What Is a Dirty Chai? Plus, A Dutch Bros Dirty Chai Review!

dirty chai

I’m a big fan of chai tea lattes. The warming spices are tasty and so good for the gut (and the soul), especially when paired with creamy oatmilk. Yum. But, sometimes, you want the kick of a coffee and the warmth of a chai tea latte – so what’s a girl to do?

Spoiler alert: dirty chai – in the house! Well, an iced dirty chai, to be exact.

So, in honor of this delicious little half-tea, half-coffee discovery, we are going to share all about the dirty chai and what we think of the Dutch Bros version.

What is a dirty chai?

Well, it’s got the body of a chai tea latte – which means a combination of delicious spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. Each chai recipe is slightly different, some are spicier than others, so depending on where you pick up your chai, it’ll have slightly different flavors. I find the Starbucks chai tea latte to be a really smooth, cinnamony flavor, while the Peet’s chai is a bit more of a kick in the pants and spicy. Dutch Bros uses the Oregon Chai brand of chai tea latte mix in their chai tea drinks.

If you love the DB chai lattes or dirty chais, you can recreate them at home using the same chai concentrate that they use. Dutch Bros reportedly uses this chai concentrate as the base for their chai drinks.

dirty chai

Then, whatever chai spices or mix you are using, are added to some form of milk (I opt for oat milk) and stirred. Add ice (or not).

Now, to make it dirty – you drizzle a shot of espresso right over the top. Yup, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

How much caffeine is in a dirty chai?

A typical chai tea latte has around 4 oz of black tea, which contains 40mg of caffeine. The same amount of coffee has triple the amount – with approx. 120mg. of caffeine. A shot of espresso has 64mg of caffeine – making your typical dirty chai ring in at around 100mg of caffeine. It’s a nice little middle ground between tea and coffee, in our opinion.

Of course, you can control the caffeine content based on the size and number of espresso shots that you order.

How is the Dutch Bros. Dirty Chai?

dirty chai

Dutch Bros has a lot of great chai tea options for you, from their Horchata Chai to the Dirty Chai, and lots of flavors in between. In fact, our favorite chai drink ever is the Christmas Morning by Dutch Bros (read the review here) and you can even get that base with a shot of espresso, too.

The dirty chai we got is a really nice blend of spices, milk and coffee. You can definitely taste the shot of coffee and it does mute the traditionally tasty spices a bit. If you are really excited about the flavors in your chai tea, you may want to order a larger size and add only one shot of espresso, so you can taste them more.

Or, if you always feel the chai tea taste is too strong for you, you will probably love the way the shot of coffee tones it down a little.

You can even order two shots of espresso to up your caffeine. We don’t judge. #getroasted

Either way, we totes recommend checking out a dirty chai tea latte next time you drive through Dutch Bros or your favorite coffee shop.

How To Order a Dirty Chai?

Most coffeeshops know what a dirty chai is. In fact, it’s on the secret menu for both Starbucks and Dutch Bros and any barista should know what it is. If you catch a newbie, simply ask for an iced or hot chai tea latte with a shot of espresso. 

You can even have them blend it like a frappuccino and top with whip – just ask for it blended.

Regardless of how you order it, it’s going to be delicious.


We had fun tasting the dirty chai at Dutch Bros today.  For more dirty chais, check out the three way test between Peet’s, Starbucks and DB dirty chai here. For more taste tests, check out the one on oatmilk lattes, too.

Thanks for reading!

Get roasted,



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