Whether you reject coffee outright or just like to give your taste buds a change of scenery now and then, chai is the ideal beverage with which to do it. With its rich aroma and spicy little kick, chai is no ordinary tea. And while plenty of cafes serve up the powdered variety (a cheeky shortcut that robs chai of its complex flavours), some cafes take their chai very seriously indeed. Today Postcoder visits some southside cafes known for their authentic chai brews!
Merchants Guild owners Vincent Conti and Mario Minichilli discovered their love of chai while gadding about the globe sampling brews wherever they found them. On their return to Melbourne they started formulating their own chai blend for their various cafes, including Bentleigh Easts Merchants Guild. Rest assured you will get a well-steeped, creamy and frothy chai here!
680 Centre Road, Bentleigh East 3165 |(03) 9579 0734
If you want your chai to come with healing properties, then The Owl & The Baker can assist. Their Golden Chai is a house made speciality that gets its name from the turmeric that colours it. Tumeric is getting plenty of airtime as the latest health super food apparently, its an excellent anti-inflammatory or something. Whatever it does, it looks good and tastes good, too!
347 Centre Road, Bentleigh VIC 3204 |(03) 9557 9517
The Mr Brightside crew has quite a way with liquids. From truly delicious smoothies and fresh juices, through to their warming chai, they prove that drink is just as important as the food it goes with. Here they make their chai with the Aus-owned brand, Calmer Sutra. Made with black tea and blended with Indian spices, Calmer Sutra add a touch of sweetness with a dash of Victorian honey and a kicker of ginger root.
181a Booran Road, Caulfield South 3162 |(03) 9576 9588
At Georgie Porgie only Chai Boy chai will do! The Chai Boy brand was created by a Melbourne barista who loves a hot beverage. The blend is all-natural and built around fair-trade black tea. Australian-grown ginger is part of the mix too, along with stringy bark honey and, of course, the secret spices that give Chai Boy its own unique flavour.
397 Centre Road Bentleigh VIC 3204 |0403 328 190