Organic black tea and non-irradiated spices make for vibrant, bold cup of chai, rich on the cardamom, nutmeg and fennel, and easily better than any I've found at a cafe. A suggestion to add grated ginger to milk before steeping is advice worth heeding, that small touch makes all the difference.
Starbucks Frappuccinos were an obsession of mine until I moved to New York and realized just how many other better blended icy coffee concoctions there are in this city of ours. I've been drinking my way through many of New York's offerings, and have narrowed down my favorite espresso-based blended drinks to two places.
I've always been skeptical of Liquiteria in the East Village, seemingly favored by only the most health-obsessed individuals. But I finally stopped in the other day after years of curiosity. It was the Grasshopper in the hands of a girl, fresh out of her morning yoga session, that caught my eye—a concoction of pear, apple, and pineapple juice, fresh-squeezed in front of my eyes, with not an ounce of added sweeter. And if that alone doesn't spell health to you, they also blend in a shot of wheatgrass and fresh mint leaves.
My smoothie consumption increases manifold during the summer. I have a mental list of all my favorite spots in town for these sweet drinks-as-meals, and one of these places is Moomah Cafe in Tribeca.
At Taim, the falafels are the city's best and the fries are just as good. As for the smoothies? Among the best in the city. Fresh fruit, little sugar, with the final drink more towards icy and refreshing than creamy and filling.