Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Spice (Dirty Chai Recipe)

Oct 07, 2021
Starbuck's Dirty Pumpkin Chai Latte Recipe


The coffee chain, Starbucks, is known for its chai tea latte, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, and Apple Crisp Macchiato, and its pumpkin spice latte. While their fall menu is full of all the favorite spices of the season, it is also packed full of unhealthy fats and sugars but will drain your wallet in a hurry.


Hack your Starbucks budget with our Paleo Caramel Apple Tea (to replace that Macchiato) and add this Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Dirty Chai to your list. Not only will your budget thank you, but the flavor is so much more intense and the ingredients healthier. If you want to hack even more Starbucks drinks, make sure to check out our tea hacking video in the Herbal Studio & Communi-tea.



Dirty Chai Tea Latte Ingredients

What is dirty chai? That was the question I had the first time I heard about this drink. It’s a chai latte with a shot, or for the non-coffee drinkers, it’s an espresso shot combined with some steam milk. Typically a black marsala chai tea bag is used, but today we are all about the loose leaf tea and, of course, the pumpkin spice. 


If you don’t have an espresso machine, no worries, today we will use some strongly brewed coffee instead. Strongly brewed coffee will give us a similar effect without stressing out over having fancy equipment.


We are also going to need some steamed milk. Again don’t worry about having the espresso machine do this. Steamed milk is easily made by warming up the milk of your choice (cow, coconut, almond, goat) to just below boiling point. A french press or electric frothing whisk is your friend for this job. If using the french press, pour the milk in and then carefully push the plunger up and down until you crate froth in the milk and you are ready to go. Using the electric whisk, turn on your whisk and tilt so that the frothing whisk is at the top of the milk. Make sure it is still inside enough to create the foam in the milk.


Alight, we also need some chai! Find our black tea chai’s here and our herbal chai teas here. We highly recommend our Prairie Pumpkin Chai or Prudent Pumpkin Spice Rooibos for this recipe to get the whole pumpkin spice effect! No matter which chai you pick, they all have traditional chai spices like black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom.



Paleo Pumpkin Spice Dirty Chai Latte Recipe

Alrighty! It’s time to get brewing some tasty, better than Starbucks drinks! Make sure you have your ingredients, especially the dairy free milk if you are going Paleo or AIP. You will need that shot or two of espresso or strongly brewed coffee. Let’s get brewing and steeping!


Pumpkin Dirty Chai Latte

Pumpkin Dirty Chai Latte

Yield: 2
Coffee and Chai, the best of both worlds combined with Pumpkin Spice Everything. What says Fall more than this drink, start sipping now and save money doing it at home!


Simple Syrup
  • ¼ c Pumpkin puree
  • ½ c Maple syrup
  • ½ c water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp Pumpkin pie spice


To Make Simple Syrup
  1. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, water, salt, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to a small saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until combined.
  2. Let the mixture come to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once the mixture is thick, remove it from heat and let cool completely.
To Make Latte
  1. Divide the brewed tea and espresso into two serving mugs, then add 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup to each mug and stir until combined. 
  2. Add ½ cup of the frothed milk of choice to each mug, spooning the froth on top. 
  3. Sprinkle the tops with more pumpkin pie spice if desired and enjoy.



I used to know my way around town based on the coffee shops back in my coffee addiction days. I can just smell the strongly brewed coffee and espresso as it meets the deep, flavorful chai tea. I hope you will have a few dirty chai lattes for me, my friends, no matter which chai you pickThey as I sip away on my herbal chai latte. There is not much more that says fall than Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte’s other than maybe the Caramel Apple Tea Lattes. If you would like to grab more tea drink recipes, make sure to check out our free Cooking with Tea e-book!


I”d love to know more about you, dear coffee and tea drinking friend. What is your favorite hot drink in the fall? Do you make it at home, or do you have a favorite coffee shop that you grab it from? Let me know in the comments below; I can’t wait to hear from you!



Other Recipes you may enjoy:

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