The coffee drinkers of the world are creatures of habit - they have their coffee-milk combination set in stone and when at brunch, will spout out their coffee order even before glancing at the menu. As a non-coffee drinker, the phrase "can I get you started with any coffees" as I'm sitting down at the brunch table fills me with irrational, low-level panic as I riffle through the menu to the drink section.
My preferred drink order would be a chai tea, by which I mean a good chai tea - brewed with actual chai spices in frothed milk, finished with a touch of honey. We are not talking about chai lattes which are brewed from a powder in a box, or the chai teas which are essentially water and a tea bag. There is an art to picking these good chai tea's out of a cafe menu - it's usually a good sign when "chai tea" is separated from the rest of the tea bag selection, the words "brewed" or "sticky" usually seem to hold promise.
Here are my top three:
Kafeine For me, the chai tea and Kafeine in Balmain is the clear winner. First off - it comes in a saucepan and (after trying their version) I do strongly feel that all real chai tea should come in a saucepan. Kafeine is also the home of a respectable brunch menu as well as delectable little pastries.
260 Darling Street Balmain, NSW Monday to Friday 6:30-4pm Saturday to Sunday 7am-4pm www.kafeine.com.au
Luxe used to have a branch on Missenden Rd Newtown which was perfect for all your gourmet sandwich needs (but that has since closed and now it has shopfronts in Barangaroo, Miranda and Bondi). For a bakery, I am told the coffee is spectacular and more importantly their take away chai tea is made such that it still has a little kick of spice that punches through the frothed milk - delicious!
3 Williams - Redfern
3 Williams on Elizabeth St is a popular haunt for hipster brunch and known for their Instagrammable food. The cafe itself has a converted warehouse feel and there are enough seats that the meal is less of a hurried affair with foodies lining up waiting for your table. They also brew a respectable chai tea, which is smooth and full of flavour.
Spiced Tea Chai offers amazingly good tea chai in 3 different flavors 'Masala, Ginger and Cardamom Tea. Not only this , they also offer free Tea Machine. Good for Cafes and Restaurants when they dont have to buy and actually stock the tea machine saves them $$$. There tea tastes really good and you can smell those flavors that occupy your mind quickly. I was stunned when I had a chance to taste last week when they were at the airport. Cannot miss it. The guys really mean business and they are a fresh start too so, no matter they will do anything to satisfy. email@example.com