And therein lies my downfall. Because I tend to be curious about the chai in places that shouldn't have it. It's difficult enough for coffee shops to make decent chai. If they homebrew it from their own leaves they can make it taste bizarre (Ritual, although to be brutally honest iced chai is harder to make well) or not as sweet as we who are used to Starbucks prefer (Coffee Bar, whose chai I love but it took awhile). If they make it from one of the many bases, powders, or mixes they can easily choose the wrong one (Peet's, which uses a syrup and that just can't work). I thought they got their powder pretty much right at Milkboy, although the day before all I'd eaten was a six-inch egg and cheese from Subway,* so anything I had would have tasted like a meal at the French Laundry. But then the next morning my curiosity got the better of me. Since a fun combination of jet lag and insomnia had caused me to get three hours of sleep the night before, and I was trying to counsel two attentive undergrads about their papers, you'd think this would have been the perfect morning for coffee. But I chickened out of what generally turns into a game of Coffee Russian Roulette,** and thought 'Hmmm, this Bruegger's has chai. That's totally weird and probably inadvisable. I should try it.' And thus, Claire, I am writing about Bruegger's after all ;) What I am writing is: be smarter than I was.
*This was not the responsibility of my hosts, who attempted to suggest things for me to eat several times. I was just completely out of it.
**Will this make me pleasantly alert? Will it make me irrational? Will it make me violently ill? Let's spin the wheel.