Indulge in Delight: Crafting a Homemade Dirty Chai Latte and Chai Syrup

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I barely ever buy coffee from a coffee shop. And trust me, by “barely,” I mean like, almost never. But when I do go… It’s for a heavenly Dirty Chai Latte from my go-to local coffee shop. It’s worth every single penny of that $5!

In my 20s, I remember reading all those news stories blaming millennials’ inability to afford houses on their love for avocado toast and coffee. That’s not why we’re not buying houses. But here’s the deal: we’ve found little ways to save, like whipping up breakfast and lunch at home, making coffee in our kitchen, and setting aside cash for experiences that light up our lives. And guess what? There are around 260 workdays in a year. So, swapping that daily coffee fix for a home-brewed coffee? That’s me freeing up a cool $1,300 for other things ($2,600 if William were also spending $5 a day).Because I don’t frequent the coffee shop, I’ve mastered the art of making my very own dirty chai latte right here in my kitchen.

My go-to coffee shop makes an AMAZING dirty chai latte – it’s all about the espresso, their house made chai syrup, and the milk of your choice. 

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not claiming my recipe is an authentic chai syrup. My recipe involves tea bags that are a blend of black tea and chai spices. When these things come together, trust me, it’s a beautiful symphony of flavors in a simple syrup that gives my latte the oomph I crave.

Let’s chat about the coffee part. Honestly, there’s no set recipe, just what works best for you.  Let me share my approach. When I want an iced dirty chai latte I start with some room-temperature espresso, throw in a generous drizzle of my homemade chai syrup, and then hit it with some cold foam and a dusting of cinnamon. You can totally do your own thing with this – warm coffee with steamed milk, a bold cold brew with almond milk, the options are endless. As for my cold foam? It’s whole milk and my trusty battery-operated milk frother doing the magic.

And that syrup? Let me tell you, it’s not just for lattes. I’m pretty convinced it’d be delicious on some vanilla ice cream. Just saying. Someone give that a try and let me know how it tastes.

To make this simple syrup you need three ingredients – chai + black tea bags, sugar, and water. Let those tea bags steep in hot water for around 15 minutes, then stir in some sugar. Next up, a gentle boil until it’s reduced by half. Once it’s had its cooled pour it into an air tight squeeze bottle for drizzling.

Now, let’s address the big question: is my at-home coffee game on par with my local coffee shop? Well, let’s just say it’s a pretty close contender, and it’s the ticket relocating that money elsewhere in our budget!

Chai Simple Syrup

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
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Make your own Chai Simple Syrup using chai & black tea bags, sugar, and water. Elevate your at home latte game.


– 8 chai + black tea bags
– 3 cups of water
– 1 cup of sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan, steep the 8 tea bags in hot water from a kettle for 15-20 minutes. Let the flavors infuse and develop.
  2. Once steeped, remove the tea bags and introduce 1 cup of sugar to the fragrant tea concentrate.
  3. Bring the mixture to a gentle, soft boil. Allow it to simmer and reduce by about half, creating a rich and concentrated chai essence.
  4. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Then, carefully transfer it into a suitable container for storage. A glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid works perfectly.

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