Sweet Chai of Mine
I'm still on a quest to find the best Chai tea in all of Boston--scratch that; New England. Today's a wonderfully balmy fall day, but the fact of the matter is, I've already pulled out two comforters and a space heater from the depths of the closet, and the sweaters are starting to make their presence known.
On some basic level, I don't get it. I get it but I don't get it. There's a sort of comical, Portlandia aspect on the coffee in Boston; artisan brews and organic beans and water that's been simmered to a precise coffee-making temperature so it can be poured into a cloth filter (that has been properly treated beforehand) and drip down into a cup at the rate of 8 fluid ounces every three minutes. Smushed coffee beans and tap water to the tune of five dollars a cup served by someone whose socks don't match, and God help you if you doctor the brew a little.
But when my officemate and fellow writer Tamra Martin and I would go someplace after our graduate classes, it would be to a café to mix three amazing things: caffeine, something warm, and something sweet. We would get chai lattes brewed with the creamiest of milks, the velvety thickness of hot chocolate, and a flavoring added from a whole arrange of syrups from behind the coffee bar. I'm sure it started easy enough with a Vanilla Chai, but that soon turned into an Irish Cream Chai, or an Orange and Peppermint Chai. If it was a flavor offered, we tried it. And then we mixed and matched it with something else. We went without question, some days without thinking, so that we could add just a little bit of sweetness to our hectic schedules.
Boston has yet to produce that sweetness in the form of a black tea doused in steamed milk. Or I am yet to find it. The closest I've gotten is a place north of the city, in Beverly, but it's not quite there yet. But someday, oh someday sweet chai, I will come find you.