Just because it’s warm doesn’t mean people aren’t drinking hot coffee – or chai. Plus, the vivacious warm tea is equally as tasty on ice. It turns out Durango is home to some diverse chais. The word chai simply means tea in some languages, such as Hindi, but Americans use “chai” when referring to the sweet and spicy black tea mixed with milk. The drink is usually made with cardamom, cinnamon sticks, peppercorn, cloves, and ginger, but recipes vary across cultures and cafes. That variety is represented in the different chais found on Main Ave.
Himalayan Kitchen’s masala chai 992 Main Ave., himkitchen.com Owner and executive chef of Himalayan Kitchen, Karma Tenzing Bhotia, was born in a remote region of Nepal. He adds the authentic flavors of his birthplace into his dishes, and into the teas on the menu as well. You can order a Bohita’s signature masala chai with milk, either sweetened or unsweetened, hot or iced.
Magpies Newsstand Cafe’s chai latte 707 Main Ave., 970-259-1159The chalk sign outside of Magpies Newsstand Cafe declares their chai latte the best in town. It’s pretty damn good. Unlike masala chai, the milk in chai lattes is frothed, resulting in a creamier texture. And unlike other cafes in town, Magpies brews their own tea, which comes hot, iced, or frozen with choice of milk.
Mariana’s Indonesian chai1101 Main Ave., 970-946-4038The yellow food truck serves a unique chai made with coconut milk and healthy Indonesian spices that float freely in the tea. The ginger is prominent in this blend, making it refreshing and revitalizing. If chai is not your thing, Mariana also makes Thai tea that is equally as delicious and distinct.