Christmas hot drink with a caffeine kick - a secret recipe for your Dirty Chai

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 3 min

What happens when delicious Christmas spices mix with hot milk and an intense espresso? It's getting dirty!

Because what's better than a delicious spicy chai latte? That's right, a chai latte with an espresso shot. May I introduce you to Dirty Chai, your new favorite winter hot drink with caffeine. In this article you will find out everything about the unique Dirty Chai, including my secret recipe for a homemade chai syrup.

Where does Dirty Chai actually come from?

Dirty Chai has its roots in distant tea countries, as the hot drink is traditionally based on black tea.

Chai tea is a traditional drink that has deep roots in India and other parts of Asia. It originally consists of black tea and a variety of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves. This aromatic potion has been prepared in the alleys of Delhi and Mumbai for centuries and is an integral part of Indian culture.

It's hard to say exactly when and where a coffee lover had the truly brilliant idea of ​​adding creamy milk and an espresso shot to this tea. Some believe that the idea of ​​combining coffee and chai was born in the bustling cafes of Mumbai.

The mixture of Dirty Chai is as simple as it is ingenious: a strong espresso is combined with the delicious spice of chai tea. The chai spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and star anise make it a Christmas classic that warms us on cold days and also tastes really delicious.

By the way, the name "Dirty Chai" has nothing to do with dirt. "Dirty" here does not mean unclean, but rather 'mixed' or 'polluted' in a positive sense - it is the symbiosis of the light tea and milk mix with a dark espresso , which turns the drink brownish. I'll now tell you how you can make a really delicious chai syrup yourself at home!

My secret recipe for dirty chai syrup

The chai syrup is an easy and delicious base for your homemade dirty chai. Once you have prepared this intense syrup, you can add the milk of your choice at any time. Since the Dirty Chai syrup is made with brown sugar, it lasts a long time and you can use the syrup again and again when you feel like a delicious hot drink.

This is what you need for your dirty chai syrup

2 liters of water

1 cup green cardamom

1 cup cinnamon sticks

1 cup star anise

2 cups chopped ginger

2 cups brown sugar

10 tea bags of black tea

Christmas spices for the chai syrup

This is how you prepare your dirty chai syrup:

First, heat water in a large pot until it begins to simmer.

Add cardamom, cinnamon sticks, star anise and chopped ginger.

Let the mixture reduce to half for about 60 minutes to intensify the flavors, then remove the spices.

Then add 2 cups of brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved.

Hang the 10 tea bags of black tea in the syrup and let them steep for another 10 minutes.

Remove the tea bags and let the dirty chai syrup cool.

Preparing Dirty Chai with your Dirty Chai syrup

The homemade Dirty Chai syrup is the basis for the perfect Dirty Chai experience. So grab your favorite cup and follow these few steps for your Dirty Chai.

Fill a large cup a quarter full with the syrup (depending on how sweet you want your hot drink to be). Then you froth the substitute milk of your choice. Hot tip for everyone who doesn't have a milk frother for foaming: With your French press you can not only make delicious coffee, but also conjure up mega milk foam by moving the sieve up and down! Now add a little hot milk to the syrup and mix the whole thing.

Now it's time for the dirtyness! For our Dirty Chai we want to have an intense, spicy espresso if possible. Prepare your espresso with the coffee machine of your choice.

Now fill the rest of the cup with frothed milk. You can garnish your Dirty Chai with a pinch of cinnamon or cocoa powder for even more delicious Christmas flavors.

Dirty chai decorated with cinnamon and pancakes on plate

Buy the right coffee for your Dirty Chai

For a Dirty Chai we want an intense, spicy or even chocolatey espresso. In general, you can use any espresso beans that fall into our Tastefinder category of nutty & chocolatey or spicy & strong .

An exceptional coffee that combines the strong aromas of spices and chocolate is the WRC Koumalassi Espresso . The perfect Christmas coffee for the espresso machine. These coffee beans offer a particularly intense yet harmonious espresso. The WRC Koumalassi Espresso is ideal for preparation in fully automatic machines and in a portafilter.

If you haven't had enough of Christmas coffee drinks yet, we also have a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe in store for you!

Have fun trying it out and Merry Xmas!