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Feb 20, 2008 09:17 PM

Anywhere to get a real masala chai to go on UWS?

Getting sick of the watered-down and yet too-sweet chai lattes at Starbucks et al. Anyone know of a place to get a quality masala chai to go on the Upper West that doesn't involve syrup from a tetra pack?

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  1. I'm not a chai drinker, but maybe Hampton Chutney offers something - 83rd/amsterdam.

    2 Replies
    1. re: harrison

      Good luck--I'd be interested to see if you get any responses. I tend to just go to Starbucks and get the Tazo Chai TEABAG and ask for steamed milk with that, so it is totally unsweetened.

      1. re: Produce Addict

        Yeah, I've also just gotten the teabag. The ready-made Starbucks Chai is really nasty.

    2. I posted on this very subject not too long ago:
      As you can see, this is a hard to find item if you don't like the powered/boxed stuff.
      Curry in a hurry may have it, but I usually get their Mango Lassi. Basically, Hampton Chutney is only real chai I've found outside of a sit-down Indian restaurant situation in Manhattan. And, Hampton's is only Ok, not great, but serviceable. I gave up. I'm going to start making it at home in large batches for myself.

      Believe it or not, I found a wonderful real chai at the Garden State Mall in NJ--Gloria Green Jeans. Its run by Indians. They looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if the chai was "real". Thankfully it was, and it was delicious.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ora

        I figured as much but I thought I'd ask all the same. I'll give HC a try soon. Thanks for the info and recs!

        1. re: Ora

          Hi Ora,

          I have very limited knowledge about Indian cuisine, so I just want to ask a very stupid question. what is considered a "real" chai? What are the components? are the tea bags also sort of "fake"?

          Sorry if this is question is too ignorant...

          1. re: kobetobiko

            Chai Masala is a spiced tea. Here's an example of a chai recipe:

            Chai tea bags are a form of the "fake" so to speak LOL. Fresh brewed tea steeped in spices (like those in the example recipe) is what OP and I are craving. Its frustrating that the real deal isnt as readily available at quick service shops like coffee. Starbucks should be ashamed of themselves for serving Chai stuff out of a box and their bagged tazo teas aren't very good either.

            1. re: Ora

              Hi Ora,

              Thanks for the explanation and the link! I learnt something today!:D

        2. Irving Farm on 7th ave btwn 13th and 14th... not on the UWS but just a few stops on the 2 ;)

          Irving Farm
          56 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          1. Go to Gujrat Deli at 106th and Columbus. It's a cabbie joint, and only South Asians visit it, so they actually serve you real chai. 1 dollar a cup.

            1. Jackson Heights/74th Street subway stop on #7 train. Best masala chai at Bombay Chaat and Kebab King. The pani puri at Bombay Chaat is also delicious.