All posts tagged: chai

chai this; chai that.

When in Portland, try all the chai! First up: Seastar Bakery‘s Golden Chai with hazelnut milk, an herbal tisane made with turmeric, ginger, chamomile, citrus, and honey. This was unlike any beverage I’ve ever had. The citrus surprisingly worked really well in the tisane and the turmeric was not overpowering. It was by far my favorite beverage on this trip, and quite possibly from any bakery/cafe I’ve visited. Next up, Prasad‘s dirty chai with coconut mylk, a housemade masala chai blend with a shot of cold-press coffee, sweetened with honey. It was a little sour and a little sweet, but mostly had warm notes from the spices. To wrap up the day, we stopped at Tea Chai Te for…even more tea! Hers and his: Velvet milk oolong with hemp milk and almond milk tea with soy milk and mango popping boba. A lovely afternoon tea break. The next day, we started our morning with Pip’s Original Doughnuts. They serve their chai by the glass and by the flight. Whaaaat? I’m not a fan of beer flights, and …

chai time!

My good friend Angel (the lady behind Todos Organics) and I ventured to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden this past weekend for a lesson in chai and spice. Class was held in the Garden’s Tropical House which was the perfect location for learning about masala chai; many of the plants used in masala chai recipes are grown here. Our instructor was Deepa Natarajan, ethnobotanist and lover of masala chai! She’s also got her own masala chai spice blend that is sold at the Oaktown Spice Shop. Basically, she is a masala chai celebrity. 😉 Deepa gave a us history lesson in tea, talked about each of the spices you might put in a masala chai, and showed us the different plants in the garden that produce masala chai ingredients. Masala means “mixture of spices” and chai simply means “tea.” What makes a masala chai? Clove, star anise, cinnamon… …cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, coriander… And ginger! I got to help grate the ginger on a ginger grater, which I’ve decided I need in my life. This thing is amazing! Here’s …

picky picky.

I went on a morning beverage run with my coworker the other day. It wasn’t on the menu, but I inquired about a chai latte. It turns out they serve them, so I ordered one. My coworker proceeded to tell me how when he worked at a cafe he observed that people who ordered chai lattes were very particular about their drinks. Basically, he called them picky and then he had a concerned look on his face – maybe he thought I might be offended. Actually, that comment got me thinking about my drink preferences. My go-to at cafes are iced soy chai lattes. I like my chai to have a nice blend of spices, but I don’t like it when the spices over power the flavors of the tea. I also like my chai milky and not watered down with ice. Also, regular soy is my preference over vanilla soy and sweetened with agave over honey or simple syrup. If I’m able to, I make my iced soy chai lattes at home, the semi-homemade way. My favorite mix: Blue Lotus …