Monday, January 2, 2012

Some of my favourite chai's....and Happy New Year!

Most people I know tend to be running amok the week or two leading up to Christmas, amassed with parties and dinners and who else knows what to attend.

I've found I've been the exact opposite and that whilst I had all purposes and intentions to work between Christmas and New Year, and of course blog, I found I really did not have the time. I was out all day and almost all night the entire week almost! Yeek!

(Although I do admit a few nights could have been spent drafting instead of playing Skyrim....)

So this post comes a bit late, but I have been wanting to do it for a while. (Also because everyone's been doing these awesome list posts and I want in!)

As many of you might know, I for whatever reason, am not a coffee drinker. I've never had a full cup of coffee in my life! I'm not entirely sure why I don't drink it, as I never had a taste for coffee or wine when I was younger, but I've definetly come to love wine....and come to not have an interest in coffee.

This does not mean I don't care for coffee, and I certainly admire the work baristas do and love to hear what people think of different coffees and what flavours and aromas they can deduce.

I figure I'm just already naturally full of energy and am concerned I may bring down a house if I have coffee. This is because I will literally be bouncing off walls and screeching like a baboon. Or so I would imagine. At least I'd be a fairly pretty baboon, unless coffee also has the power to make me grow horns or something. Although admittedly that'd be kind of cool too.

Getting off track here. Back to my point.

Without a love for coffee, what was I to do in the very much coffee-loving-brunch-going-Melbourne? Fortunately there is an option, which I am incredibly fond of, which is the humble chai latte. My staple at brunch and is never missing from a cafe post. There's just something warming and comforting about the sweet cinnamon-y flavour. I have really grown to love my chai latte, especially in the past year, making not just the chai latte, but the soy chai latte my brunch staple.

I certainly don't tout to be a connoisseur and I feel as though I should know more than I do. I do know though, that I like really well frothed milk, so that it's velvety and smooth. I also like a cinnamon kick, the taste of tea, the flavour of spices. I also need a hint of sweetness without being too sweet and overwhelming all other flavours.

I consider a chai latte a favourite when I wake up on a weekend, turn to Brad, say "I want to have a good chai latte today", and return to a cafe because I've wanted their chai latte. These are all places I have returned to more than once!

Need I say more? With perfectly frothed milk, there's nothing I don't like about what St. Ali does with it's chai lattes. I love pouring it out of the huge jug and seeing all the tea and spices get strained out. It's a little more on the sweeter side than the spicy side, but is still wholly delicious and not too sweet.

I remember the first time visiting, I was informed the chai latte would take a little bit of time to come out, as they steep the tea to make a concentrate before frothing it up with the milk. It made all the difference! I love how dark it came out, looks nice and strong.

My only complaint here, is that the cups are quite small! I always wish I had more once I finish it!

I may be a little biased, since I would consider this my local, but I wouldn't go back for the chai if it wasn't any good. It's surprisingly got a lot of kick to it, even if it looks a tad anaemic!


A little more on the sweet than spicy side, but one needs to shake it up every now and again right? And I'm enamoured with it's shiny shiny teapot!

I tend to be a bit of a fence sitter and find it incredibly difficult to have too strong an opinion over anything, as you never know if something better or worse may come along.

However, I have not been ashamed to claim Percy's Aeroplane as my favourite chai in Melbourne. It's just bursting with spices and flavour, without being too strong though. And since I visit at least once or twice a week, I can vouch that they are incredibly consistent.

Whilst this is not a 'do-or-die-list', this is my personal favourite list and I would love to hear if y'all have some other favourites that I should be aware of!

I would also love to hear how all your New Year's were! I had a lovely time with some close friends (from all over the world actually!) who I invited over to dinner and then to watch fireworks in a park near my place.

Happy New Year!