A good dirty chai is a magnificent thing to behold: slightly bitter with a touch of sweetness, notes of cinnamon and spices and enough caffeine to get you through any morning. We rounded up five of our favorite chais from the city, with a bonus cocktail for good measure. Add a shot of espresso (or two), and get your morning going.
Coffeestamp prides itself on ethically sourcing its coffee, so you can feel good about the espresso that you’re adding to your chai. Its version is warm up front, with a touch of spice that hits you after your drink it. Our favorite way to order it? Iced, half-sweet with one shot of espresso and oat milk.
2511 S. Jefferson Ave., Fox Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-797-8113, coffeestamp.com
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Northwest Coffee Roasting Co.
At Northwest, choose from green or black chai, made with Northwest’s housemade spice blend. Its green chai blends traditional chai spices, including cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamom, with the clean, earthy flavor of green tea.
4251 Laclede Ave., Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-371-4600, northwestcoffee.com
Some chai can feel heavy and murky, but Piper’s is aromatic and light. Pipers prides itself on producing its own coffee and tea lines; its chai includes peppercorn, ginger, orange peel, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3701 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri, 314-282-0060, cupofpipers.com
If you like your chai on the spicier and less sweet side, Park Avenue is your go-to. Its slight bitterness pairs well with soy milk. With multiple locations throughout St. Louis, with Park Ave., you’re never far away from a reliable dirty chai.
Multiple locations, parkavenuecoffee.com
Coma sources its chai from Hugo Tea, which describes its version as cardamom- and cinnamon-forward. For even more flavor, add one of Coma’s housemade syrups, which include vanilla and brown sugar toasted sesame.
1034 S. Brentwood Blvd., Richmond Heights, Missouri, 314-250-1042, comacoffee.com
*Honorable mention: Tree House’s Tipsy Dirty Chai
Tree House combines rum and your favorite black tea to make this specialty brunch cocktail. It combines almond milk, Flor de Caña dark rum, crème de cacao, chai syrup and Goshen organic cold brew for a balanced, not-too-strong drink.
3177 S. Grand Blvd., Tower Grove South, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-696-2100, treehousestl.com