Often when I order “a chai” in a café or specialty coffee shop, the server asks – or tries to “correct” me by saying – “Do you mean a chai tea latte?”. I have to reply with a yes, to get what I want, but I can’t help but find this Americanism incredibly irritating. The
I grew up in a diverse neighborhood in New York City, and as it happens, many of my friends and relatives are of full or partial Puerto Rican descent. As a result, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some really delicious Puerto Rican dishes. I’m still learning but I’ve been able to get a few of them down pat.
My all-time favorite tea is masala chai – a milky spiced black tea drink originating from South Asia – which I got my first taste of from a handful of delis and specialty coffee shops near my job. But enjoying it at home was difficult. Back then (circa 2003), the few offerings available on supermarket