The word “chai” as it is used today in North America, often means a black tea drink made with milk and spices, but did you know that’s not the true meaning of the word?!

“Chai” is the Hindi word for tea, derived from the Chinese word for tea, “cha.” “Masala chai” is the true name of the spiced milk tea drink, since “masala” is the Hindi word for “spice.” The Masala Chai drink originated in India, and the spices usually included in it are cinnamon, clove, and ginger, among others that can be customized to your particular taste. We’re using Reading Coffee Company’s delicious Masala Chai Tea blend from The New Store at GoggleWorks for this recipe, which includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger.

A latte refers to a drink that has frothed milk added to it. Almost any drink can be customized as a latte, making it more creamy and rich with silky frothed milk.

So, what makes it “dirty” then? A dirty chai is a popular coffee shop drink, referring to a shot of espresso added to the tea latte, muddying up the color and purity of the tea. Making this Dirty Masala Chai Latte iced gives the traditionally warm drink a year-round appeal, instead of being reserved for the fall and winter months!

The espresso shot in this drink is optional. You can add the shot of espresso if you need some extra energy or it’s your first drink of the morning. The black tea used in chai blends does have caffeine, so if you aren’t someone who needs an extra jolt, you might opt for a regular Masala Chai Iced Latte!

Now that we know what we’re making – let’s give it a try!

(Serves 1) You’ll Need:

  • ½ Cup of Water
  • 2 Reading Coffee Company Masala Chai Tea Bags
  • ½  Cup of Milk (Whole recommended, but nondairy milks work great too)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or other sweetener like white sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar)
  • 1 shot of espresso (Optional; strong coffee or cold brew can be substituted if necessary)
  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a simmer on stove. Brew tea bags according to directions on package. Turn off stove. Remove and discard tea bags once brewed.
  2. Add honey to steeped, warm tea. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Brew espresso shot into small glass
  4. Combine espresso with the tea and honey mixture.
  5. Add ice to a separate glass
  6. Froth milk using the frothing attachment on an espresso machine, a handheld frother, or shake in a jar until thick and foamy.
  7. Pour the espresso, tea and honey mixture over the ice.
  8. Add frothed milk to the glass.
  9. Add a straw
  10. Enjoy!