Several years ago, I went to Barnes and Noble with my friend Amy and Tim, the father of my daughter, Emma’s, best friend. While there, Amy bought a chai latte and gave me a taste of it.
I didn’t like it.
For some reason I don’t remember, last year I decided to give chai another chance, only this time, I made my own. I steeped a bag of Tazo chai and honey in 8 ounces of boiled water in a 16-ounce mug and when it was done steeping I filled the other 8 ounces with milk. It was wonderful.
That became my breakfast each morning and has been, on and off, ever since. Since that first heavenly cup, I discovered I’m somewhat lactose intolerant. Specifically, regular milk and yogurt do not agree with me. I switched to light vanilla soy milk, which I love. One week I went grocery shopping and the store was sold out of the soy milk, so I bought Lactaid instead. The taste was nothing like the vanilla soy. Used to the sweeter taste, I did not enjoy the more bland taste of Lactaid, so I decided then and there I’d rather not have chai at all than have it again without the soy milk.
I still don’t like coffee shop chai. I tried it at Starbucks several months ago and it was far too sweet (this is coming from someone who doesn’t believe there is such a thing). The coffee shops use a syrup that not only changes the taste, but increases the calories by a significant amount. Add to that the outrageous price and I’ll stick to my homemade latte.
Thank goodness for electric tea kettles and work refrigerators.