For anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time, you know well my love affair with chai. It’s not easy to find a good chai latte in Beirut, whereas here in the States there is a coffee shop on every corner. So it might seem weird that I miss something that is easier to get here.
But there is something about “my chai.” The one that I literally spent years hunting for. There’s something really satisfying about finally having found it, about knowing it’s the only one in the city, as well as knowing it is a rare treat to actually have a chance to sit and drink it. Even rarer is the opportunity to sit and drink it by myself. Ahh, the life of a mom of littles. :)
So, to my chai, I miss you! Although probably not as much as you miss me, for I’m apparently the only person in Beirut who drinks you. :)
My love affair with chai is well-documented on this blog.
I think the last time I wrote about it was when I found that Caribou Coffee had chai. Notice the past tense verb: Had. It’s still on the menu, but for the past several months they’ve been all out. Same story at Gloria Jean’s. Starbucks was out for so long that it’s not even on the menu there anymore.
(On a side note, ask Caleb sometime about the time Starbucks was out of coffee. I kid you not. True story.)
Anyways, today I was at TSC doing our grocery shopping for the week. And I found 12 boxes of this:
And surprisingly, it was pretty reasonably priced. While I have been known to buy every single jar of applesauce on the shelf, I limited myself to only two boxes of chai. Although I was second guessing myself the whole way home, and will probably go back to the store and buy a few more boxes…. just in case the chai has the same fate as the canned pumpkin and frozen strawberries…. making an appearance on the shelves of TSC once, never to be seen again……
So you may remember my Starbucks chai saga… short of it is, I love chai. Starbucks Beirut didn’t have it. Then they did. Then they didn’t again. Sad day for me. But I discovered the Mixed Berry Smoothie at the newly opened Gloria Jean’s, which is all kinds of wonderful, but just doesn’t quite hit the same spot as a chai latte does.
But, Beirut has a new coffee shop in town…. one that I don’t really love in the States, but thought, what they hey, might as well stop in and ask if they have chai….
…the barista missed the “iced” part of my order, but no complaints here! Chai is chai, even on a 90 degree walk through town!
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you may remember about this time last year when I cried over the discovery that Starbucks Beirut started selling chai. I was the first person to order it, and I think I was the only person who ever ordered it. The baristas knew me well… so well that one time I tried to sneak in to use the bathroom, and the guy behind the counter saw me and called out, “grande chai cream frappucino?!?” I guess the fat, white, very pregnant chai order-er was hard to forget.
Unfortunately my pregnancy cravings just weren’t enough. My beloved chai did not return to Beirut this summer. So, Starbucks has lost a loyal customer (okay, not as loyal as when I was preggo and NEEDED chai every time I went outside, but loyal enough!).
But that’s okay, because there is a new coffee shop in town… with a really yummy mixed berry smoothie drink that I also need to have very often…. unfortunately no pregnancy to blame this one on!
But, the barista almost knows my name (okay, so she called me Cosette – close enough!) and they have frequent drinker cards…. that’s more than enough to bring me back!
And now I have one more thing to add to my list of “to-do’s” next time we are in America: drink a chai at Starbucks. Oddly, enough everything on my list – except spend an entire day in Target – revolves around food…. which reminds me – a new Mexican restaurant just opened up right around the corner from the church… but that’s for another post…
I’ve never been much of a crier. Not to say I don’t cry, but usually it’s about big things (and yes, videos of soldiers coming home from Iraq and surprising their children definitely count as big).
Not sure if it’s the pregnancy or living in a foreign country far from home, but I find myself crying at the strangest times. A few weeks ago I saw Blue Bell mint chocolate chip ice cream in the grocery store. I cried. Didn’t buy any, just cried. Although it’s more of a laughing with tears because I am laughing at the silliness of my crying at the same time I am actually crying. Generally Caleb is laughing too. :)
Then in church last week one of the girls out of nowhere was like, “Oh Miss Nicolette, thank you so much because you played with us the WHOLE DAY yesterday.” Again I cried. And laughed at the same time. Gosh I love those girls.
Today I was out shopping for a birthday present and the toy store just happens to be right next door to Starbucks. I don’t really love Starbucks here. There are a couple non-coffee drinks that I really like at home, but they don’t have them here, so we don’t often go there. But for some reason I decided to stop in and low and behold: new item on the menu.
As of Monday, Starbucks Beirut now has chai. This may be the greatest day of my life. On a random side note, it’s been four days now and I am the only person who has ever ordered it from them, hopefully that isn’t a sign of things to come.
And as I walked home drinking my grande chai creme frappacino with whip creme, I’ll admit, I might have almost cried a bit.
posted by: nicolette