This chai is a staple of my morning routine. I combine it with Samurai Chai Mate, and together I like them better…alone, this chai can sometimes gain that bitter black tea edge, especially if you miscalculate on the water-simmering portion and the leaves have had enough before you’re through heating the milk that you add (if, like me, you find chai lattes the only way to go). The smell is heavenly, velvety-smoke and cinnamon, and the moment I open the bag my entire kitchen smells like the holidays. The aroma it releases when it’s on the stove and heating is almost as much a part of having chai as drinking it is.
Really, that’s what chai has become for me — a morning ritual. It’s certainly not the most slimming of my morning rituals, but I don’t care. Boston is cold right now…bitterly and suddenly, after such a temperate early season. Getting out from under my down comforter is always such a crisis of cold feet and lack of interest in being awake, but if I make it to the kitchen, then I’m good. I can start to simmer the chai blend, turn on a few lamps, and sit and smell the spices while I wait for the gunmetal grey blur outside of my window to turn silver and sharpen up into a proper world. Sometimes the sun throws in a few other colors gratis, too (but not often, because this is Boston and if there’s one thing Boston does well, it’s the color grey).
It’s true that there are probably better ways to wake up than this one, but probably not many.