Does Chai Tea Have Espresso?

Last updated on July 19th, 2022 at 08:25 pm

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Chai, with its hint of cinnamon and rich flavor, is a popular tea. It not only tastes good, but is energizing and relaxing. This tea contains many spices and lots of flavor in every sip. 

There are different ways you can make chai. Regular chai is black tea with milk, spices, and sweetener. A chai latte is the spiced tea with steamed milk and sweetener added. 

Now, all the coffee lovers may be wondering, does chai ever have espresso in it?

In what’s called a dirty chai latte, the chai tea does have a shot of espresso. It is made exactly like a regular chai latte except they add coffee in it.

When you are making or ordering chai tea this will only be the chai (black tea with spices) milk, and sweetener. When you are making or ordering a chai latte, you will get the chai with steamed milk and sweetener. If you want to shake things up a little bit, and try something new, there is a drink called a dirty chai latte. 

It is called this because once you add the espresso in to the light colored chai beverage it makes it darker and look more “dirty”.

A chai latte with espresso, which we will call dirty chai latte, is made up of espresso, steamed milk, chai, and sweeteners or flavored syrups. There are even different types of this beverage available. 

It has a sweet yet bold flavor and is delicious. A dirty chai latte is a great pick-me-up since the chai and espresso both have caffeine. 

If you are ordering a dirty chai latte and don’t see it on the menu, Just ask for a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso. This is the same thing. 

So, regular chai tea does not have espresso, but a dirty chai latte does.

Does A Chai Latte Have Coffee In It? 

So regular chai tea doesn’t have coffee in it. But what about a chai latte? Lattes have coffee in them so does a chai latte have coffee in it, too?

A regular chai latte does not have any coffee in it. When you add a shot of espresso this becomes a dirty chai latte.

Remember, chai tea=chai, milk, sweetener. Chai latte (which is technically the same thing as chai tea)=chia, steamed milk, sweetener. Dirty chai=chia, steamed milk, sweeter, espresso/coffee. 

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that is made when near boiling water is forced through finely ground coffee evans. This produces 1 to 2 ounces of espresso. And when it is made correctly a rich and golden cream will form on the top. 

There is a wide variety of beans that you can make espresso with. Steamed milk is a froth made when milk is highly pressured by inducing steam into it. That creates a layer of very small bubbles. 

You can steam nonfat, lowfat, full fat, almond, soy or oat milk.

Chai is India’s famous spice tea that’s made with a blend of spices. It includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and can also be made with ginger. Sweeteners typically used are sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners or even flavored syrup like you would add to a regular espresso drink. 

All of these are combined to make a dirty chai latte. 

There are different variations of this latte such as vegan or dairy free dirty chai using soy milk or almond milk, green tea dirty chai using green tea, Hong Kong Ying-Yang coffee tea using black tea, milk, and drip coffee, faux dirty chai which is a similar flavor to a dirty chai latte expect you order it as a cinnamon latte, ginger latte, cardamom latte, or a spiced tea with milk and a shot of espresso. 

Regular chai does not contain coffee but the dirty chai latte variation does.

Is There Caffeine In Chai Tea? 

Chai is said to be mentally clarifying and energizing. It is even a substitute for coffee. Does this mean that there is caffeine in chai tea?

Chai does have caffeine in it. The amount of caffeine that chai contains is only a third of what’s is in a cup of coffee however. 

Chai is often used as a substitute for coffee. It can give you focused thinking and a little pick-me-up without the nervousness and jitteriness that coffee causes.  Its small amount of caffeine is just enough to wake you up to start the day or for an afternoon refresh. 

It is said that you shouldn’t drink chai before bedtime however since it does contain a little bit of caffeine. Though a small amount, if you are sensitive to caffeine it could keep you up at night if you drink it too close to bedtime. 

That’s why it is recommended to have your last mug of chai 3 to 7 hours before your bedtime. Also, the steeping time of the chai accounts for how strong it will be. Longer steeping, higher caffeine content. Shorter seeping time, lower caffeine. 

Overall, chai contains about 25 mg of caffeine per cup. This is what makes it an excellent substitute for coffee. 

Not to mention it also has a significant amount of health benefits, improving digestion and even supporting your immune system. Sencha Tea Bar explains more in depth the ways that chai can be good for your health in the article, Amazing Health Benefits of Chai Tea

They state, “Thanks to spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves, you not only get a great-tasting beverage, but one that offers an immense amount of health potential. With a robust flavor and powerful ingredients, a cup of chai tea is a great way to start your day. With less caffeine than a cup of coffee, you can drink up and not worry about feeling jittery or not being able to sleep later. Let the aromas invigorate your senses and reap the benefits of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols.” 

Remember that a dirty chai latte has espresso in it. With this drink you will be getting the caffeine in the chai as well as the caffeine in the espresso. So, by adding these together, a dirty chai latte contains about 135 mg of caffeine. 

If you are needing an invigorating and delicious beverage, drink this yummy latte for an extra boost during your day.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, chai tea doesn’t usually have any espresso or coffee in it. Neither does a chai latte. Being pretty much the same thing, chai tea and a chai latte are made with chai, milk, and sweeteners only. 

But, ordering a dirty chai latte will get you that delicious chai tea with steamed milk, sweetener and espresso. This beverage will be sure to energize you and taste refreshing.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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