So, yesterday I met up with a coworker to go out for chai/brunch at Bristol Chai. I might be wrong here, but I believe Bristol Chai is either owned/run by Camellia Sinensis, or in partnership with them? Either way, CS has its hands in the cookie jar in at least some capacity. The bar carries five different chais, each with their own sort of “twist” to them and they’re personified by different animal characters on the packaging, with a name such as “Arthur” or “Eva”, etc…
Now, I’m not the biggest chai fan in the world – but I still wanted to check this place out at least once, just to be able to say that I have. Besides, yesterday was a highly rainy and chilly day so chai seemed like the perfect comfort/cozy drink for the weather. I think a lot of people had the same idea too, a great number of people came into the cafe while we were there to get a chai latte to go or to sit down and find some temporary respite from the weather.
I was pretty sure I was going to order either Scarlet or Clark as my drink; the first is a rooibos based chai with orange and the second is a chai with chocolate. Even Winston seemed appealing because of the high level of clove in the mix. However, at the last minute I remember that my boss had told me that if I ever stopped by Bristol Chai I should get Eva – in his opinion, that’s the best option. Now, Eva is the chai with a green tea base, as well as a whole lot of turmeric in it. So, it’s pretty outside what I normally enjoy in a good cup of chai. I went for it anyway though, and ordered an Eva Latte.
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this; it’s not super obviously green since there’s a lot of strong spice notes that cover up an nuances in the base of the tea. What that leaves is essentially a very turmeric heavy chai, with a fair bit of cardamom and ginger notes in the body. It works though; by some miracle all of those spices clicked together for me and made a very smooth, pleasantly spicy and warming cup of chai. Now, I wouldn’t go out any buy it since I think a big influence on why this worked for me today was the weather outside – but I definitely felt satisfied with the order I had made.
We also grabbed food, and I went for a grilled cheese sandwich with caramelized onions, leeks, and dates – and while it was incredibly rich, it was also so good. Like, my experience thus far is that Montreal’s Sandwich game is on point. So many great sandwiches…
So yeah, that was my experience at Bristol Chai! I guess at least somewhat surprisingly, as an outspoken Chai skeptic, I would go again! I can always order something outside of chai, as they do offer Matcha Lattes or London Fogs – and the food/aesthetics were super awesome. Really nice spot.