What the heck is chai latte? And why is it called chai latte instead of chai. It’s just chai, you fools! It’s just… chai! Like pizza is called pizza all over the world and taco is called taco. People know the word taco and they know what it means. Why do you have to add latte in the name?
This is what I thought when I heard about chai latte for the first time. Honestly, I didn’t have much expectation, but still, I tried it some time ago at a place called ‘Coffee Lab’. The name of the place is important; read on to know why.
I think ‘Coffee Lab’ did justice to the original drink. What they served looked somewhat like what I made today. It was chai with frothed milk, and I guess they call it latte because of the foam. Also, their chai latte was not hot; it was warm, whereas chai is served steaming hot.
All this makes sense. I made chai for my friends many times, and I noticed the same thing every time; they took a long time to drink it because it was too hot for them. Five people, same issue. I think only two of them liked it. Another problem is that people who like chai have an acquired taste. I, too, rarely drank chai when I was in India. I didn’t like it. I drank it only when I was at home. I liked it when my mother or I made it but often didn’t when someone else made it. So, I understand that people here might not like it, and I feel that Coffee Lab’s chai latte is suited to the European/non-Asian people’s preferences. I was surprised when I tasted it for the first time. I liked it so much that I will make this version for my guests from now on. I can still call it chai because it has the same taste.
Now, you can’t go out to the first café around the corner and expect to get a decent chai latte. My friends and I tried chai latte at another place the other day. They served many things in the name of chai latte: tea in a pot, creamer (milk powder), timer to tell us when to add the creamer to the tea, thickener (or something cream-like liquid), sweetener. As you might have guessed by now, it was a huge disappointment. I don’t want to waste my energy to point out why it was shit, but keep in mind that if you have to add creamer to tea water, it will taste bad, for sure. Whatever it is, it is not chai. People do this in India as well. Beware of such people.
If you want to enjoy chai, go to Coffee Lab and ask for Masala Chai Latte. They also have it in different flavours like vanilla, chocolate, etc. Honestly, chai doesn’t remain chai if you add such flavours to it, but I am so surprised by this place’s quality that I will give these flavours a try sometime. After all, I like experiments. They might surprise me again.
PS: I wanted to write about the fancy salad I made for dinner today, but I am out of time. Later… Post PS: The salad was fancy for my standards. French people would laugh at me if they heard me call it fancy.