This iced dirty chai latte recipe is very flavorful, sweet, creamy, filled with a comforting blend of warming chai spices and has a nice kick of caffeine to it. It is SO easy to make this favorite drink right at home by following this step-by-step guide. This version also is healthier and made with oat milk, making this recipe 100% dairy-free and vegan.
We are getting closer to the fall with, I hope, still some warm days ahead of us. This delicious drink recipe is amazing all year round, but this time of the year is fantastic to enjoy an iced dirty chai latte!
And you're going to absolutely adore this vegan chai latte! It's very refreshing, making it an ideal icy drink for hot days. But here's the trick – it's also packed with those delightful warm autumn-infused spices that make it bold in flavor and ultra cozy, getting us all ready for the upcoming fall season.
I do have this delicious chai matcha latte recipe you can try if you love matcha. But this time I was looking to experiment with chai flavor and coffee, and this fall drink couldn’t get any better.
It combines all your favorite chai spices with coffee, creamy plant-based milk and a hint of sweetness. No wonder dirty chai lattes are everywhere in coffee shops, the blend of flavors of chai + coffee is truly unique and meant to be!
My version is also vegan-friendly (made with oat milk!) and done quickly without having to prepare a simple syrup first. You can prepare a single portion as described, but also batch prep more of the chai concentrate mixture and keep it in the fridge to make a few drinks in the next few days.
And if you believe that chai lattes are only meant for ordering at the coffee shop, then that's not quite the case! This iced dirty chai latte is actually easy to make at home, with or without an espresso maker, and uses chai tea bags and plant-based milk of your choice.
The chai tea infusion delivers that delicious kick in yummy spices flavor, but to take things up a notch, I also like to flavor my version with cinnamon sticks, maple syrup and vanilla extract. If you like yours stronger in taste, then you can easily enhance the spice level even more as you wish, just check out my flavor boosters below, it is so versatile! What a treat!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
What is a dirty chai latte
A chai latte is a warm or cold tea drink made with spices and milk. The spices usually consist of a chai spice mix made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and more.
Now, you might be wondering what's the difference between a dirty chai latte and a chai latte. The main difference is the addition of coffee or espresso when making a dirty version. The word "dirty" comes from the dark coloration of coffee when it slowly mixes with the white milk, making it look "dirtier".
Why you should make this recipe
- Ultra creamy and rich in taste, thanks to the oat milk
- Coffee + chai tea makes for such an amazing combination of flavor!
- Easy to customize to your preference
- Provides a nice boost of energy, but easy to make decaf too
- Healthy: you can control the amount of added sugar as you wish
- Cheaper than getting it at the coffee shop
- Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
Ingredients you will need
- Coffee: you can use different kinds of coffee. If you have an espresso machine, then you will need 2 shots. If you don't, then make a strongly brewed coffee (aim for ½ cup).
- Chai tea: you will need 2 bags of chai tea for a single drink. It is important to double up the bags or the chai flavor won't be strong enough. I used a rooibos chai tea and it was great, but another great choice is this masala chai black tea. You can use any kind of chai tea you like!
- Oat milk: I always use full-fat oat milk from Oatly for making drinks as it is creamy and a little thicker. It also foams well, if needed to steam the milk. That being said, you can really use your favorite milk to make this recipe, such as almond milk or soy milk.
- Cinnamon stick: helps boost the spice flavor in the chai tea. You can also simply add a pinch of ground cinnamon if that's all you have.
- Vanilla extract: technically optional, but try to add it as it really rounds up the flavors and boosts the sweetness of your drink naturally.
- Sweetener: maple syrup pairs so well with all these fall flavors! But, you can also use agave nectar or granulated sugar, such as brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Ice cubes: for serving and to make your drink super icy.
How to make an iced dirty chai latte
The trick to making an iced version of this popular latte is to allow some time for the warm mixtures to cool down before serving. So in this case, start by making the chai mixture and prep the coffee, then give them a few minutes to chill in the fridge while you prep the rest.
Make the chai tea
In a small saucepan, add the water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and then, turn the heat off. Add the bags of chai tea, cover and let them steep for about 5-7 minutes (or longer). Move them around once in a while to help the flavor diffuse in the water.
Once done, remove the cinnamon stick and bags of tea. Transfer the flavored tea to the fridge (or freezer!) and let it cool down until ready to assemble the drink.
Make the coffee
Meanwhile, also prepare the coffee using one of those options:
- Espresso machine: prepare 2 espresso shots.
- French press: great way to make a strong brewed coffee. Make about ½ cup.
- Regular coffee machine: if that's all you have, then use it and make the ½ cup of coffee using a regular drip coffee machine. Simply try to make it stronger than usual!
- Cold brew coffee: this is a great choice for iced lattes. Use ½ cup.
Once done, also transfer the warm coffee to the fridge (or freezer!) alongside the chai tea to cool down.
Flavor the oat milk
While the tea is cooling down, then combine the oat milk with vanilla extract and sweetener (you can also simply add those extra flavors right into your assembled drink if you prefer).
Assemble and serve
When ready to serve, fill up a tall serving glass with ice cubes, then pour the chai tea mixture, then the coffee and finally the flavored cold milk.
Garnish as you wish, add a straw and serve right away. Enjoy your treat!
- Be sure both the chai tea and coffee are cold, or at least at room temperature, before assembling your drink. Otherwise, they would make the ice cubes melt super quickly, which would dilute your drink.
- If you choose to use granulated sugar, then instead of adding it to the milk, you can mix it in the chai mixture when steeping the tea. Granulated sugar dissolves better in a warm mixture.
Chai lattes are amazing served with a generous dose of whipped cream. You can make your own whipped cream using canned coconut milk or simply buy it at the store. We love this oat-based whipped cream.
You can even top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Just make sure to use a tall enough glass to handle the extra volume.
As a side note, chai lattes are great with a straw to sip the drink, but also to stir and combine all the flavors. I love those glass reusable straws, I bought them online and use them all the time!
Variations to the recipe
This chai latte recipe is easy to customize depending on your taste and what you are looking for. Here are a few variation ideas:
- Ultra creamy: you can use coconut milk instead of regular plant-based oat milk. You might want to use light coconut milk if using a can so it is not too rich. Coconut milk coming in a box would be great for this drink and add a hint of coconut-y flavor that would pair well with the spices.
- Stronger chai flavor: make sure to use 2 bags of chai tea to ensure you get enough spice flavor. But, if you like a stronger chai flavor, then you can also add extra ground or whole spices aside from the cinnamon stick to the chai tea mix. Try adding cardamom pod, star anise, ground nutmeg, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and ground ginger (or even sliced fresh ginger). You can even add a pinch of ground black pepper or whole black peppercorns to the chai tea mixture for a slightly spicy flavor. Simply remove the whole spices or use a small mesh colander to strain them out.
- Non-caffeinated: it is easy to make this drink free of caffeine. To do so, make a decaf espresso or use decaf ground coffee beans when making the strong brew. Also, look for a chai tea that's free of caffeine, such as rooibos.
- Using chai syrup: you can swap both the chai tea and sweetener for some chai syrup if you prefer (this is what they do at Starbucks). You can get chai syrup online, although know that those are filled with sugar. Or, you can make your own healthier chai syrup. You can also add some extra chai syrup to the recipe to double up on the chai flavors!
Once assembled, then the dirty chai tea latte is best enjoyed right away since the ice cubes will melt and slowly dilute the flavors.
But, you can make a double or triple batch of the chai tea mixture and store it in the fridge for a few days. Then, it will only take 5 minutes or so to prepare a single portion of chai latte.
Yes! During the winter, then feel free to make a hot dirty chai latte! Simply heat up the milk and assemble it in a large mug without ice cubes.
You can make the chai tea mixture ahead of time and double or triple the recipe. Then, store it in the fridge (for 4-5 days) in a jar (a mason jar would be great for that) and use about ½ cup of this mixture when making your drink. You can also make ahead the flavored milk if you want. As a side note, you can also make the coffee up to 12-24 hours ahead of time, but no longer than that, or it won't taste very fresh.
Yes! In that case, if you don't have chai tea bags, then swap for 2 bags of black tea and about 2 teaspoons of chai spice mix. Dissolve the spices in the warm water as you steep the tea and then cool down as directed before serving.
More recipes like this
- Iced strawberry latte
- Blueberry matcha latte
- Pink latte
- Peanut butter coffee
- Vanilla matcha latte with oat milk
- Oat milk hot chocolate
- Chai matcha latte
- Banana chai smoothie
- Cardamom latte
- Butterfly pea flower latte
- Turmeric hot chocolate
- Pumpkin spiced milk
I hope you like this iced dirty chai latte recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Iced Dirty Chai Latte
- 2 bags chai tea bags
- 1 stick cinnamon - or swap for ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup water
- 2 shots espresso - or 2.5 ounces or about ½ cup strongly brewed coffee
- ½ cup oat milk - or any kind of milk you like
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup - or to taste
- ice cubes - to serve
- To a small saucepan, add ¾ cup of water and the cinnamon stick, cover and bring to a boil. Then, turn the heat off, add the 2 bags of chai tea and let them steep for about 5-7 minutes (or longer). Then, remove the cinnamon stick and the bags of tea and discard them. Transfer the tea mixture to the fridge to cool down until ready to use.
- Prepare the coffee (espresso or strong brew) and also place it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, combine the cold milk with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice cubes and then pour the chai tea over, then the espresso or strong coffee and finally the cold milk. Top with vegan whipped cream and a dust of cinnamon, if desired, and enjoy with a straw.
- I highly recommend taking a few extra minutes to cool down the tea and coffee before assembling the latte. Otherwise, the warm mixture will melt the ice cubes quickly and dilute the flavors.
- For a stronger chai flavor, you can add some ground spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, etc) or whole spices (sliced fresh ginger, black peppercorns, anise star, etc) to the tea. Check out the blog post for more ideas!