Finished the grocery shopping today, and picked up a little Valentine's gift pack of Starbucks goodies at 50% off regular price. Since their prices are normally grossly inflated, I figure the $7.50 I spent on a mug, five tea bags, a cocoa packet, some ground coffee, and a little storage box was just about right.
I'm not a diehard Starbucks patron. My favorite coffee place is probably Coffee People, a Portland area store that makes great coffee and includes a chocolate covered esspresso bean with every order, a nice touch.
I do love Starbucks' version of chai, though, probably better than anywhere else I've tried. When fall rolls around, the sweet, almost pumpkin-pie scent of chai is what signals that it's once again my favorite time of year. And through this long, grey, snowed-in year, chai tea has been a real comfort.
Of course, I can't afford Starbuck's exhorbitant prices more than once or twice a month, at most. And since my days are usually spent at home, I've had to come up with my own version of chai, to get me through the long house-bound days. On a dark February day, I can drink an entire teapot myself.
Brew three bags of Tazo Chai tea in a full eight cup teapot. Pour into teacup or mug, about 3/4 of the cup's worth. Add two packets of Splenda and top off the mug with 2% milk. When you've been house-bound for three days or longer, use half and half. If it's been five days or more, break out the cream.
Enjoy. Best drunk while the kids are happily occupied elsewhere in the house, but is good even in the midst of chaos.