What Does Chai Taste Like?

As you’ve probably heard before, chai is “tea,” as in a warm drink made from infusing black tea leaves in water.

The way chai is made varies a lot from one region to the other. After all, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world! In most western countries, when a menu says “Chai,” they’re likely referring to masala chai. 

Chai is often considered an alternative to Hot Chocolate.

So, what does chai taste like? Well, chai tastes like a warm embrace! It has a familiar spice to it that radiates warmness, comfort, and generosity. Let’s see how we can break down this flavor for you.

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Your First Cup: What Does Chai Taste Like?

If you’ve finally decided to catch up with the trend and try chai, you might find the options overwhelming. There’s too much to choose from, with milk or black, spiced or mild, creamy or light. The list of possibilities goes on and on.

The most common description of a cup of chai is that it will be robust and earthy in flavor and also a little bit alkaline. Chai can also exhibit sweet and spicy flavor also offering nutmeg aftertaste. 

Chai however really is not at all salty. However, so may say it might be a little bitter but in a nice way. Most folks will add milk or creamer making the chai creamy and a little thick. If not, it’s considered a light drink that suits most dishes and snacks.

What does dunkin donuts vanilla chai taste like?
What does dunkin donuts vanilla chai taste like?

What’s in a Cup of Chai?

To know what to expect from your first cup of chai, let’s see what kind of ingredients are used to give tea this array of flavors.

Herbs and Spices

Regardless of the regional differences, herbs are the number one additive to black tea. Some spices give chai its unique aromas like anise, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, or fennel. Meanwhile, others have numerous health benefits like lemon or ginger.

Most recipes are flexible, so feel free to add any ingredients you like.


Tea and milk are a classic combo. In chai latte, the focus is on the flavor you’ll get from the milk or the creamer. Try creamy chai with cinnamon for a nice winter drink. The have even been people making a purple chai using ube, which has a sweet taste.


Honey is the go-to chai sweetener, but of course, sugar can be added according to taste. If you’re not used to spicy beverages, we recommend toning the flavor down with milk and a sweetener. Caramel can also sweeten up your chai.

Masala Chai

Masala chai is an Indian spiced tea. Masala chai can have a really wide range of spice blends, from black pepper to basil. Some people even enjoy adding rose petals to give it that extra fragrance blast.

If you’re into heavily spices cuisine, masala’s the chai for you.

What’s the difference between a dirty chai latte and a chai latte?

Chai is a popular drink in India and has been around for centuries. It’s usually served hot and sweetened with milk. The drink was originally created to aid digestion but nowadays it’s enjoyed as an afternoon pick me up.

But what exactly is a ‘dirty’ chai latte? Is it just a regular chai latte with a shot of espresso and often extra sugar? 

What kind of tea can be used to make a chai latte?

  • the kind of tea is typically black tea. Normally strong and dark black tea is used. You want something rich enough to imbibe and integrate with the many flavorful spices used to make chai.
  • In India, it is common to use Assam, Darjeeling because it is grown there.

How do you know if the milk is hot enough for your chai latte?

Heat the milk between 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not boil the milk for chai. If the milk is a lower temperature, the chai drink tends to feel softer.  I like the milk to have a little froth.

What does Dunkin donuts vanilla chai taste like?

The taste of Dunkin donuts Vanilla Chai tastes like a real Chai with a nice velvety and smooth taste. Dunkin donuts chai does not have a bitter taste at all but is not over sweet either. – This is also similar to a Starbucks chai tea also,

Does Chai Taste Like Pumpkin?

Many “pumpkin-spice” drinks have a taste akin chai. The main difference between a spiced pumpkin latte and a chai latte is no cardamom or vanilla in the pumpkin tea.

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The real difference between a dirty chai latte and a chai latte?
What is the real difference between a dirty chai latte and a chai latte?

Final Thoughts on Chai

When asked, “what does chai taste like,” it can be challenging to give a universal answer. Black tea leaves are adaptable and deeply rooted in culture.

In most cases, you should expect an aromatic blend of herbs and spices in chai, raising an earthy flavor that’s embraced in a zesty wave. Chai works well with both savory and sweet. So, grab a cup and see for yourself.

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