I always raise my eyebrows when I hear or see “Chai Latte”. As I described in my previous post, “chai” is hard wired in my brain to mean a certain drink – hot black tea boiled with milk (spices optional). So what is this “Chai Latte” stuff anyway – it combines two words from 2 different languages and the drink doesn’t event taste like chai.
Having grown up in India, "chai" is hard-wired in my brain to mean steeped black tea and milk. Sugar and spices are optional, though commonly added. However, here in the US, “chai” has morphed into something else. Increasingly, it is presented as black tea with spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
I am really excited about this year…this is going to be a special year for all of us. How can it not be? It started with 1-1-11!
I feel especially optimistic this year. Not b’coz I am a lot wiser but also b’coz I have found the support of people who push me forward every time I'm stuck.
Like so many, every year I make resolutions on New Year's Eve. And every year, I think this year would be the year I actually stick to my resolutions after the first few weeks. We all know how the story goes...we've all been there. This year, I am setting goals instead of making abstract resolutions.
For the past week, the Indian community in the US has been enraged by Joel Stein's article in TIME - My Own Private India.
Many, including Kal Penn, have penned their responses. Being brown and a "passive activist", I decided to join the others and also write a response. The best way to counter attack satire is by satire…so forgive my first and amateurish attempt.
The Magic Carry Kart and the Creme Brulee cart - carts by the two brothers who started the street food phenomena in San Francisco - are planning their 1 year anniversary next week on March 6. And with my birthday approaching in couple of days, I paused to think about the last 12 months. The Chai Cart is almost 7 months old. My present life or rather lifestyle bears no resemblance to my life before I started The Chai Cart.
If you've been to The Chai Cart, you know that I always carry two flavours of chai - one is always the traditional Cardamom-Ginger and the other depends on my mood and my creativity that particular day or week. Every now and then I come up with a flavour that surprises me and my customers. Lemongrass-Black Pepper chai was one such flavour last summer. The Malt chai took a few tries, but it did find some fans.
Omnivore Books had booked Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame) to come sign his book at their bookstore on Dec 6th. The lovely owner, Celia, had contacted me a couple months ago and asked me to come sell chai to her patrons while they waited in line for Keller. Today, Dec 6th, I was all excited to take the Chai Cart all the way to Omnivore Books - not only will San Francisco foodies be there, maybe Keller himself may fancy a cup of chai.