What Does Chai Taste Like? 5 Most Popular Flavors

Published Categorized as Tea & Coffee Tagged

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Chai tea is a drink that dates back thousands of years to ancient India. It technically uses black tea leaves, though they all have a heavy spice mixture added to them.

The taste of chai depends on the spices used in it. Some people would sense taste similar to gingerbread or pumpkin spice. Others would describe it as a vanilla-tasting drink with the sweetness of sugar or honey in it. The spices in chai tea give it a sense of warmth and comfort.

To better understand the flavor breakdown of this drink, read below.

Table of Contents

Steps and Ingredients Required to Make Chai Tea

When you make chai tea, you will need many of the conventional spices used throughout India. These include those in the list below. You can be flexible with the spices you choose to add to your cup of tea too!

  • Cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Cumin
  • Fennel
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Black Pepper

Other than the spices, most use milk in their tea. You can also add sugar or honey to add a bit of sweetness to the flavor profile. You do not have to add an additive, however. Try to taste a plain chai first to experience the flavors that exist in it!

Chai lovers will drink this tea in the summer or winter. It is tasty if it is cold or hot.

What Does Chai Taste Like? 5 Most Popular Flavors_Alice's Kitchen

What Does Chai Taste Like?

Now that you know the flavor profile of chai tea, you may start to understand the taste behind this drink. Most describe it as being spicy.

Some even state that chai tea is similar to the flavor profile that you will taste in a pumpkin spice latte. You can adjust the sweetness depending on the additives you add to the drink.

What Does a Chai Tea Latte Taste Like?

Most individuals use the terms “chai tea” and “chai tea latte” interchangeably. Typically, however, the former has a more obtuse and spicy flavor.

chai tea latte taste

When drinking chai tea, you traditionally do not add as much milk. A latte, however, uses a healthy amount, giving the drink a sweeter taste.

What Does Chai Latte Taste Like at Starbucks?

Many coffee shops serve chai tea lattes, and they are some of the most popular drinks available at them. Starbucks, for instance, offers this beverage iced and hot.

At Starbucks, they use a chai tea mixture that primarily contains cloves and cinnamon. Starbucks does add a decent amount of milk, however. This step makes the chai tea latte quite sweet. Some describe it as the perfect blend between sweet and spicy, for instance.

What Does Chai Tea Latte Taste Like at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Dunkin’ Donuts is another coffee shop that offers chai latte. They claim that their version of this drink has a smooth taste that is perfect for any season.

Dunkin’ Donuts also believes that their chai tea latte is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. It is not bitter, but the beverage offers some of the traditional flavors you may expect from India.

Chai Flavors

Since chai tea is such a flexible drink, you can know that there are a variety of flavor profiles. Many companies infuse ingredients into the tea bags to create these new tastes, as seen below.

The Taste of Vanilla Chai

Vanilla Chai is the most popular flavor available in America. Most coffee shops incorporate a dash of this flavoring when making chai tea lattes, for instance.

The vanilla flavor profile adds another layer of coziness and warmth. As mentioned, if you want to make this drink yourself, you can add a splash of artificial or authentic vanilla flavoring in the saucepan you are preparing your tea.

What Does Chai Taste Like? 5 Most Popular Flavors_Alice's Kitchen

Some individuals create the vanilla flavor profile, however, by blending specific spices. These include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. After, you can add whole milk to give the sweet flavor that you would expect from a vanilla-flavored drink chai latte.

What Does Masala Chai Taste Like?

Masala chai is a traditional option found in India, still popular in this other country. The spices you will use in this variant include green cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and fennel. After, you will have an aromatic drink that will take your senses to another country.

When you think of traditional chai, you likely imagine what is, in reality, masala chai. Again, even with this type, many add milk and honey to bring sweetness to the mixture.

Tasting Lemongrass Chai

Lemongrass chai tea, as you may assume, uses lemongrass taste. You will have to boil the herb before you add it to the drink.

After you boil the lemongrass, you will steep it with black tea leaves to ensure the flavor gets into your chai latte. Add sugar and honey to the mixture for sweetness. Milk can go in if you want your beverage to be more creamy.

Finally, many individuals add a splash of lemon juice. Do not overdo it, however, as you still want the perfect blend of spicy and sweet in your black tea drink.

What does Cardamom Chai Taste Like?

As mentioned throughout, cardamom is a popular spice used in chai tea, no matter the recipe you want to create. There is a type of chai that only uses this herb.

When you make cardamom chai tea, you will blend black leaves with the herb. After, add the milk and sweetener of your choice.

What is a Dirty Chai Tea?

Finally, there is the ever-popular dirty chai. When you go into any coffee shop, you will likely see this drink on the menu. Dirty chai incorporates espresso into the final mixture.

First, the coffee shop will use whatever chai blend they make or have on hand. After, they will add the frothed milk as is typical for a chai tea latte. Finally, they will put in either one or two espresso shots on top to give the black tea drink a coffee flavor.

Pre-Made Chai Tea

Earlier, this article mentioned that many coffee shops use pre-made chai tea mixtures. Though some store owners will create their own, most will likely purchase the mix or the teabags from a supplier. Some would make their own mix and brew it in copper tea kettles which will ensure an authentic and rich taste.

If you want the exact taste you get in a coffee shop, you must purchase the best pre-made chai tea available. There are liquid versions, tea bags, and powders available at most grocery stores. Look at the nutritional label to ensure some of the same spices are present that are in the recipes above.

Health Benefits of a Chai Tea

Chai tea will help you maintain a healthy digestive system. It will reduce inflammation and will increase your ability to use the bathroom on a typical basis.

The health benefits of chai tea also include the fact that your circulatory system will work better. This beverage will improve the distribution of oxygen within your veins and arteries.

The spices present in chai tea help reduce inflammation in the gut, so it makes sense that they would do the same for pain. Some individuals report that chai even helps the symptoms of arthritis.

Finally, the black pepper that is present in chai tea helps your body’s digestive enzymes. You will break down fats and absorb nutrients faster. Ultimately, you have the chance of avoiding liver damage, anemic and more.

Try Chai for Yourself!

If you have not tried chai, there is no better time to start than today. This delicious beverage has a variety of health benefits, including those that exist from its anti-inflammatory properties.

Chai tea is available in a variety of different flavor profiles and recipes too, however. You can make it with just cardamom or lemongrass, for instance. It truly is a flexible drink that will let you play with flavors as you desire.

There is also pre-made chai tea that follows the traditional masala recipe, however. This product will help you make this drink with ease.


What flavors are in chai?

Chai is a tea that is typically made up of a lot of different spices and flavorings. It can come in different variations and flavors, yet it is traditionally and commonly comprised of the same key spices. These are; cloves, brown sugar, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, and nutmeg. A lot of people say that they can taste vanilla when they drink chai and while vanilla can be added, it is normally the cardamom that people taste as they both taste similar.

What flavors taste good with chai?

If you have a chai spice mix and are wanting to use it for something other than tea, you may be wondering what flavors it can truly complement and work with. While it may be surprising, chai spice is quite versatile and can work with a lot of different flavors. Chai spice can pair well with; milk chocolate, dark chocolate, scones, brie, hazelnuts, almonds, popcorn, and beef jerky. While the latter might be quite surprising, it also makes sense. Honey and ham go together, so trust me on this one as chai and beef jerky are insanely good.

What is the most popular chai?

If you are looking for chai brands and blends to try out, or if you are searching for a reliable company to buy perfect chai from, you will be relieved to know that there are quite a few different options that you can explore.
South Cloud Chai is an original blend made and sold by the founder of Tielka Tea. This blend is unique and has the main ingredient of Chinese black tea which adds to a malty finish.
For a more traditional cup of chai, The Teaguy (a popular tea retailer) sells an organic Masala Chai that is delicious as well as healthy and organic.

How many flavors does chai tea have?

Chai tea can have many flavors depending on the blend that you buy. It is mostly made up of cardamom, ginger, black peppercorns, clove, and cinnamon. On top of this, some blends will add black tea to the mix for a depth of flavor, as well as fennel and cumin. The blends can differ a lot so the flavors are truly limitless.