Tuesday, March 27, 2012

did you say 'chai-rista?'

My husband has coined a new term - chai-rista - because according to Pete, baristas cannot make a great chai to save themselves and he adds cafes need to employ chai-ristas to perform the task.

I agree finding a good chai when out and about is not an easy task, but as with the cult of coffee being what it is today in Australia, these things happen over time.

So, first of all dear Pete there already exists an equivalent term to the barista for the person who makes  chai and that is a chai walla as they are known in India. Not that I've been to India and enjoyed chai there but the whole westernisation of chai I'm sure is vastly different to the real thing.

For starters what we in Australia refer to here as chai is actually masala chai, spicy tea. The word chai literally means tea. I digress though, this post didn't start out as a crash course in the origins of chai, what we are in search of here is cafes and restaurants who honour the delightful cup of chai not by pouring hot milk into a powder or syrup - eeeek! - but rather by brewing a pot of spicy tea, perhaps even grating in some fresh ginger.

Where o where is this done in Melbourne? Sydney? Brisbane? city or country town....please share your favorite chai spots. One of my favorite places close to Melbourne is The Elwood General Store (5 Ormond Road Elwood) and on the Peninsula, The Peninsula Pantry (43a Wondaree Street Rye) serve Calmer Sutra chai a blend you can be confident equals a quality brew. Where is your chai of choice served?

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