A chai tea latte has been growing in popularity in the United States recently. Some people have been weaning themselves off coffee and switching over to tea.
But is a chai tea latte caffeine-free?! Or is it the same as ordering a regular latte? This is what we found out…
Does Starbucks Chai Tea Contain Caffeine?
The chai tea sold at Starbucks does contain caffeine, but the amount depends on the size of your chai and how you ask for it to be made. A grande chai tea latte has 95mg of caffeine while a short has 50mg. And then there’s the dirty chai latte which has about 160 mg of caffeine.
Here we will take a look at the Starbucks tea menu and the caffeine content of the individual drinks, and what you can look for if you want the tea experience without the caffeine boost….
What Is Chai Tea?
Chai tea originated in India and it’s history dates back 5000 years. In India, the word “chai” means “tea”, but in the west, the word “chai” refers to a particular flavour or style of tea.
Chai tea is a spiced tea made by boiling black tea leaves in water and milk and adding a mix of aromatic herbs and spices.
The spices are typically strong and pungent, and include cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper. Milk and sweeteners are also important components of a chai tea.
How Much Caffeine Is In Starbucks Chai Tea?
The chai teas at Starbucks typically contain around 40mg per serve, and this is because chai tea is made with black tea leaves, which naturally contain caffeine.
However, this also depends on what you ask for and how you like it made.
For example, the large (or grande) chai tea choice contains around 90mg of caffeine.
There’s also an option when building your tea to edit toppings, flavours, sugars, and milk – and of course, caffeine.
This means that if you’re after an extra kick, you can add an espresso shot to your chai regardless of the size you ordered.
Does Starbucks Chai Tea Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?
Your chai tea can have the same amount of caffeine as a typical coffee, or even more! It all depends on the contents of your cup and the size of your drink.
Chai tea at Starbucks is typically lower in caffeine than the average coffee because tea leaves are generally lower in caffeine than coffee beans.
However, Starbucks construct their chai using “pumps” of chai syrup and the number of pumps they add depends on your cup size.
- A hot short contains 2 pumps
- A hot tall contains 3 pumps
- A hot grande contains 4 pumps
- A venti receives 5 pumps
- An iced chai tall is made with 3 pumps
- An iced grande has 4 pumps
- An iced venti will have 6 pumps
Do Starbucks Sell Caffeine Free Tea?
Starbucks sell a fabulous range of teas, and they range from the highly caffeinated chai drinks to the low caffeine and caffeine free varieties.
The following herbal teas at Starbucks contain no caffeine:
- Iced passion tango tea lemonade (this drink is tea flavoured rather than an actual tea)
- Mint majesty (hot)
- Peach tranquillity (hot)
- Iced passion tango tea
- Comfort Brewed Wellness tea (hot)
The following Starbucks teas are low in caffeine:
- Iced black tea
- Iced white tea
- Iced green tea
- Honey citrus mint tea (hot)
- Emperor’s cloud and mist tea (hot)
The following Starbucks teas contain 16mg or less of caffeine:
- Emperor’s cloud and mist tea
- Honey citrus mint tea
The following Starbucks teas contain a medium level of caffeine:
- English royal breakfast tea (hot)
- Iced London fog tea latte
- Iced royal breakfast tea latte
- London fog latte (hot)
- Jade citrus mint (hot)
- Earl Grey (hot)
- Chai tea (hot) (if not in the grande size)
The following Starbucks teas are high in caffeine:
- Matcha green tea latte (hot)
- Iced chai tea latte
- Iced matcha green tea latte
- Chai tea latte (hot)
What Are The Different Starbucks Chai Teas?
The chai teas available at Starbucks come in four styles and are noted for their higher levels of caffeine.
- Matcha Green Tea Latte (80 mg)
- Chai Tea Latte (95 mg)
- Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte (80 mg)
- Iced Chai Tea Latte (95 mg)
Matcha teas are made from green tea powder. This means that the tea is dissolved through your drink, unlike tea bag drinks which are removed when the desired consistency is reached.
Drinking a matcha tea means consuming all of the tea powder and the caffeine it contains.
Therefore, if you like the matcha tea, ask for it made with a tea bag rather than the powder form.
Although Chai tea is commonly regarded as a health drink, it does contain caffeine. This certainly doesn’t make it a bad drink, it just means we should take note of the tea we choose, the ingredients it is made up of, the portion size we normally choose, and the number of them we consume each day.
Starbucks chai teas are certainly caffeinated and are available in a range of styles and sizes, so best practice is to scrutinize your tea, choose when best to enjoy it, and have an alternative tea to enjoy when you’ve had enough caffeine for the day.