A Starbucks grande (16 oz) chai tea latte made with almond milk contains approximately 230 calories. The calorie count can vary slightly depending on customizations, but a standard grande chai tea latte with almond milk has around 230 calories.
Calories in Starbucks Chai Tea Latte with Almond Milk
Starbucks offers the chai tea latte, also called a “chai latte,” in several sizes. Here are the approximate calories for each size made with almond milk:
|Size||Calories (Almond Milk)|
|Tall (12 oz)||180|
|Grande (16 oz)||230|
|Venti (20 oz)||280|
As you can see, the grande chai latte with almond milk contains about 230 calories. The calorie counts are estimated based on Starbucks nutrition information and can vary slightly depending on customizations.
Factors Affecting Calorie Count
Several factors can result in slight variation in the calorie count:
- Milk – Using nonfat milk instead of almond milk reduces calories by about 60-80 calories per drink.
- Customizations – Adding whipped cream, extra pumps of chai syrup, or other customizations increases calories.
- Recipe variation – The amount of chai concentrate and steamed milk can vary slightly between baristas.
However, these variations are usually small. A grande chai latte with almond milk almost always contains around 230 calories.
Nutrition Information for Chai Tea Latte
Here is the nutrition information for a grande (16 oz) Starbucks chai tea latte made with almond milk:
|Total Fat||9 g|
|Saturated Fat||4.5 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||33 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|
As you can see, the chai latte is high in calories, fat, and sugar compared to most Starbucks drinks. This is largely due to the chai syrup concentrate which contains sugar and dairy ingredients. Using almond milk instead of regular milk reduces the calories and saturated fat compared to making it with 2% milk.
Here is the macronutrient breakdown for the calories in a grande chai latte with almond milk:
- Fat: 33% of calories
- Carbs: 57% of calories
- Protein: 10% of calories
Over half the calories come from carbohydrates. About a third comes from fat. So the chai latte is relatively high in carbs and fat compared to protein.
Comparing Chai Latte and Coffee Drinks
How does the chai tea latte compare to other Starbucks drinks in terms of calories and nutrition?
A grande cafe latte with almond milk contains about 100 calories, while a grande cafe mocha with almond milk has around 180 calories.
So the chai tea latte is significantly higher in calories than these coffee-based drinks.
Here is a comparison of the calories and fat in a grande size of these Starbucks drinks made with almond milk:
|Drink||Calories||Total Fat (g)|
|Chai tea latte||230||9|
The chai latte has over twice as many calories as the cafe latte. The cafe mocha is lower in calories than the chai, but still significantly higher than the latte.
Reasons for Calorie Differences
There are two main reasons for the large calorie differences between these drinks:
- Chai concentrate – The chai syrup concentrate contains sugar, honey, and dairy ingredients.
- No espresso – Chai lattes do not contain espresso shots like cafe lattes and cappuccinos.
The chai concentrate adds a lot of calories, while the lack of espresso means no caffeine boost to increase metabolism. So the chai latte ends up with a high calorie count for a coffeehouse drink.
Tips for Reducing Calories in Chai Latte
Here are some tips for reducing the calories if you want to make your chai tea latte a bit healthier:
- Request fewer pumps of chai concentrate. The standard is 4 pumps for a grande.
- Ask for nonfat or low-fat milk instead of almond milk.
- Order a small size. Go for a tall rather than a grande.
- Skip the whipped cream topping to avoid extra fat and calories.
- Ask for less sweetness. You can even request no sweetener added.
Making these customizations can potentially reduce the calories in a grande chai latte by 50-100 calories.
You can also ask for half hot water and half steamed milk. This cuts the calories since water has no calories.
Low Calorie Chai Latte Options
Here are some low calorie chai options under 100 calories:
- Tall nonfat chai latte with no sweetener (60 calories)
- Tall chai tea bag with steamed nonfat milk (35 calories)
- Grande chai tea bag with half steamed nonfat milk and half water (40 calories)
So you can still enjoy a chai tea latte from Starbucks without all the extra calories of the full-sweetness version made with almond milk and chai concentrate. Customize it to keep the calories low.
Chai Latte Nutrition Benefits
Despite the high calorie and sugar content, chai tea lattes made properly do provide some valuable nutrition:
- Antioxidants – Chai tea contains antioxidants from black tea and spices like cinnamon which help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Essential nutrients – Black tea provides small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
- Spice benefits – Ginger and cinnamon have natural compounds that reduce nausea, regulate blood sugar, and improve cholesterol levels.
- Low in caffeine – Chai tea has less caffeine than coffee, making it unlikely to cause jitteriness or anxiety.
So while the chai latte is high in calories, it does provide more nutrients than heavily sweetened coffee drinks.
Most Nutritious Way to Drink Chai Latte
To maximize nutrition, the best way to drink a chai tea latte is:
- Small size – Choose tall rather than venti to limit calories.
- Nonfat milk – Use nonfat or low-fat milk to reduce saturated fat.
- No sweetener – Skip the added sugars and sweeteners.
- Real chai – Opt for chai tea bags instead of concentrate.
This provides the benefits of spices, black tea, milk nutrients, and low calories. The antioxidant content is much higher with real brewed chai tea compared to the concentrate.
Popularity of Chai Lattes at Starbucks
Chai tea lattes are one of Starbucks most popular seasonal and holiday drinks. Here are some facts about their popularity:
- Introduced in 1999 – Chai lattes have been on the Starbucks menu for over 20 years.
- Featured fall drink – It’s branded as a signature fall and holiday beverage.
- High demand – Baristas report it’s one of the most labor-intensive drinks due to high demand.
- Popular customizations – Adding pumps of vanilla or pumpkin spice is a common request.
- Holiday tradition – Many customers consider it an essential part of their holiday ritual.
The chai latte has become ingrained in Starbucks culture. For many regular customers, it’s a nostalgic treat that brings back memories of past holidays and seasons.
Reasons for Popularity of Chai Lattes
There are several reasons chai tea lattes have reached mass popularity:
- Comforting flavor – Warm, spicy, mildly sweet chai is comforting on cold days.
- Caffeine – It provides a caffeine boost from black tea.
- Milkiness – The steamed milk makes it creamy and latte-like.
- Customizability – It can be customized with pumps, milk choices, and toppings.
- Tradition – Drinking chai is a tradition in various cultures globally.
The chai latte brings together the appeal of fall spices, customizable milk drinks, and cultural tradition. This makes it a perennial favorite that drives sales every holiday season.
A Starbucks grande chai tea latte made with almond milk contains about 230 calories. This is significantly higher than coffee drinks due to the chai concentrate and lack of espresso. But customizations like nonfat milk, fewer pumps, and smaller sizes can reduce the calories to under 100. While high in sugar, the chai latte does provide antioxidants from spices and black tea that provide some health benefits. The popularity of chai lattes at Starbucks has made it a beloved holiday tradition for many customers.