I love chai tea lattes. J’aime les lattes de thé chai. I <3 chai.
There. I’ve said it. In English, French, and Internet lingo, and I only limit myself to those three languages because they are the only languages I know. If I knew any other languages, I’d say it in them too.
But alas, all chai is not created equal. I have had good chai, bad chai, decent chai, lousy chai, and set-your-taste-buds-a-dancin’, over-the-moon chai. Oh, and some delicious chai latte cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World that are equally perfect for Thanksgiving dessert and breakfast anytime and have converted at least one chai-hater.
But this inaugural post is not about all the different forms of chai that I have tried. It is only about one: Great Lakes Tea and Spice’s Organic Manitou Masala Chai.
Rich and warm, this chai strikes a balance between spicy and sweet that I have not found anywhere else. And it’s sold loose so that you have complete control over each and every cup, unlike those pre-brewed, just-add-milk varieties whose potency and sweetness have been determined by some manufacturer (yeah, I drink those too). With plain soy milk, which adds its own layer of subtly sweet flavor that perfectly complements the spiciness of chai, this is my go-to chai. And at $15.95 for a box that yields somewhere around 20 cups of tea (I didn’t count but one box lasted awhile) this is a much better deal than the $4 you have to shell out for a twelve-ounce cup at Starbucks*. And it tastes better too.
I brew one tablespoon of the loose tea with about six ounce of boiling water until it’s nice and strong then mix it with six ounces of hot plain soymilk and a squirt of agave nectar and voila! A cup of pure comfort perfect for studying, reading, watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, walking around, doing nothing…
Okay, I lied. This post is about cupcakes too. Chai latte cupcakes to be exact. Check out the foamed milk-like action on that little beauty. Oh, the wonders of powdered sugar.
*I’ll admit it. I get chai lattes at Starbucks at least once a week. But that’s only because I’m in college and study better in that slightly noisy environment with a steady supply of sugar and caffeine than I do at home where it’s quiet (except when the neighbors are screaming or banging on the walls). So shoot me. Either way, I’m graduating in a few days and that will most likely drastically reduce the number of $4 chai lattes I consume.