[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Best Barrista
Best Café Ambiance
Best Café Expansion
Best Café For Coffee
Best Café For Food
Best Café Stronghold
Best Chai Tea
Best Coffee Beans
Best Drive-Thru Coffee
Best Espresso
Best Foo-Foo Coffee Drinks
Best High Tea
Best Iced Coffee
Best Mocha Latte
Best New Beverage Craze
Best New Café
Best Outdoor Seating
Best Roadside Coffee
Best Teas

Best New Beverage Craze

Chai Tea

STAFF PICK: First came the bean. Then the spiced leaf. Then five years ago, a "grande low-fat double cap with nutmeg and cinnamon." But since the specialty coffee shops have become a mainstay of the urban experience, enter the newest beverage: chai tea. Chai is Portland's answer to Seattle's claim on the coffee craze ("Oregon Chai" seems to have become a buzzword), and the deliciously aromatic tea is popping up on coffee-bar menus across Tucson. Though originally an Eastern phenomenon (that's east as in Asia, not the Atlantic coast), here in the West you can find a host of kinky new chai concoctions, including Starbuck's frosty "chai frappe." Chai tea is actually a distinctive blend of teas, ginger, vanilla and more discrete spices carefully simmered and served hot or iced. Local java joints and eateries that offer chai usually purchase it as a concentrate, to which they add their own simmered spices and milk--regular or low-fat or soy or whatever. Like coffee, chai is served hot or cold; and like iced coffee, it can be a bit on the watery side if you go the low-fat route (or it isn't prepared with the iced version in mind). For those who don't favor the exotic, give it a few years and chai will be as close as your nearest convenience store. But rest assured--it's coming.

Page Back

Home | Arts & Culture | Cafés | Chow | City Life | Kids | Outdoors
Saloons | Shopping | Most Wanted | Credits | Search

Copyright © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly

Page Forward