When Chris and I first moved in together we shared a love of chai. I had been living downtown Seattle for about 6 months and purchased most of my chai from local coffee shops (Cherry Street, Caffe Migliore) not really thinking about making it at home. We lived just a block from World Spice Merchants out our back door on Western Ave. I frequented their shop for salts, indian spices and spice blends. Chris and I were out at the market picking up produce and had a couple things to pick up at World Spice. We spent an extra few minutes in their shop and noticed all the chai blends in beautiful canisters. We brought some home, steeped it with milk and were whisked away to a whole new time and place. The doors to the world of chai had officially been opened.
We spent the next handful of years perfecting our favorite cup of chai experimenting with pre-mixed blends, gathering spices to blend our own and adjusting the method by which we would steep our tea. We’re both partial to heavier black teas and always add more assam than most. After boiling over our milk entirely too many times, we now brew exclusively with water and add half + half and honey or turbinado at the end.
Now that we don’t have one block away access to World Spice, we usually drink a blend of Market Chai, Assam Breakfast and Harney & Sons holiday tea. Yes… that’s a lot of tea, but it has just the right mix for our taste.
I love this post on the World Spice blog about brewing your chai in a french press. All my birth ladies think I’m completely nuts not drinking coffee and I don’t have anything but tea to offer them when they visit. I’m inspired to go pick up a french press for our house since it will have two lives… chai and coffee.