How do I reduce calories in Starbucks chai tea latte?

Use nonfat milk

One of the easiest ways to reduce the calories in a Starbucks chai tea latte is to order it made with nonfat milk instead of 2% milk. A grande (16 oz) chai tea latte made with 2% milk contains 250 calories. Switching to nonfat milk reduces that to 190 calories, shaving off 60 calories. You still get the rich, spicy flavor of the chai tea lattes but with less fat and calories.

Ask for less pumps of chai syrup

Starbucks chai tea lattes get their sweetness from a sugary chai syrup that is added to the steamed milk. A grande chai tea latte automatically comes with 4 pumps of chai syrup, which adds 120 calories. Asking for just 3 pumps removes 30 calories, bringing a grande down to 220 calories. If you want an even lighter drink, ask for just 2 pumps to remove 60 calories, or only 1 pump to cut out 90 calories. The chai flavor will not be as strong, but you’ll save on calories.

Request it made with soy milk

Ordering a chai tea latte prepared with soy milk instead of 2% dairy milk is another simple way to reduce the calories. Soy milk only has about 100 calories per cup while 2% milk has about 125 calories per cup. A grande chai tea latte made with soy milk contains 200 calories versus 250 calories with 2% milk. Soy milk also gives you the health benefits of soy like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Ask for sugar-free syrup

If you really want to slash the calories in your chai tea latte, ask for it to be made with sugar-free syrup instead of the regular chai syrup. The sugar-free chai syrup has 0 calories compared to the 120 calories in the 4 pumps of regular syrup used in a grande latte. Getting it with sugar-free syrup cuts the calories of a grande down to just 130. The taste won’t be quite as sweet, but you’ll save 120 calories!

Order a small size

Going down a size is one of the simplest ways to cut down on calories. Rather than ordering a grandee, opt for a tall chai tea latte which is 12 oz instead of 16 oz. A tall made with 2% milk and regular chai syrup contains 170 calories versus 250 for the grande. Choose a short 8 oz chai tea latte and you’ll only get 130 calories. You may miss those extra sips from the larger sizes, but your waistline will thank you.

Ask for it light on the milk

Since a chai tea latke is mostly steamed milk, asking for less milk is an effective way to reduce the calorie count. Request it made “light on the milk” and the barista will use less milk than the standard recipe. With less high-calorie milk, you may cut up to 50 calories from the drink. It may taste a bit stronger of the chai tea concentrate, but you’ll get the savings in calories.

Add cinnamon powder

Boost the flavor of your low-cal chai tea latke with a dash of cinnamon powder on top. This adds virtually no calories but gives a warm, spicy taste that enhances the chai spices. Cinnamon also has health benefits like stabilizing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and improving heart health. Sprinkling just a pinch of cinnamon makes the reduced-calorie chai tea latte more satisfying.

Use stevia instead of sugar

To avoid the calories of added sugar, ask for your chai tea latte to be sweetened with stevia instead. Stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener made from the stevia leaf. Using stevia rather than sugar saves about 30 calories in a grande chai tea latte. Plus, stevia does not spike blood sugar like regular sugar does. Your chai latte will have a light sweet taste with no extra calories or affect on blood sugar.

Skip the whipped cream

It may be tempting to top your chai tea latte with fluffy whipped cream, but this adds significant calories and fat. Just 1 tablespoon of whipped cream contains about 30 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat. Leave off the whipped topping and you’ll slash nearly 30 calories off your drink. If you really love whipped cream, ask for just 1/2 a tablespoon, saving about 15 calories.

Use almond milk

Nut milks like almond milk tend to be lower in calories than dairy milk. Ordering a chai tea latte made with unsweetened almond milk instead of 2% dairy milk can reduce the calories by around 30-50 calories depending on the brand of almond milk used. Plus, almond milk provides nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and antioxidants. The nutty flavor of almond milk complements the spicy chai tea well.

Ask for half water, half milk

Cut the calorie count of the milk in your chai tea latte by asking for it made with half water and half milk. This halves the calories coming from the milk while still giving creaminess and a touch of dairy flavor. For example, getting a grande made with 8 oz nonfat milk and 8 oz water saves around 50 calories compared to using all milk. The chai flavor remains robust even with diluted milk.

Get it iced

Cool down with an iced chai tea latte instead of a hot one to trim some calories. Because iced drinks use less milk than hot ones, an iced chai tea latte made with 2% milk clocks in around 200 calories for a grande, versus 250 calories for a hot grande latte. You’ll get the same chai spice flavor chilled over ice. For even lower calories, customize your iced chai with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrup.

Use cafe almond milk

Starbucks cafe almond milk is an excellent lower-calorie milk option for chai tea lattes. A grande chai latte made with Starbucks cafe almond milk contains about 40-60 fewer calories than one made with 2% dairy milk, depending on your customizations. Plus, Starbucks cafe almond milk has a creamy, frothy texture that makes a satisfying chai latte. Try almond milk combined with sugar-free syrup for maximum calorie savings.

Add a shot of espresso

Give your low-cal chai tea latte an energy boost with a shot of espresso. This adds only about 5 calories but punches up the flavor and caffeine level. The espresso complements the spicy chai spices for a more robust, intense latte flavor. An espresso shot brings out the natural coffee-like taste of chai tea. Just ask for a grande chai tea latte with 1 added shot.

Get it without water

By default, Starbucks chai tea lattes are made with both steamed milk and hot water added to the chai concentrate. Requesting it made with just milk and no water concentrates the chai flavor while removing about 10-20 calories from a grande. Eliminating the water allows for extra milk within the calorie budget. Feel free to ask your barista to add less milk if you want to cut more calories.

Order a custom “skinny” chai latte

Your best bet for a low-calorie chai tea latte is to order a customized “skinny” version. Ask for it to be made with sugar-free chai, nonfat milk, no whipped cream, and no water, ideally in a small size. This will create a skinnier chai latte with around 100 calories or less. The biggest reductions come from sugar-free syrup and nonfat milk. Customize it to your own calorie goals.

Brew your own chai tea

Making chai tea lattes at home gives you full control over the ingredients and calorie content. Simply brew strong black tea with chai spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. Add warmed nonfat or almond milk and a small amount of sugar or stevia for sweetening. You can easily craft a delicious chai with well under 100 calories by tweaking the ingredients. It also costs a fraction of buying chai lattes out.


Starbucks chai tea lattes are a tasty treat but can pack in a lot of calories from their milk, syrup, and whipped cream. Luckily, there are many easy ways to reduce the calories in your chai latte. Choosing nonfat or soy milk, asking for less chai syrup, getting sugar-free syrup, and customizing a “skinny” version can all slash calories while letting you savor the spicy chai flavor. With small tweaks to your order, you can enjoy this cozy drink while maintaining your healthy diet. Sipping a customized lower-cal chai is an excellent way to spice up your day mindfully.

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