Does Chai Latte Have Sugar?

Does chai latte have sugar? We find out.

Does chai latte have sugar. A cup of chai latte with three cinnamon rolls in it and some cinnamon rolls on the table.
Explore to know if Chai latte has sugar in it

Chai lattes are becoming very popular, and most people’s go-to drinks when they don’t feel like a cup of coffee or tea. You can buy a Chai from many coffee shops such as Starbucks, these drinks are delicious, but most of us may be wondering if they are healthy. So does a Chai latte have sugar in it? 

Chai latte has a lot of sugar; an 8-ounce cup has 20g or four teaspoons of sugar. This is almost your total daily sugar intake, according to NHS. A few options with little to no sugar include the Dirty Chai latte and Hot Tea Latte with Chai at Starbucks.

Society is becoming increasingly aware of their health, and many of us want to know whether some of the cafes we go to are providing healthy drink options. As we know, sugar is not healthy, especially when given in large quantities, so we should be asking how much hidden sugar these drinks contain. 

Is There Sugar In Chai Latte?

Chai originated in India about 5,000 to 9,000 years ago, being one of the oldest tea-based drinks. As this drink has become increasingly popular, its recipe has altered slightly based on the brand or coffee shop. The original recipe for a Chai latte in India does contain sugar but probably not nearly as much as the Chais in the western world.

Sugar makes everything taste so much better, so it is used in so many restaurants and cafes. It is good to be mindful of the amount of sugar you consume from these products, especially if you have them regularly. Many of the Chai powders and syrups used by these cafes are packed with sugar, most of them contributing to 20g or four teaspoons of sugar per 8-ounce cup of Chai.

It may be essential to look at how much sugar some popular coffee shops around the world add to their Chai lattes. This may be quite a big shock and may reduce your chai latte intake. 

  • Starbucks United States: in a short 8-ounce cup, there is 21g or four teaspoons of sugar. 
  • Starbucks United Kingdom: contains the same amount as a Starbuck in America. The type of milk used will change the sugar content slightly; if oat milk is added, the sugar will increase to 27g or five and a half teaspoons of sugar.
  • Café Nero: this is a famous coffee shop in England; their cup of Chai contains 25.5g or five teaspoons of sugar.
  • Gloria Jeans: this is an Australian coffee shop; a small chai latte contains 7.2g or one and a half teaspoons of sugar. This option is the best in terms of sugar content compared to the others.
  • Costa coffee: it is a medium latte, with about 49g or 12 teaspoons of sugar; now that is a lot!

To give you more understanding of how much sugar this is, the NHS recommends a daily intake of 30g of free sugars in your diet. You are consuming almost your total daily amount with some of these drinks. 

Can You Get A Chai Latte With No Sugar?

Coffee filter by tea bag
A Chai teabag drink is an alternative option to lower sugar content

You are probably a little shocked as to how much sugar you may have been consuming from your delicious chai latte, and you may be a bit hesitant to continue ordering them. Honestly, this is not a bad idea to stop your usual Starbucks Chai latte order as consuming this much sugar can increase your risk of many diseases. 

But let’s not get despondent as there are a few alternative options to lower the sugar content from your favorite coffee shop. Let us look at two possibilities from Starbucks that are much lower in sugar. So what adds the most sugar to your Chai at Starbucks is the Chai syrup. 

The first alternative option is a Custom Hot Tea Latte with Chai; this is basically a Chai teabag drink turned into a steamer. It contains half a cup of milk, half a cup of hot water, no sugar, and a Chai tea bag. Some people have said it tastes delicious; it has a more intense spice flavor without the overload of sweetness. 

The second option is sticking with the Chai syrup, but in a Dirty Chai latte, this option contains much less sugar than a regular Chai latte. It has less sugar because there is only one pump of Chai syrup compared to 4 with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. This drink is 66% leaner than your regular Chai latte; this is a good option with a good caffeine kick. 

When you go to your next coffee shop, ask them if they have a sugar-free Chai option or a Chai latte drink with less sugar. 

Sugar-Free Chai Latte Options I Can Buy For Home

A glass of chai tea latte on top of a black striped cloth
Sugar-free chai latte products are easier to find in stores than coffee shops

Some of us like to have a chai latte at home, whether a powder or syrup option. The good thing is that it is easier to find a lower sugar or sugar-free chai latte product at the store compared to your nearest coffee shop. Let us look at a few options you can buy:

  • Oregon Chai: this is a sugar and gluten-free Chai tea latte concentrate. 
  • David Rio Mix: is a sugar-free product; there are two options, either the Orca Spice Chai or Flamingo Vanilla Chai.
  • 5 Sparrows Sugar-free spiced chai latte: this latte powder is sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
  • Natures Guru Masala Spice Chai

These options can be bought on Amazon or at your nearest store; if you can find these, then ask if there are other sugar-free products at your food store. 

Final Word On does chai latte have Sugar

Chai lattes have so much sugar in them, but at least there are options with little to no sugar so that we can still enjoy our beloved spicy drink. Sugar is a concern for many as it can increase a person’s risk of many diseases; this is why it’s good to be aware of your sugar intake.

Thankfully, a few sugar-free and low-sugar chai latte options can be ordered at some coffee shops or food stores. This allows us to still enjoy this delicious drink without feeling guilty. 


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.