With pumpkin spice everything hitting menus, fall is in full swing at Starbucks. While the seasonal drinks are tempting, they are often loaded with sugar and calories. If you want to enjoy a cozy, cinnamon-spiced beverage without the guilt, try ordering an unsweetened chai tea latte made with non-dairy milk.

This custom drink recipe maximizes the comfort of chai while keeping your daily sugar and calorie intake in check.

Chai Tea Lattes 101

What is Chai?

Chai is a traditional Indian beverage that has gained popularity worldwide. It is made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. The combination of these spices gives chai its distinct and invigorating flavor.

Chai has been enjoyed for centuries in India and is known for its numerous health benefits. It is believed to aid in digestion, boost the immune system, and provide a natural energy boost.

Chai Tea Latte Ingredients

Starbucks offers a delicious Chai Tea Latte that can be enjoyed hot or iced. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a healthy version of this popular drink:

  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1 cup of milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • A pinch of cinnamon for garnish (optional)

To make the Chai Tea Latte, start by steeping the chai tea bags in hot water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Remove the tea bags from the water and pour the steeped tea into a mug.

Add the hot milk and sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired. Finish off with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Nutrition Facts

A Chai Tea Latte made with 2% milk and without any additional sweeteners contains approximately:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 120
Protein 7g
Fat 5g
Carbohydrates 12g
Sugar 12g
Sodium 150mg

It’s important to note that these nutritional values may vary depending on the type of milk and sweetener used. If you’re looking for a lower calorie option, you can substitute the milk for almond milk or opt for a sugar-free sweetener.

Making your own Chai Tea Latte at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize it to your liking. So next time you’re craving a cozy and flavorful beverage, give this healthy Chai Tea Latte a try!

How to Order a Healthier Chai Latte

If you’re a fan of chai tea lattes, but want to make a healthier choice, there are a few simple tweaks you can make when ordering your drink at Starbucks. By choosing non-dairy milk, avoiding sweeteners, asking for less pumps of chai, opting for a smaller size, and trying additional customizations, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious chai latte that fits your dietary preferences and goals.

Choose Non-Dairy Milk

One easy way to make your chai latte healthier is by opting for non-dairy milk options. Starbucks offers a variety of non-dairy milk alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk. These options are lower in calories and saturated fat compared to whole milk, making them a better choice for those watching their intake of calories and fat.

Plus, non-dairy milk can add a unique and delicious flavor to your chai latte.

Avoid Sweeteners

Another way to make your chai latte healthier is by skipping the sweeteners. While the traditional chai latte recipe calls for a sweetener like vanilla syrup or honey, these additions can significantly increase the calorie and sugar content of your drink.

Instead, opt for unsweetened versions of your favorite chai latte and enjoy the natural flavors of the tea and spices. If you still crave a touch of sweetness, consider adding a small amount of natural sweeteners like stevia or agave syrup.

Ask for Less Pumps of Chai

Chai lattes typically contain multiple pumps of chai concentrate, which can contribute to a higher calorie and sugar content. When ordering your chai latte, ask for fewer pumps of chai to reduce the overall sweetness and caloric content.

By doing so, you can still enjoy the rich flavor of the chai without the excess sugar and calories.

Opt for a Smaller Size

Portion control is another key factor in making your chai latte healthier. Instead of ordering a large or venti size, opt for a smaller size like a tall or grande. This will help you consume fewer calories and reduce your sugar intake.

Remember, you can still enjoy the flavors of the chai latte in a smaller size, and you can always order a refill if needed.

Try Additional Customizations

If you’re looking for even more ways to personalize your chai latte and make it healthier, consider adding customizations like extra cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkles on top. These spices not only add flavor but also offer potential health benefits.

Cinnamon, for example, has been linked to improved blood sugar control and reduced inflammation. Feel free to get creative and find new ways to enhance the taste and nutrition of your chai latte.

Chai Tea Latte Recipe to Make at Home


  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 2 cups of milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey or sweetener of choice
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte, you can recreate this delicious drink at home with just a few simple ingredients. Here’s a homemade Chai Tea Latte recipe that will warm you up and satisfy your cravings for a cozy beverage.


  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the black tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat until steaming.
  4. Remove the tea bags from the water and add the brewed tea to the milk.
  5. Add the honey or sweetener of your choice, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground cardamom, and ground nutmeg to the milk mixture.
  6. Stir well to combine all the ingredients and heat for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and strain the mixture to remove any tea leaves or spices.
  8. Pour the Chai Tea Latte into mugs and serve hot. You can garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or whipped cream if desired.

This homemade Chai Tea Latte recipe allows you to customize the sweetness and spice levels according to your preferences. Feel free to adjust the amount of honey or spices to suit your taste. Enjoy this comforting and flavorful beverage in the comfort of your own home!

Benefits of Chai Tea

Chai tea is not only a delicious and comforting beverage, but it also offers several health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of enjoying a cup of chai tea:

Rich in Antioxidants

Chai tea is packed with antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. The spices used in chai tea, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, are particularly rich in antioxidants.

These antioxidants can help boost your immune system, fight inflammation, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

May Support Heart Health

Drinking chai tea may have positive effects on heart health. Research suggests that the black tea used as the base for chai tea can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Additionally, the spices in chai tea, such as ginger and cinnamon, have been found to have heart-healthy properties, including reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation.

Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Many of the spices used in chai tea, such as ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response in the body, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of various health problems.

By regularly consuming chai tea, you can help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially lower the risk of conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Incorporating chai tea into your daily routine can be a great way to boost your overall health and well-being. Remember, though, that moderation is key. While chai tea offers numerous benefits, it’s important to enjoy it as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.

More Healthy Drinks to Try at Starbucks

Starbucks is not only known for its indulgent coffee creations, but also offers a variety of healthy and refreshing beverages. If you’re looking to switch up your usual order and opt for something lighter, here are some great options to consider:

Iced or Hot Tea

Starbucks offers a wide selection of iced and hot teas that are both delicious and healthy. Whether you prefer black tea, green tea, or herbal blends, you can find a flavor that suits your taste buds. One popular choice is the Teavana Shaken Iced Tea line, which includes flavors like Peach Green Tea and Passion Tango Tea.

These teas are made with real fruit juice and are lightly sweetened, making them a great option for those looking for a refreshing and low-calorie beverage.

Cold Brew Coffee

If you’re a coffee lover but want a healthier alternative to the classic latte, consider trying Starbucks’ Cold Brew Coffee. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, resulting in a smoother and less acidic flavor.

It’s also less bitter than traditional iced coffee. You can enjoy it as is or add a splash of your favorite milk for a creamy and satisfying drink.

Matcha Lattes

If you’re in need of a caffeine boost but want to avoid the jitters, give Starbucks’ Matcha Lattes a try. Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that is known for its high levels of antioxidants and natural energy boost.

Starbucks offers a variety of matcha-based beverages, including the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte and the Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino. These drinks are made with matcha powder, milk, and a hint of sweetness, providing a smooth and creamy flavor.


If you’re looking for a refreshing and fruity drink, Starbucks’ Refreshers are a great choice. These beverages are made with real fruit juice, green coffee extract, and a splash of sparkling water, creating a light and effervescent drink.

Some popular options include the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher and the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher. These drinks are not only delicious but also low in calories, making them a guilt-free option for a hot summer day.

Remember, when ordering a drink at Starbucks, you can customize it to suit your preferences. You can ask for less sweetener, choose non-dairy milk options, or even opt for a smaller size. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect healthy drink for you!



While chai tea lattes contain caffeine and spices that may irritate sensitive stomachs, they can be a far healthier option than ultra-sweet coffee drinks when customized properly. By choosing non-dairy milk, minimizing sweeteners, and opting for a smaller size, you can enjoy the cozy, comforting flavors of chai without sabotaging your nutrition goals.

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