Where To Get Your Quick Chai Fix In Joburg


Traditional chai is a blend of black tea and fragrant spices steeped in heavy milk. But, in recent years this deliciously spicy hot blend has taken on a few modern notes. When you feel that chai craving creeping in, check out these top Joburg restaurants and cafes to get yourself a quick fix. Whether it’s a classic chai you are after or a distinctly urban mix-up, you are sure to find the perfect brew to spice up your day.

Chai

What is Chai?

Masala chai is a spiced tea beverage which originated from the Indian sub-continent. In fact, “chai” is the Hindi word for tea. Black tea leaves are brewed with an assortment of aromatics such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black peppercorns. The brew is traditionally steeped in heavy milk for hours on end before being strained.

Of course, today what we know as ‘chai tea’ is far from the original. But, this delicious blend of frothy milk and spices has become a firm favourite of many coffee shop hoppers. No longer steeped over hours, but ready in the same time it takes to make a regular cappuccino, chai is more readily available than ever. A great alternative to coffee and hot chocolate, chai is known to have energy boosting properties. Plus, it’s the perfect warming winter drink. Here’s where to get your fragrant tea tipple in the city:

chai tea

The Whippet Coffee

The Whippet Coffee in Linden and Melville offer three chai alternatives on their menus. Their more traditional chai latte is light and perfumed with aromatics. However, if you are looking for something truly inspired, try out the Muddy Chai or Dragon Chai options. The Muddy Chai combines the best of both worlds – tea and coffee – to bring you a melodious marriage of espresso and chai. Tea freaks will be especially delighted by the Dragon Chai though, as it blends a shot of red espresso with the Whippet’s spicy chai blend.

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Starbucks 

Starbucks isn’t strictly a coffee addicts hangout. Tea lovers are welcome here too, and it shows on the menu. You can have your tea and drink it no matter the weather conditions outside, because Starbucks offers both a piping hot latte option and an iced chai latte. Add a dash of your favourite flavoured syrup for an extra kick of sweetness. We would choose the caramel, as it awakens the sweet notes in the tea and the spices. Lastly, indulge yourself and get a little patriotic by picking up a rooibos macaron to go with your choice of tea. Yum!

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tashas

tashas’ spiced chai is sweet and simple. A delicate blend of spices imparts itself on the milky tea drink. Like most of the other dishes on tashas’ menu, the spiced chai is made from only the best and freshest ingredients. It is unfussy and should appeal to classic chai lovers. Pair your tea treat with a tashas signature breakfast. We think the oats, caramelised banana, cinnamon, chia seeds, almonds, coconut shavings, almond milk and maple flavoured yoghurt bowl would go down pretty well with a steamy chai.

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Vovo Telo 

The original Vovo Telo Bakery and Cafe at 44 Stanley in Milpark has curated a drinks menu almost as spectacular as their cake and bread selection. Their tea options include a spiced chai with an added shot of espresso, or a spiced chai caramel latte. Take it a step further by adding a shot of ginger to your chai. Not only will the extra heat of the ginger tantalise your taste buds, but is is also a wonderful anti-inflammatory ingredient. So, you are getting all the benefits of ancient tea brewing practices with a modern flavour twist. What more could you need?

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Doubelshot Coffee & Tea 

Doubleshot Coffee and Tea is a hidden city gem tucked away on Juta Street in Braamfontein. If you are serious about chai, pay them a visit. Their drinks menu is uncomplicated, featuring all the basics with the option to customise your drink to your exact liking. Add extra milk to your chai latte if you like (they have a soy milk option too). Or, try out their coconut and chai freeze. The tropical coconut paired with Doubleshot’s chai concentrate blended with ice is just a dream.

Want to craft your own chai masterpieces? Doubleshot has got just what you need. Their artisanal chai concentrate is brewed from real Rainforest Alliance premium tea, spices and honey in small batches. Natural and preservative free, this concentrate is the perfect addition to hot drinks, iced lattes and even cocktails. Check out their awesome recipe ideas here.

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Motherland Coffee Co.

Motherland Coffee Company have pioneered a movement that reclaims Africa’s coffee heritage. Revolutionising the African coffee industry, they bring you the finest coffees and teas from the mother continent. Their chai latte variants are brewed using organic chai made from Malawian black tea blended with milk. Order yours strong and hot, or over crushed ice.
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Harpers Restaurant & Cafe 

Harpers Restaurant and Cafe offers chai lovers a little extra indulgence. Instead of serving your doubleshot spiced craft chai with traditional frothed milk, Harpers offers you a creamier option – whipped cream! This spicy dessert-like drink is enough to fill a hungry tummy on its own. But if you are still looking for something to nibble on, inquire about Harpers cakes of the day. Perhaps a slice of carrot cake or a spiced gingerbread man is just what you need to complete the feast?

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Do you know of any chai tea hot spots in the city? Let us know about them!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

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