In a TikTok, a former barista shared a trick for getting a cheaper dirty chai at Starbucks.
I tried it by getting a latte with chai syrup to mimic the taste of a chai-tea latte with espresso.
The latte-based "dirty chai" was cheaper but I don't think it tasted like a dirty chai.
According to a viral TikTok with over 1 million likes, there's an easy way to get a popular Starbucks drink for cheaper — but that doesn't mean it'll taste exactly the same.
Christine Kominek, a former Starbucks barista and houseguest on season 16 of CBS's "Big Brother," posted a TikTok in November about how to get a dirty chai for significantly cheaper. Dirty chai is a popular drink made by adding shots of espresso to a chai latte, which is a tea-based beverage.
According to Kominek, most people order a grande chai latte with two shots of espresso, but it's possible to get a dupe for the drink for less by ordering a latte with chai syrup.
As a lover of all kinds of lattes, I tested both orders to see if the savings were worth it.
I ordered both drinks through the Starbucks app to see the ingredients and price differences
Kominek said in her video that both lattes have the same base price, this wasn't the case at my local Starbucks. I ordered grande sizes, so the plain latte, also called the caffè latte, was $4.45 and the chai-tea latte was $4.75.
Without customizations, the caffè latte includes two shots of espresso, steamed 2% milk, and milk foam. Without customizations, the chai-tea latte is made with four pumps of chai concentrate, water, steamed 2% milk, and milk foam.
The modified latte was over $1.50 cheaper than the basic dirty chai
I added four pumps of chai syrup to my basic latte to match the amount in the dirty chai. This was an extra 60 cents, bringing the total cost of this drink to $5.05.
I added two shots of espresso, the same amount included in a regular latte, to the chai-tea latte for an extra $1.80, bringing the price of the beverage to $6.55.
I was curious if these drinks would taste the same, especially since the chai-tea latte mixes the chai syrup with water.
The classic dirty chai had strong, sweet, and spicy notes
The chai-tea latte with espresso was creamy and sweet, but I got plenty of spice as well.
The milk came through to balance the powerful flavors out. This drink was also very light in color and I didn't taste much of the espresso at all.
My caffè latte with chai syrup tasted more like espresso than anything else
The modified caffè latte was darker in color than the chai-tea latte, but I still expected both drinks to taste the same based on Kominek's video.
However, I thought this drink tasted noticeably different from the chai-tea latte with added espresso. I didn't taste much spice in this latte.
Kominek's tip saved me money, but her trick resulted in two different-tasting drinks
Though both drinks were delicious, they tasted very different from one another.
If I wanted the tea flavor in a dirty chai, I'd order the chai-tea latte with espresso and just deal with the added cost.
If I'm looking for a stronger coffee flavor or to save a buck, I'd order the regular latte with chai syrup. I could add more pumps of chai syrup for a stronger flavor, but I probably wouldn't because the drink is already very sugary.
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