I like tea. And as a tea lover I often find myself in tea shops. Well, one tea shop mostly. And one day I decided to try chai and amazingly enough found that I liked it. For a long time that was the only place I had ordered chai but recently I decided that it would be a good idea to see what other places had to offer. And since everyone is so interested in my opinion I thought I would share my thoughts so far. But keep in mind I don’t really know anything about chai tea or how it should taste so any relation between what I say here and reality is completely coincidental.
I have tried Dunkin Donuts chai drink. To order it all you have to do is go up and ask for a vanilla chai. There is only one size and one way to make it. In a way I like that. It makes it nice and easy. Not too much thinking. The drink itself is not bad. It is however really, really, REALLY sweet. And so creamy it is thicker than I expected. It is less like a cup of chai tea than dessert in a cup. By the end I almost wished it had been smaller.
Starbucks also has chai. I went in and asked for a tall chai and I think what I got was a chai latte. Not that I’m complaining. It was good. It comes sweetened and all set to go. It is not as sweet as Dunkin Donuts and more the consistency of a latte than a melted milkshake. But since I started my chai experience with something else it still isn’t what I think of as chai. That, of course, didn’t stop me from going back for another. They do seem to have a chai that comes from a teabag and is not a latte but I’m not sure how to order it. Maybe you have to actually say the word teabag when you order. Maybe someday I will try to figure it out but since I like the chai latte and I know how to get what I want someplace else I don’t know if I will bother.
The first place I tried chai was at Tealuxe. Tealuxe has several different chai teas to choose from. I have tried most of them and have liked all of the ones I’ve had including the green tea chai that I was leery of in the beginning. They all have slightly different flavors but all have the distinctive spicy chai taste. You get your tea unsweetened so you can add as much or as little sugar as you want. It is not as creamy as the other two and looks like tea you have added milk to instead of a cup of tea flavored milk.
The other place I have tried chia is Teavana. They also have a couple of chais to choose from. I have had two of them including the white tea chai. They both were good, the white tea chai was actually spicier than the masala but they both had the tangy spicy flavors that I recognize as chai. Neither one came with any sort of milk though which I thought was strange. Maybe you can ask for milk in your tea but I didn’t think to since I just assumed that chai came with milk. Once again since I already had an idea in my head what chai was supposed to be this didn’t really seem like chai to me.
I have tried chai at home as well made with teabags that I got from the grocery store and although I have found a few that I like it just isn’t the same somehow. But at least this way I do get to add as much or as little of milk and sugar as I like.
I think my favorite continues to be Tealuxe but I think I will keep going back to Starbucks when I am in the mood for something sweeter.