Ready, set, chai: this spiced cuppa doesn’t show up often on cafe menus around here, but we’ve found some good ones to satisfy your cravings!
There’s no better way to keep warm during a rainy day or to (literally) spice up a standard brunch than with a cup of chai, amirite?
Chai originated from India and is a black tea beverage made with milk and a blend of spices, typically including cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves and pepper corn. PSA: Saying ‘chai tea’ is a no-no, as ‘chai’ literally translates to tea. It’s also known as ‘masala chai’: ‘masala’ refers to a spice mixture.
Short of heading to the motherland of this tea or a native restaurant, we found some cafes we’d nip into for an awesome chai. (Or chai latte, as it’s often labelled on many cafe menus.) Save this page for your next cafe-hopping jaunt!
If you like it strong:
Common Man Stan
Must-try alert: Common Man Stan’s chai can do no wrong for yours truly. Whether you have it hot or iced (they get brownie points for using plastic-free plant fiber straws!), the rich, full-bodied aroma shines through with a dash of grittiness from the spice blend, courtesy of Grounded Pleasures. If you’ve had one too many disappointing cuppas, this will restore your faith in cafe-bought chai.
Common Man Stan, 11-12 Stanley St, Singapore 068730
You know the chai’s strong when it starts looking like the colour of coffee. Ever been out and tasted a flavour that you wished you could just bottle up and take home? Well, do just that with The Providore’s chai – you can cop their exclusive seven spice powder in two sizes depending on your level of obsession with this rich drink. (P.S. they also have a chai bun!) We’ll take a whole tub please, thank you.
The Providore, multiple locations including Mandarin Gallery and Downtown
Subtle chai delights:
Joe & Dough
A mild-mannered chai that’s smooth and sweet, a cup from Joe & Dough’s comes with a dusting of cinnamon powder and is an easy pick-me-up at one of the cafe’s many outposts during a particularly chilly (not that we have many of those around here) day.
Joe & Dough, multiple locations including Capital Tower and Orchard Gateway
If you’re lactose-intolerant, diabetic, or just wanna try your chai a little differently, TWG’s got your cravings covered. Think pared-down versions of traditional chai that are milk and sugar-free. The red chai from South Africa is super light, with a natural sweetness in the aftertaste; while the exclusive black chai blend is a tiny bit more robust. If you are planning to add syrup, get the iced version and taste how the flavour subtly changes – we found that sugar brings out certain floral or spice notes when the tea’s cold!
TWG Tea, multiple locations including ION Orchard and Marina Bay Sands
Kith Cafe puts its spin on the usual chai with a honey ginger variation, and boy is it a treat! The sweetness of the honey adds more depth to the flavour and makes it easier to drink (read: less spicy) for the uninitiated, with a lovely hint of ginger in the aftertaste.
Kith Cafe, multiple locations including Marina Square and Millenia Walk
Cafe & Meal Muji
Who knew the cafe extension of this Japanese furniture brand could do a subtle, comforting cup of chai? This isn’t potent, but it’s one for the cinnamon lovers: you’ll catch a whiff of it before you even take a sip. Love it? Bag some instant packets at the Muji store.
Cafe & Meal Muji, multiple locations including Plaza Singapura and Raffles City