent. Not only does it have the least amount of calories, but it is also unsweetened, making it the best choice for anyone trying to cut down on sugar.

As for the sweetener, Splenda and Stevia in the raw can help to reduce the overall caloric content. If this isn't an issue for you, then honey will certainly be the healthier choice.

Now, you don't have to completely give up decadence just because you are being mindful of your health. Add in some sugar-free vanilla for taste. The vanilla adds sweetness without compromising the sugar content.


1. What flavors go well with chai latte?

There are several that go well with chai tea lattes. This includes pumpkin spice, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and more. Your independent tastes can also determine what flavoring to add to this drink.

2. How do you order a dirty chai latte from Starbucks?

You simply order a chai latte and then ask for espresso to be added to it. You can ask for one or two espresso shots.

3. Is chai tea latte healthy?

The drink isn't inherently healthy as it contains sugar. Also, the type of milk and other additions can affect how healthy this drink is as well as how many calories it can contain. You can order your drink so that it is healthier, however.

This is your guide on how to modify your Starbucks hot or iced chai tea latte! This gives you lots of room to be creative and to try out various combinations. Not to mention, you have choices for both summer and winter as well.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. We have tons of informations and recipes from Starbucks for you to check out!

About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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