August 17, 2023

The Simple Joy I Find in my Daily Cup of Chai Tea.

I hate coffee, in any form.

There, I’ve said it.

Whether it’s a plain, black cup o’joe, a fancy whipped-cream laden concoction topped with swirled caramel or  chocolate sprinkles, or even coffee-flavored ice candy or ice cream—I hate it.

“Even the smell?” coffee lovers ask in dismay.

Yes, even the smell.

I have always wanted to love it. I have watched with envy as the people in my life look forward to and prepare this elixir that seems to bring them immense pleasure.

But, gross.

I enjoy hot tea frequently during the winter months, but it’s not the passionate love affair others seem to have with their cup of life.

However, years ago, I discovered powdered chai and it rocked my world. I began to understand how coffee drinkers looked forward to waking the next morning because they knew what joy awaited them.

Being a sugar addict, my love affair with chai tea is not surprising. And, while I’ve attempted to talk myself out of indulging in this sugar dump before I even eat breakfast, it is to no avail. I have come to understand the pure love with which coffee drinkers gaze at their tall, steaming cup of hot coffee, their eyes lighting up as they slowly bring it to their lips for their first, glorious sip, their tired bodies seemingly filling with life in an instant.

I make my chai tea every morning in my favorite, clear-glass mug, alternating between dairy, oat, and soy milk. I heat it until it just begins to boil—2 minutes and 50 seconds in the microwave to be exact. The mug is so perfect because the handle stays cool to the touch, it’s not too dainty yet not too hefty, and it fits just perfectly nestled in my hands. Even simply holding it is hugely satisfying.

The mug is larger than your average coffee cup so, fortunately or unfortunately, my one cup of chai tea is closer to two serving sizes. While this makes me exceedingly happy, it also means I’m having nearly two servings of sugar-laden chai tea each morning. But again, I’ve come to realize that this bit of bliss each morning is worth it.

As I open the bag of tea, the sweet, sweet smell of my morning dose of joy greets me, and I understand why coffee drinkers love that first scent of coffee. Kinda.

I scoop the sand colored tea into my steaming mug of milk, slowly stirring as it dissolves so as to not spill over the sides and lose any drops of this simple delight.

I walk carefully to my tan, overstuffed chair, prop my stockinged feet on the matching foot rest, wrap both hands around my warm mug, and either reach for my book, watch the morning news, or read the latest headlines on my laptop, all the while knowing that the next 30 minutes belong to me and my chai tea. Pure bliss.

So, while I may never fully understand humanity’s adoration of the aromatic coffee bean, I salute you in this simple, daily ritual that offers great joy with minimal effort.

Here’s to sweet chai tea—or coffee—dreams.


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