Escape the cold with the best local chai lattes

Simone Wolberg

If you’re looking for a mild caffeine buzz and aren’t afraid of a spicy midday sugar-spike, then a nice chai latte may be just the drink for you.   We compared three locally made chai lattes from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Starbucks, and Rustic Bakery.  The taste ratings were based on a 5-star scale.

Peet’s Coffee and Tea (2.5 stars)

This chai latte was a bit disappointing.  The tea itself was nicely spiced but lacked sweetness.  The milk froth was also a bit airy, leaving the chai latte without the much-needed creaminess.  Peet’s rendition also left a bitter aftertaste which overpowered the milk’s natural sugar content.

Starbucks (3 stars)

starbucks image
chai latte from Starbucks

The milk and tea were mixed well, creating a consistent and creamy texture.  Although the texture of Starbucks’ Chai Latte was the best of all drinks compared, its sweetness was overpowering.  The thick milk froth paired with the syrupy flavor of the chai tea left an aftertaste a bit too strong and dry.  If one enjoys a very sweet aftertaste, however, the Starbucks’ version might be the most satisfying.

Rustic Bakery (4.5 stars)

The taste of this Chai latte pleasantly surprised me.  It initially tasted like spicy chai, but left a unique piquant pumpkin aftertaste.  Its milk froth was mixed with the tea to perfection, creating a nice consistency and balance of sweet and spicy.  There was almost no lingering aftertaste, preferable if you were to pair this drink with a meal.