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How much Caffeine there is in Chai Latte

Chai lattes consistently hold a cherished spot at our favorite bar, offering a comforting warmth during chilly winter days or a refreshing coolness as an iced delight in the summer. Lately, we’ve been pondering a question – just how much caffeine is present in the classic Masala Chai, the spiced black tea, and how does its caffeine content stack up against that of coffee and other tea varieties?

chai latte
Easy Chai Latte
Prep: 2 mins Total: 5 mins Yields: 2

What is Chai Latte?

Chai latte, a globally cherished beverage, seamlessly blends tea, aromatic spices, and milk to create a comforting elixir. Rooted in Indian tradition, traditional masala chai, often referred to as spiced black tea, intricately combines “Masala,” denoting a blend of Indian spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and more, with the robustness of black tea, typically Assam or Ceylon Orange Pekoe. The linguistic evolution of the term “chai” has led to a redundancy in Western usage, where “chai tea” is commonly used to describe what is essentially “spiced tea.”

Chai tea holds a special place in the hearts of tea enthusiasts, and its benefits go beyond just being a delightful beverage. Recent research suggests that the polyphenols found in tea, especially the theanine in Chai Tea, are associated with heightened attention and focus, contribute to cardiovascular health, and may even offer protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The spices infused in Chai Tea also bring their own historical health benefits, having been treasured for thousands of years.


  • Milk – 2 cups of milk of choice
  • Tea bags – 2 black tea bags
  • Ground cinnamon – 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger – 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Ground cloves – 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (or substitute with allspice)
  • Maple syrup – 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

How to make Chai Latte?

  1. Prepare milk tea. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it starts bubbling. Turn off the heat, add 2 tea bags, steep for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the bags.
  2. Add the spices. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and maple syrup. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture is piping hot. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve promptly.
  3. Serve. Serve the brewed tea in mugs and, if desired, enhance it with additional milk foam and a dash of cinnamon.

Does Chai Tea have Caffeine?

Now, let’s talk about the caffeine in chai, and how it sets itself apart from the caffeine in coffee. A standard cup of chai tea, meticulously prepared, contains around 40mg of caffeine (equivalent to 4 oz of black tea), a fraction compared to the approximately 120mg found in an average cup of coffee. But beyond the quantitative difference lies a fascinating distinction in the way caffeine interacts with tea components.

Unlike the rapid absorption of caffeine in coffee, the caffeine in chai engages with the tannins in tea, resulting in a slower and more gradual release. This interaction has a calming effect on the nervous system, avoiding the abrupt caffeine “shock” often associated with coffee consumption. Instead, chai induces a state of calm alertness, marked by the characteristic alpha brain wave patterns. What’s more, this gentle caffeine release means you can savor multiple cups of chai without the risk of caffeine addiction or the unpleasant headaches that can accompany withdrawal.

For those who are highly sensitive to caffeine, there’s a solution. Rooibos Chai, being naturally caffeine-free, or opting for a decaffeinated version allows you to enjoy the goodness of chai without the stimulant effects. Chai, therefore, becomes a mentally clarifying and energizing beverage, offering a subtle “pick me up” without the jitteriness or nervousness associated with a coffee buzz and its subsequent crash.

Beyond its health benefits and unique caffeine dynamics, chai stands out as a rich and flavorful alternative to standard tea. Its robust body and nuanced taste make it an ideal substitute for coffee, challenging the notion that tea is typically weak and watery. Dive into the chai vs. coffee challenge and discover how chai can be a delightful and satisfying replacement for your regular coffee fix.

Advantages of Chai Latte

Caffeine in tea vs coffee

Beyond its stimulating effects, caffeine in tea offers a unique interaction with the body. Unlike coffee, tea’s caffeine bonds with tannins, resulting in a more prolonged and stable release. This distinctive bonding also influences how tea caffeine interacts with the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, providing stimulation without the intense excitant impact seen with coffee.

Now let’s compare the caffeine of coffee and different teas per 16 oz cup as specified by Saratoga Tea Company:

  • Coffee (192mg)
  • Black Tea (22-58mg)
  • White Tea (15-32mg)
  • Oolong Tea (17-49mg)
  • Matcha (126mg)

Why Caffeine is a double-edged sword?

What is caffeine? What are the benefits of consuming drinks with caffeine? Are there downsides to consuming caffeine? These are some of the questions that come to mind when we drink tea or coffee.

Caffeine, a natural stimulant found in tea and coffee, is a subject of fascination and scrutiny. Its ability to enhance alertness and improve mood is counterbalanced by potential drawbacks like insomnia, increased heart rate and anxiety. It works by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and explains its several benefits, including heightened focus, improved physical performance, and a temporary boost in energy. For those embracing a chai latte routine, understanding the caffeine dynamics becomes paramount for a balanced lifestyle.

How much caffeine is in a Chai Latte?

Understanding how much caffeine is in chai lattes involves various factors. The type of tea used plays a crucial role, with black tea-based chai lattes packing a more potent caffeine punch than their green or herbal counterparts. Additionally, the brewing process, tea-to-milk ratio, and overall composition contribute to the caffeine content.

Exploring specific chai blends, such as Golden Dragon Chai, Pumpkin Pie Spice Chai, and Saratoga Red Chai, adds depth to our understanding. Each blend carries its caffeine fingerprint, offering a spectrum of options to cater to diverse preferences.

Caffeine in different types of chai lattes

  • Traditional Black Tea Chai Latte: The robust flavour of black tea imparts approximately 40-50 milligrams of caffeine, akin to a cup of green tea.
  • Green Tea Chai Latte: Opting for a lighter taste, green tea chai lattes hover around 20-30 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Herbal Chai Latte: For those steering clear of caffeine, herbal chai lattes offer a delightful, stimulant-free alternative.

Factors that affect caffeine levels in chai lattes

  • Tea Type: The caffeine spectrum varies based on the tea type, from the robust black to the gentler green and caffeine-free herbal infusions.
  • Brewing Time and Temperature: Adjusting brewing time and temperature allows enthusiasts to control the intensity of flavor and caffeine concentration.
  • Tea-to-Milk Ratio: The delicate balance between tea and milk in a chai latte influences the overall caffeine profile.

Examining how tea infusion time affects caffeine release provides valuable insights. While the majority of caffeine is released within the first 3 minutes of steeping, the curve continues, leveling out around 10 minutes. This information sheds light on the subtle relationship between brewing duration and caffeine concentration.

Caffeine in chai tea vs chai lattes

While chai tea and chai lattes are often used interchangeably, nuances exist. Chai tea encompasses the spiced tea infusion, while chai lattes involve the addition of steamed milk. The latter may exhibit slightly lower caffeine concentration due to dilution with milk.

Caffeine in chai latte vs coffee

  • Chai Latte: An 8-ounce chai latte carries approximately 25-50 milligrams of caffeine, offering a milder, sustained energy boost compared to coffee.
  • Coffee: In contrast, an 8-ounce cup of coffee packs around 95 milligrams of caffeine, delivering a quicker, more intense energy surge but potentially accompanied by jitters and a rapid energy crash.


In answering about the caffeine in chai lattes we explored specific chai blends and delved into the nuances of tea brewing to enrich our understanding of this beloved tea. Whether sipping traditional black tea chai or opting for a caffeine-free herbal infusion, the world of chai lattes caters to diverse tastes, combining tradition with a nuanced appreciation for the caffeine-infused symphony within each cup.

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chai latte

How much Caffeine there is in Chai Latte

Caroline Sciberras
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Calories 227.21 kcal


  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of choice


  • Prepare milk tea. Warm the milk in a saucepan until it starts bubbling. Turn off the heat, add 2 tea bags, steep for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the bags.
  • Add the spices. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and maple syrup. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture is piping hot. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve promptly.
  • Serve. Serve the brewed tea in mugs and, if desired, enhance it with additional milk foam and a dash of cinnamon.


Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Enjoy chilled over ice or reheat on the stove as needed.
Substitute ground cloves for allspice if unavailable.
You can choose from various black tea options, ranging from Darjeeling to English breakfast, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated.
Due to the use of ground spices, expect more sediment; for a smoother texture, consider straining the chai latte through a fine mesh sieve as you pour it into the mug.

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