How Many Calories Are In a Starbucks Chai Latte?

Photo of author

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission if you purchase using these links.

Starbucks’ Chai Latte calories range from 90 to 240, depending on the milk and size. A 12-ounce tall with almond milk has 90 calories. A 16-ounce grande with 2% milk has 240. A 12-ounce tall with nonfat milk has 190 calories.

Key Takeaways

  • A tall Starbucks chai latte contains around 180 calories, with most of the calories coming from sugar.
  • Using nonfat or lowfat milk can reduce the calorie count by 20-40 calories per tall serving.
  • A homemade chai latte prepared with tea bags, spices, and lowfat milk contains around 100 calories for a tall serving.
  • Compared to coffee, chai lattes have significantly more calories due to added milk and sugar.
How Many Calories in a Starbucks Chai?
How many calories are in a Chai Tea Latte?

What is a Chai Latte?

A Chai Latte is a spiced black tea mixed with steamed milk and topped with foam. It’s inspired by India’s masala chai and uses frothing techniques from lattes. The spices used will vary from café to café; some coffee shops create signature chai blends and keep the ingredients a secret.

Despite the fact that it’s served in coffee shops like Starbucks, and named after the latte, it actually contains no coffee whatsoever (but it does contain caffeine).

A Chai Tea Latte In A Mug With Spice Sprinkled On It
Chais have strong cinnamon and cardamom flavors

I first discovered the magic of Chai back in 1998, working at a Borders Books & Music in Detroit. Instead of the liquid concentrate you find in today’s cafes, we used a powdered mix. I’ll always remember that first sip. It was like nothing I’d ever tasted before.

Key Ingredients

A Starbucks chai latte is crafted with a special chai concentrate, steamed milk at 2% fat, and a layer of milk foam. The exact recipe of the Starbucks chai concentrate remains a trade secret.

If you’re aiming to recreate this chai latte in your kitchen, note that the Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate you can buy online or at supermarkets is not an exact match in strength to Starbucks’.

A Bunch Of Chai Spices Including Cardamom, Black Pepper, Ginger, Etc
Chai latte ingredients

Good news: you can DIY your own Starbucks-like chai concentrate with ingredients you can snag from any supermarket. One approach, found here, uses black tea, key chai spices like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, and either light brown sugar or Truvia for a sweet touch.

Another recipe opts for loose leaf chai tea, light brown sugar or Truvia, and a drizzle of honey. And yet another option suggests 4 cups of water, a 1/3 cup of sugar, a piece of ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods.

How Many Calories in a Chai Latte From Starbucks?

The calorie count in a Starbucks Chai Latte varies based on the size you choose. Generally speaking, these drinks are high in sugar and total carbs. Below, you’ll find the calorie details for each size, along with Weight Watchers points. All these numbers are calculated using 2% milk.

(8oz) Short Chai Latte Nutrition

  • Calories: 120 (20 from fat)
  • Fat: 2 grams (1.5 grams saturated)
  • Caffeine: 50mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22g (21g sugar)
  • Protein: 4g
  • Vitamin A: 4% DV
C9D6E5D2

(12oz) Tall Chai Latte Nutrition

  • Total calories: 180 (30 from fat)
  • Total fat: 3 grams (2 grams saturated)
  • Caffeine: 75 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 33 grams (31 grams from sugar)
  • Protein: 6 grams

(16oz) Grande Chai Latte Nutrition

  • Total calories: 240 (35 from fat)
  • Total fat: 4 grams (2.5 grams saturated)
  • Caffeine: 100 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 44 grams (41 grams from sugar)
  • Protein: 7 grams

(20oz) Venti Chai Latte Nutrition

  • Total calories: 310 (50 from fat)
  • Total fat: 6 grams (3 grams saturated)
  • Caffeine: 120 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 56 grams (53 grams from sugar)
  • Protein: 10 grams

Complete Chai Latte Nutrition Breakdown

Here are the nutrition facts and Weight Watchers points of different sizes of the Chai Latte from Starbucks:

Chai SizeFl. oz.Cal.Total FatSaturated FatTotal CarbsSugarProtein
Short81202g1.5g22g21g4g
Tall121803g2g33g31g6g
Grande162404g2.5g44g41g7g
Venti203106g3g56g53g10g
Chai Latte complete nutrition breakdown

Chai Latte Weight Watchers Points

Chai SizeFreestyle PointsSmartPointsPointsPlus
Short663
Tall995
Grande12127
Venti16169
Chai Latte Weight Watchers Points

Calorie Sources

  • The calories in chai lattes come predominantly from added sugar. A tall chai latte contains 31g of sugar, contributing 124 calories 4.
  • The milk contributes additional calories depending on fat content. Whole milk adds more calories than nonfat milk 45.
  • A homemade chai latte with tea bags, spices, and lowfat milk has around 100 calories for a tall serving, due to less added sugar 3

How can I make a chai latte healthier?

If you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, there are a few additional ways to reduce the calorie count in a chai tea latte. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a smaller size to cut calories, like a Tall at Starbucks.
  2. Reduce chai syrup pumps to decrease calories and sugar.
  3. Ask for unsweetened chai tea and add your own sweeteners.
  4. Use non-dairy milk like almond or coconut for fewer calories.
  5. Brew chai tea at home with tea bags to avoid extra sugar.
  6. Add your own spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger instead of syrup.

How many calories are in a Grande Chai Tea Latte with Oat Milk?

A grande chai tea latte with oat milk from Starbucks contains 240 calories. However, the calorie count can vary depending on the size of the drink and any additional toppings or sweeteners that are added. For example, a venti chai tea latte with oat milk contains 310 calories, while a tall chai tea latte with oat milk contains 170 calories.

What are the ingredients in a Grande Chai Tea Latte with Oat Milk?

The ingredients in a grande chai tea latte with oat milk include brewed chai tea, steamed oat milk, and a pump of chai syrup. The chai syrup contains sugar, water, black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and natural flavors. The oat milk used in the drink is made from oats, water, and other natural ingredients.

While the oat milk used in the drink is a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, the chai syrup contains a significant amount of sugar. One pump of chai syrup contains 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar. A grande chai tea latte with oat milk typically contains four pumps of chai syrup, which means that it contains 80 calories and 20 grams of sugar from the syrup alone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What plant-based milk goes best with chai?

My personal favorite is oak milk. It’s the lowest calorie plant-based milk available and it complements the flavor of chai very well.

Are there allergens in chai tea lattes?

Chai lattes typically contain milk, which is an allergen. It’s important to note that most fast food restaurants can’t guarantee that any product is free of allergens as they often use shared equipment for preparing foods.

What’s a dirty chai tea latte?

A dirty chai latte is a regular chai latte with an added shot of espresso, resulting in a darker color. You can also explore other coffee house jargon, like ordering a Red Eye (coffee with 1 shot of espresso) or a Black Eye (coffee with 2 shots of espresso).

What are the health benefits of drinking a chai latte?

Chai tea lattes can have a number of excellent effects on your health due to their caffeine and antioxidant content. This includes reducing inflammation, preventing chronic disease, supporting digestive health, preventing blood sugar fluctuation, strengthening bone mineral density, and aiding in weight loss efforts​4,5

What are the potential negative effects of drinking a chai latte?

The caffeine in chai lattes may cause elevated blood pressure, leading to increased anxiety6. In large quantities, chai lattes can also cause gastrointestinal distress and constipation and may worsen nervous disorders.

Does a chai latte contain caffeine?

Yes, chai lattes contain caffeine. Since chai tea is made from a blend of black tea and spices, an 8oz chai contains between 40-50 milligrams of caffeine, about 1/3 the amount you would get from a cup of coffee​.

Chai SizeCaffeine Content (mg)
Short50
Tall70
Grande95
Venti120
Caffeine content in chai lattes
How Many Calories In A Chai Latte From Starbucks Infographic
Chai Latte Nutrition Infographic

Conclusion

A grande chai tea latte with oat milk may seem like a healthy option, but it can be deceivingly high in calories and sugar. By making a few simple changes, such as reducing the amount of chai syrup or using unsweetened oat milk, you can enjoy a healthier version of this popular drink. Remember to pay attention to the nutritional information of the drinks you consume and make informed choices that align with your health and wellness goals.

References

  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/chai-tea-latte.html
  2. https://thegoldenlamb.com/coffee-science/is-iced-coffee-good-for-you/#easy-footnote-bottom-5-13279
  3. Barcelos RP, Lima FD, Carvalho NR, Bresciani G, Royes LF. Caffeine effects on systemic metabolism, oxidative-inflammatory pathways, and exercise performance. Nutr Res. 2020 Aug;80:1-17. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2020.05.005. Epub 2020 May 16. PMID: 32589582.
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/chai-tea-latte.html
  5. https://thegoldenlamb.com/coffee-science/is-iced-coffee-good-for-you/#easy-footnote-bottom-5-13279
  6. Barcelos RP, Lima FD, Carvalho NR, Bresciani G, Royes LF. Caffeine effects on systemic metabolism, oxidative-inflammatory pathways, and exercise performance. Nutr Res. 2020 Aug;80:1-17. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2020.05.005. Epub 2020 May 16. PMID: 32589582.
Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
With over two decades in the coffee industry, Kelsey is a seasoned professional barista with roots in Seattle and Santa Barbara. Accredited by The Coffee Association of America and a member of The Baristas Guild, he combines practical expertise with a profound understanding of coffee's history and cultural significance. Kelsey tries his best to balance family time with blogging time and fails miserably.

Leave a Comment