While I was in London last week, I took the opportunity to enjoy one of the cafes that London has to offer. While there are lots of great coffee places, I often find that they don’t always offer tea to the same standard. I love a great coffee, but tea is my first love so finding a great tea place is worth its weight in gold. So when I knew I was going to London, I asked my OH to find me a decent tea place, with free wifi, not too far from Liberty. He came across Yumchaa Tea. It’s just up the road from Liberty, and it was very welcoming on a chilly Thursday morning. I started with a nice breakfast tea, that was lovely & strong. The wifi was pretty decent and it was quite quiet. After I’d been there a while, and before the lunch crowd started coming in, I ordered a chai latte & a slice of banana and Nutella bread.
Both were absolutely delicious! The chai latte was hot, creamy & spicy – all the flavours were perfectly combined. The cake was awesome! The Nutella was all melty in the middle and it was baked to perfection.
I had a thoroughly lovely time at Yumchaa. I had a small table all to myself, they played great music and there was enough going on that people watching was interesting without being distracting. Plus I saw a pug walk by! What more could a girl ask for?! I’ll definitely be going back to Yumchaa next time I’m near one. Chai heaven!
For anyone who follows my Twitter or my Instagram feed, they’ll know how much I love chai. It’s my favourite treat of the day. I’m always pleased to discover a café who sells chai lattes. That being said, I’ve had many different types of chai lattes – sometimes even in the same place. Some places use chai teabags & add hot milk; some places use warm milk & add a chai syrup; some places use Drink Me Chai & add warm milk. This last one is my favourite because it enables you to get the right mix of spice, creaminess & warmth.
Here’s how I like my chai:
I always use Drink Me Chai Spiced flavour at home. It’s easy & convenient. I add 4 teaspoons of the mix to my favourite mug, Big Brown, & boil the kettle. (Yes, I named my mug – what of it?!) I add about 1/4 cup of hot water to dilute the mix then start on heating the milk. I use light soya milk & it works fine, but it’s not to everyone’s taste. It does alter the taste slightly, but I’m used to it now. When I have chai in cafes, I don’t usually bother to ask about soya milk because semi-skimmed milk actually gives a nice taste. We’ve got a fancy Dualit coffee machine that enables me to heat up the milk & get a decent froth on it, something which didn’t happen with our Nespresso machine. I don’t mind a bit of foam because it helps to keep the drink warm, which is really important. But sometimes, too much foam means not enough chai!
I occasionally sprinkle some cinnamon on the top before I drink it, as it just makes it even more luxurious! I usually have a chai latte once a day – anymore than that & I’m worried that my love of chai might just grow into an addiction! There are also quite a few different flavours of Drink Me Chai: Vanilla, chocolate, mango & peppermint, but my favourite is Spiced Chai & pretty much only drink that. It’s such a warming drink that it fits perfectly with my chilly little study!
One of the biggest criticisms I have of cafés is a lukewarm chai. As you know, I’m almost always cold & one of the things I love about chai is it warms me up. So to have one that I can drink really quickly is really disappointing. A chai latte should be something that you take a break over, not something that you have to drink quickly because it’s going cold. And it shouldn’t be too milky either. I’ll order a spiced chai for a reason: I want to taste the spice!
I’d love to know how you like your chai or if you have any other chai recipes. Let me know! x
You know the feeling when you look in the cupboards at breakfast & just don’t fancy another bowl of dull cereal? Well that happened in Crafty Chai HQ this morning. My OH quickly suggested breakfast out. Motion passed. We grabbed our coats and headed out the door.
We headed straight for Jericho and back to the place we first went to when we found somewhere to live in the best part of Oxford: The Jericho Cafe. I love this place. It’s perfect for lazy Sunday breakfasts, lingering cups of coffee and tasty meals. We used to live up the road from there so it was even more perfect then! I could eat every meal of the day here. They have an excellent vegetarian range and even today the veggie special was amazing. But we were here for breakfast so I had the cooked veggie one. At a reasonable £7, you get eggs whichever way you want them, beans, veggie sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and tea or coffee. You get just enough to fill you for most of the day without making you feel stuffed. I really like the veggie sausages here. You don’t feel like you’ve been left out as a veggie. One of the things I like about the cafe is that you can hang around there and people watch to your hearts content! A fab place.
After a bit of Christmas shopping we needed to warm up and rest our weary feet. One thing Oxford does well is independent coffee shops. One of the best is The Missing Bean on Turl Street. Because it’s one of the best, it’s usually really busy without any free tables. My OH & I were lucky enough to grab the only free table in the place. I had a delicious chocolate macaroon and a small chai latte. The chai always comes in a small glass and it always seems to go far too quickly. My OH loves the flat white coffee’s here and he’s something of an expert when it comes to these! The Missing Bean is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Oxford. They have a lovely range of cakes and sandwhiches along with a very decent range of teas and coffees. They also serve Oxford’s own Jericho and Jeeves range of teas. Indies supporting indies. Fantastic!
It’s been a busy old week. So imagine my absolute joy when I arrived home yesterday (tired after a late night at the Take That concert in Cardiff! OMG!) & found a packet full of Drink Me Chai chocolate chai on my doorstep I could barely contain my excitement.
This is one of the reasons I love Twitter so much. I received the sample via a conversation with Throwing Buns cafe who’ve recently started selling my favourite spiced chai. Another of my favourite cafes, Combibos Coffee sells the Drink Me chai selection but I don’t get much opportunity to get there these days. So when I saw, via twitter, that Throwing Buns was interested in chocolate chai I got in on the conversation and said that I’d never seen it for sale. I was then offered some samples. A few days later they arrived. For me this is like Christmas! Spiced chai is my absolute favourite and have some almost everyday. We have a Nespresso machine at home that has a milk heater. This means I can make my own chai. Pure heaven. But would the chocolate chai be a suitable match for my beloved spiced?
I heated the milk and put the kettle on. I emptied a sachet into my favourite chai mug. (Yes I know that makes me sound a bit mental!) I waited with anticipation & felt a bit guilty that my usual spiced chai wouldn’t be needed today.
I mixed it all together & waited for it to cool. It was nice. Chocolatey. With a subtle hint of spice. It was good. Don’t worry – I still prefer the spiced. But I prefer the chocolate to the vanilla chai. However, it does show how versatile chai can be. I know they also do mango & peppermint chai but these aren’t for me. I don’t do mango at all & am fussy about mint flavoured things (It should be reserved for toothpaste & mints. Don’t ask. I have weird food rules!)
Most of all I was impressed with the company. They have a fantastic product. They are personal & friendly and communicate with people via twitter.
Thank you so much Drink Me chai. I can highly recommend the choccy chai and I will do so. A lot!