Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

My Chai

Since Lori is now writing odes to coffee, I thought I should share my drink of choice: the vanilla chai. I have never been anything close to a coffee drinker, though I did enjoy quite a few cafe mochas for about two years. I stopped when I saw our caffeine addiction begin to tear our family apart. Kidding! Actually, I stopped when it just started to seem like too much sugar and caffeine for my high-speed metabolism.

A couple of years later, our friend Katie introduced me to the vanilla chai. Since I also don't like any form of tea, I was immensely skeptical. However, our church cafe made a version that was very creamy and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I know many of you also love vanilla chai, so I will admit right now that I actually don't enjoy the Starbucks version very much - it's good, but a bit too authentic for me.

It's fun to have a beverage of choice since so many meetings and social activities seem to center around liquid caffeine. Still, these drinks were a rare treat for me as I've never been able to embrace the idea of spending $3+ on a regular basis. A few of those can buy a steady stream of books and music (which, tragically, go so much better with the aforementioned drug).

So, ever the loyal enablers, Katie and Lori started to supplying me with home versions of chai, which can be considerably cheaper. These were very good, but then we stumbled upon the best of them all and I am officially hooked: Oregon Vanilla Chai Latte Mix. Not only is very tasty, but it's organic in all the right ways and made by a cool company. Side note: Even though it's a cool company, you'll find their products much cheaper at Target, Amazon, or various natural food stores.

The instructions say to "just add water", but that is not what I recommend. Since I'm endlessly searching for ways to make it creamier, I use 4oz of water and 8oz of milk. Using the aerolatte to froth the milk takes it to the next level. And what's truly wonderful is enjoying this terrific drink, which I like better than any I have found in a cafe, for about $0.55!

Since the weather in Texas has caused me to wonder whether God intended for humans to live here, I've had very few chances to enjoy this drink. Obviously, I do not yet qualify for my addiction club membership since I actually need it to be somewhat cool to drink a hot beverage. This long weekend, though, was beautiful and filled with rain (yes, those two often go together here) and I was finally able to share Lori's mug-filled mornings.

There is a great way to enjoy chai during hot summer days, though. Go to Starbucks and order a vanilla creme chai frappuchino. It's quite an experience.