*Editor’s note: Excessive chai puns ahead.
It’s chai time you upped your hot beverage game this winter. A creamy chai is just what the doctor ordered on a cold day, but the new chai rules say skip the over processed powders and sugary syrups and instead head to one of the best Melbourne cafes for house-made chai. Rich, creamy, and addictively aromatic, you gotta chai them all (sorry, we had to)!
Grub Food Van
The good follk at Grub Food Van use a glorious combination of Chamellia Fresh Chai and St David Dairy or Bonsoy milk. Chamellia Fresh Chai is made with nine different spices, organic black tea and raw organic honey. Served in generous post and enamel mags that were designed for hand hugging, it's at the top of our chaitastic list.
The Crux & Co
New kids on the block, The Crux & Co have hit their straps early, whipping up a perfectly balanced chai latte. With not a drop of the powdered stuff in sight, The Crux & Co serves up a rich mix of spices and a little extra froth, making for a five star chai experience. Hot Tip: Their croggle (croisant / bagel hybrid) is the perfect accompaniment.
Lentil As Anything
Melbourne’s favourite not-for-profit restaurant, enjoy one of Lentil As Anything’s creamy house-made chai during your next visit. Proudly providing access to nourishing, flavour-packed vegetarian dishes to everyone in Melbourne, there has never been a better reason to indulge in a cup of chai before paying generously!
The Pour Kids
House brewed chai lattes at The Pour Kids are earthy, rich, and less sweet than your usual powdered suspects. For the sugar-adverse, these soul-warming mugs of chai are perfectly paired with The Pour Kids’ Duck For Cover: an Italian-style pork sausage and burnt butter gnocchi topped with a fried egg and Swiss chard. Pick a corner spot for a brew-tiful start to the weekend.
Original Chai Co
A sliver of a shop tucked away in Queen Victoria Market, look for the vibrant blue and red stand on Queen Street. Or just follow the aromatic smell of cardamom and cinnamon like the dedicated chai hound you are. Brewing luscious, traditional Masala chai inspired by Indian flavours, chai-ing the Original Chai Co is non-negotiable (we’re really on a roll here!). In summer, no-frills, fragrant iced chai lattes are also available.
Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop
The chai’s the limit at much loved vegan café Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop. Their homemade, splendidly spiced chai can be paired with a range of milks include soy, or house-made almond, cashew, or hazelnut. With a heavenly range of vegan cupcakes, pastries and treats like pillow-soft brioche doughnuts, there’s something for every gluten-free, vegan or dairy-intolerant foodie too. Meanwhile, we can’t even make runny eggs.
The Farm Café
Cosy up with one of The Farm Café’s winter warming mugs of chai. Married with some of our favourite brunch dishes in Melbourne, like their caramel banana bread with grilled bananas and pecan, baked pears, rhubarb, earl grey tea caramel sauce and yoghurt cream, this is the ultimate in winter breakfast decadence. The Farm Café’s freshly blended chai is sparingly blended with a touch of honey for sweetness.
Between ginger bread and cacao coconut lattes, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose the chai over the other goodies on offer at one of Melbourne’s favourite clean eating cafes, but you’ll be glad you did. Serotonin Eatery’s house-made organic chai is naturally sweetened with aromatic, vibrant spices and caffeine free! Served in a hug-able, oversized mug, perch yourself on a boutique wooden swing to chase away the winter blues.
And if you want to chai to make chai at home…
Some of our favourite local cafes use fresh, Melbourne-based blends from the likes of Prana Chai, Chai Boy and Calmer Sutra Chai! Pair it with hot or cold soymilk and a dash of honey for the perfect DIY breakfast in bed.
Image credit: Detoxinista