Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Starbucks
Starbucks is proof that you can turn almost anything into a success with a little creativity. Even though people have been drinking coffee for decades, Starbucks revolutionized the coffee industry. There are plenty of coffeehouses that sell coffee that taste better Starbucks (and probably cheaper), yet it will always remain my #1…and I am pretty sure many others share my sentiments.
For starters its extensive menu appeals to coffee-connoisseurs, wannabe coffee drinkers and even the non-coffee drinkers alike. For those who prefer to customize his/her drink, Starbucks will cater accordingly, no matter how high maintenance the order may be (I’ll take a grande, iced soy chai tea latte with a shot of espresso and no sugar syrup). Their free wi-fi instantly converts Starbucks from a coffeehouse into a temporary office…and the comfortable sofas only lure in customers even more. Even though it is found on every street corner cross the globe, Starbucks strives to maintain a degree of consistency.
There are a million reasons why Starbucks remains a favourite of many.
For me, I am pretty sure my love for Starbucks stems from nostalgia. Growing up, it was one of the first places I was allowed to go on my own, even though it was a mere 5-minute walk from my building. I can’t even count the number of hours I have spent catching up with loved ones in the Starbucks on North Audley Street in London. If memory serves right, my friends & I once actually got Dominoes to deliver us pizza there because we were too lazy to change venues. Side note: This was long before Starbucks upped their food game. I remember being so addicted to Starbucks’ skinny blueberry muffins that my bestie would bring one to Lagos for me every time she visited (thanks Ayesh).
With so many memories attached to this coffee shop, Starbucks feels like home to an extent…and of course I am thrilled that more & more branches are opening up across India. As an ever-growing Starbucks loyalist, my drink of choice has evolved over the years. I started off with mocha frappuccinos, then coffee fraps, then coffee light fraps, and then soy cappuccinos (or lattes). Gradually my taste buds matured into craving americanos, preferably iced when the sun is out.
I’ve recently gotten hooked on their iced chai tea lattes. On the days I’m feeling cray cray, I opt for its dirty counterpart i.e. an iced chai tea latte with a shot of espresso. Despite living in the land of chai for over 4 years, it’s almost embarrassing to think that Starbucks turned me into a chai convert…such is life! Aside from taking Starbucks to a whole new level for me, their iced chai tea lattes inspired me to come up with a DIY version at home…without all that sugar. Lord knows I don’t want to be downing a sugar bomb every time I get my chai fix ;). And before I give Starbucks any more free promotion, let me share my recipe for Iced Chai Tea Lattes:
- ½ cup chai concentrate (recipe below)
- ½ cup milk (e.g. almond, soy or cows')
- Your choice of sweetener
- 4 cups water
- 4 bags of black tea (or 3 teaspoons of tea leaves)
- 3- inch stick of cinnamon
- 4 pods of cardamom
- 1- inch piece of ginger
- Pour ½ cup chai concentrate & ½ cup milk over ice.
- Add sweetener if desired.
- Add water to a large saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Add tea bags (or leaves), cinnamon stick, cardamom, & ginger. Reduce heat to medium-high & allow tea mixture to steep for a further 3 minutes.
- Pour mixture through a strainer & transfer liquid to an empty bottle or jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- The recipe above makes 4 cups of chai concentrate.
What’s your favorite coffeehouse?
What’s your go-to Starbucks order?