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November 30, 2008

Quest for a better chai latte

November 30. Day 153.

I started the evening at Rebecca's, a coffeehouse I have tried very hard to like. Seems right up my alley -- low key, friendly staff, interesting furniture arrangements, funky neighborhood, good atmosphere, ample parking and (crucial:) open very late. But they lights are just too dim to get any work done (only bad if I'm working at night, which is usually). Even worse: the music is rarely musical, and the coffee SUCKSSSSS.

In a last ditch attempt to find something likeable about Rebecca's, I ordered a chai latte. It outdid my lowest expectations. Imagine a huge cup of diluted tea, doused with a few drops of milk. It tasted like... what's the point? words have little value in the face of such an atrocity.

I took a second sip, hoping to somehow erase the taste of the first sip. What was I thinking?

So I left.

Next stop: Filter, a short drive north, where I ordered another chai latte. This time, the guy dumped some powder into some milk. Bad sign. Powder = fake, gross, artifical flavor, processing, stomach cancer. Chai is tea, as in leaves steeped in liquid. Not powder. Plus, it was totally bland. Tasted like extra milky milk, with a hint of milk. I drank about a fifth before I gave up.

They closed an hour later. So I left.

Next stop: Lestat's, my tried-and-true, late-night/early-morning, thank-god-you-exist hang out. I ordered the chai latte again, which is made from the good stuff, and it was sipalicious.

Ok, so I'm particular about my food and drinks. Not necessarily picky -- there's a lot I love, and I'm usually openminded. But these first two drinks were really, truly below underneath subpar. Please believe me?

So, where's the askin'?

At one of these stops, I made a plea for a better drink. At Filter, in that hour between ordering the chai latte and leaving, I walked back to the counter.

"Please don't take this the wrong way, I don't mean any offense at all, but I don't like this drink. Can I have a regular tea?"

He looked a little surprised, perhaps hurt, then said he'll comp a peach tea.

"Thank you. I'm sorry."

Gained: A replacement to tide me over until Lestat's. And a new nickname from my boyfriend: OCD.
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