The chai tea latte is a starter drink for a lot of those not ready for coffee. I like to think of it as gateway caffeine, but still, my first coffee house drink is one of my favorites. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the drink, the chai tea latte is a specialty drink that mixes a chai tea base with steamed milk, much like one would make a regular latte with espresso. The base is basically a strong concentrated tea with sweet syrup and spices like cardamom, cinnamon and sometimes black pepper.
It’s a delicious drink that gives you some spice beyond a plain cup of tea, but still allows you to enjoy a creamy handcrafted treat without coffee. One of the great things about living in Kent is all the local and commercial coffee shops that provide an array of chai tea latte choices. So for the next two blogs, Teafaced will break down a few of your choices and rate them to help you find your perfect chai tea latte. This week, let’s start with some of the locals.
Rating Scale with 5 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest.
Tree City - Oregon Chai Tea Latte
135 E Erie St
Kent, OH 44240
Tree City Coffee & Pastry is a local favorite that has a wide variety of unique drinks, pastries and even PB&J sandwiches you could never get at Starbucks. And, don’t forget about the drive through service. The simple Oregon Chai Tea Latte at Tree City is definitely still a good pick, and if you are ready for more, the café occasionally comes up with new twists on the drink.
Chai base: Oregon Chai
This latte manages to be slightly creamy, but just enough to balance out the sweetness and the spice of the chai base. If you like your drink a bit creamier you can request more milk, but since the chai base isn’t extremely overpowering, it may water down the taste.
Not too spicy, but still a slight kick to remind you it’s there. Unlike a lot of chai tea lattes, the spice is there, but it isn’t overpowering to the rest of the drink.
This is one of my favorite lattes because every aspect of the drink is well balanced. Not one of the major tastes of the drink overpowers the others, making it a calm and soothing drink.
Scribbles Café - Chai Tea Latte
237 North Water Street Kent, Ohio 44240
Scribbles café is a local and surprising café. Not only can you enjoy your latte here, but in the back there is a bookstore. What’s better than caffeine and books!
Chai base: Sattwa Chai
This latte is on the verge of too sweet, but it cuts off right before that mark. If you have sweet tooth, this latte will definitely satisfy it. The syrupy taste is still there and a little more of that sweet apple-like taste is present.
Scribbles chai tea latte is not incredibly creamy. You will find that this may change with your barista, but this chai latte seems to focus more on the base and less on the creaminess.
When you first drink this, the spice may be near the bottom, but oh is it there. This latte definitely has a bit of a biting spice to it that lingers on the tongue, but it mixes well with the sweetness.
If you like things spicy and a tad too sweet, this is the perfect latte for you, but I personally crave a more creamy latte and like the sweetness a bit toned down.
Stay tuned for the chai tea lattes at Kent’s commercial counterparts!