Starbucks Dirty Chai Recipe

August 5, 2022

Want to make your very own Starbucks dirty chai recipe at home? Then you have come to the right place! Here is your guide to making your very own copycat version of the dirty chai latte!

What's In a Dirty Chai Latte?

There are just three ingredients in a Starbucks dirty chai latte - chai tea concentrate, a shot of espresso, and milk. As long as you know what ingredients to use and the right methodology, then you will be able to whip up your favorite dirty chai tea latte in no time at all.

Ingredients for a Starbucks Dirty Chai Latte

Here is what you will need:

  • Chai concentrate: you can use a store-bought or homemade version.
  • Shot of espresso: you can add one or two shots depending on your preference
  • Strongly brewed coffee: if you don't have espresso you can make a small amount of strong coffee instead
  • Dairy or non dairy milk: any type of milk will work for this recipe
Glass of cafe latte

Copycat Starbucks Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

For 2 servings


  • 1 cup of chai concentrate
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 - 2 shots of espresso or 1 - 2 ounces of strongly brewed coffee


Step 1: Divide the Concentrate

Pour half a cup of dirty chai latte concentrate into each mug. Use large mugs as you will be adding frothed milk to the drink and this can take a lot of space.

Step 2: Prepare the Coffee

If you have an espresso machine, then you can use this to brew one or two shots. Your other option is to use a French Press, moka pot, or coffee maker to brew around one or two ounces of very strong coffee.

Step 3: Froth the Milk

If you have a steam wand, you can make your milk frothy in this manner. Otherwise, heat the milk until warm but not boiling. Use a frother or an immersion blender to get the milk to the desired level of frothiness. You can also use a French press for this purpose.

Step 4: Assemble the Drink

Add the frothed milk to the concentrate and mix well. Then, pour the coffee over the drink. You can sprinkle whipped cream, cinnamon, or other toppings on top of your dirty chai latte if you like.

Iced Dirty Chai Latte

For 2 Servings


  • 1 cup of iced chai tea concentrate
  • 1 cup of iced milk
  • 1 - 2 shots of espresso or 1 - 2 ounces of strong coffee, iced


Step 1: Divide the Chai Concentrate

Pour the dirty chai latte concentrate evenly into two mugs.

Step 2: Froth the Milk

This step is optional. If you do enjoy the lightness of the hot dirty chai latte, though, then you should do this. Instead of a steam wand, use a French Press or immersion blender whip it up. Make sure that the milk is icy cold when you do so.

Step 3: Combine the Ingredients

Pour the cold milk over the concentrate. Add the espresso on top. You can add whipped cream and other toppings to your iced dirty chai latte if you wish.

Pouring Espresso On Glass With Milk

Recreating the Starbucks Chai Concentrate

One of the reasons that it can be difficult to get your replica dirty chai latte recipe just right is because most people use the wrong concentrate.

The Starbucks concentrate that they use at the coffee shop is very strong - much stronger than what you get with store-bought options like Tazo chai concentrate. Therefore, recreating the exact, potent flavor can be tricky.

Here are some options:

The easiest way to get around this issue is to double up on the concentrate. The strength can vary from one brand to another. You will need to do a taste test and determine the exact tea concentrate to milk ratio to use for your dirty chai latte recipe.

Your other option would be to use chai tea bags to make your own dirty chai latte concentrate. The key here is to use two or three bags for a smaller quantity - around half a cup of hot water. Brew for the appropriate amount of time and then remove the chai tea bags.

It can be tempting to let the bags sit for longer to get a stronger taste, but you should remember that these tea bags contain black tea. If steeped for too long, they will turn your chai tea latte recipe bitter.

Make Your Own Concentrate

Last, but not least, you can make your own concentrate from scratch using chai spices. This allows you to control precisely what spices are included in the drink and even help you to cut down on sugar if you are trying to be healthier.

Here is your recipe for a dirty chai tea latte concentrate recipe:


  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbs. of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground nutmeg
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 tbs. of black tea
  • 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar or maple syrup


Step 1: Crush the Spices

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and ginger. The spices don't need to be finely ground - simply crush to release flavor and fragrance.

Step 2: Roast the Spices

Add all spices to a pan and place over low heat. Stir the spices continuously and don't let them burn. Heat for no more than 3 minutes or until the spices have become fragrant.

Step 3: Add Water and Boil Spices

Pour the water into a small pot or small saucepan and add the spices and bring to a boil. When the mix comes to a boil, lower the flame and allow the liquid to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, bring to a boil again. Turn off the flame and set the pan aside.

Step 4: Steep the Tea

Add the black tea leaves to the mix and combine well. Make sure that the black tea only steeps for 3 to 5 minutes - any more than this and your brew could become too strong and bitter.

Step 5: Strain the Chai Black Tea Concentrate

Pour the concentrate through a strainer and into a large jug. If you are planning on storing it for a while, pour it into a glass bottle or jug that can be capped.

Step 6: Stir in the Final Ingredients

Add the vanilla and sugar (or maple syrup) and combine well until it is dissolved and combined.

What Kind of Coffee Should You Use?

As you can imagine, Starbucks uses their own blend of espresso for their dirty chai latte. Therefore, if you want to replicate the recipe exactly, then you can use the same espresso grinds. Using an espresso machine will certainly be a bonus as it will produce a stronger and higher quality of coffee.

If you have a Nespresso machine, then the next best thing would be a Nespresso Starbucks espresso pod. These pods tend to produce similar results to that of an espresso machine and you can guarantee that the espresso will be strong at the very least.

Of course, it is all down to preference. Not everyone enjoys espresso and if you fall into this category, then you can use blonde roast or something similar for your dirty chai tea lattes. And, you don't have to use the Starbucks brand - use something that you actually like.

Latte art by a coffee maker at a cafe

Can You Make Your Dirty Chai Latte Vegan?

Yes, it is possible to make your dirty chai latte vegan and it is quite easy for you to do so. The first step is to check if your store-bought concentrate is vegan - make sure there isn't any dairy or other animal-derived products.

The next step is to use non-dairy milk. You can choose whatever tastes best to you, one option isn't better than the other. Using a vanilla flavored milk can add an interesting flavor profile to your drink.

Some vegans don't use white or brown sugar, you can use maple syrup instead. Other sweeteners can be used but you should be aware that it can older the overall taste of the dirty chai latte.

There you have it - this is all that you need to know about making your very own dirty chai latte at home! As long as you know what to do, it is actually pretty easy to manage. Make sure to try out this recipe as soon as possible!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. We have tons of other posts on Starbucks drinks.

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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