Choosing to have a cup of chai tea works well for me in the morning as I get ready to hit the road. I typically do not eat in the mornings, and chai holds me over. The sweet thick body of chai tea gives me energy and removes morning hunger.
By profession, I am an over-the-road truck driver. To survive driving across the country, truck drivers need plenty of things, and of course, food and drink are among the top needs. Every morning a truck driver performs a pre-trip inspection on their truck. They also need to perform a pre-trip inspection on themselves. Most truck drivers include getting a cup of coffee as a part of their pre-trip. Others choose a nice cup of tea. I mix it up and will get either a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.
Lately, I go for a hot cup of chai. In this article, I discuss Why I love chai and what type of chai I typically drink.
When I First Had Chai I Fell In Love
The first time I had chai was during Ramadan at the masjid during the breaking of the fast. It was an African-style chai. I am not sure if it was Kenyan or Somali, but it was distinct and absolutely delicious. There is no comparison between African Chai tea and instant chai. The African chai is made with fresh spices and is very sweet. African chai will scold your mouth, though if not careful.
Every time I have chai, I have memories of when I was new to masjids, cool Ramadan evenings, and the sounds of the Qur’an being recited in the masjid or at home. I remember the clear evenings and bright moon that reminded me of Allah His Greatness. These memories are the reasons why I love chai tea.
I want to make it like I first had it, but I am also fine with waiting until Ramadan. It is my own personal Ramadan tradition.
What Chai I Choose To Drink & Why
I prefer chai made from scratch, but I cannot make it because I am always trying to hit the road as soon as possible. So I settle for instant chai that does the job. I should not say that I settle because I do enjoy the Caffe D’Vita brand a lot.
Caffe D’Vita instant chai has the perfect amount of sweetness, and it is very smooth. It is not grainy like other brands I’ve had.
I can either heat some hot water in my coffee maker or get free hot water out of the truck stop in the morning. After my pre-trips are done, I can’t wait to have that first sip.
I start the engine to my truck, first happiness, I then turn on something to listen to, usually the Qur’an, and then take a sip of the hot chai, sit it back in the cup holder, release my breaks, and get going. That is happiness for me.
Artisan Chai Tea
I am not afraid to experiment. So one morning, I was getting some coffee at the Love’s truck stop. I usually drink my coffee black. This particular morning I wanted something different. I noticed the tea collection, and there was this artisan-style chai tea. I thought it to be interesting. I was newly drinking tea, so I thought, why not.
I opened a pack and noticed that it did not look like dirt, and it smelled great. I dipped it in my coffee and added french vanilla. I know that you should keep the bag of tea in your cup of water for about 3 minutes, but I like the stronger taste, so I did not take the artisan-style chai tea bag out at all. It was delicious. I couldn’t believe it.
This became my go-to for a long time. It’s funny; when other truckers saw me making it, they would ask me what I was doing. It was a strange concoction to them. I’d smile and tell them how good it was as I take a sip, smile, then move along.
The flavor of this Artisan Chai by itself is closer to the African chai. It’s closer, probably because it is spicey. So all I would need to do is add milk and sugar. But, as I said, I have my personal Ramadan tradition, and I do not want to mess that up.
Of course, artisan chai tea is much different than instant chai, but they each have their place and time.
I have also drunk a loose leaf chai blend called Masala Chai from Spice Pilgrim, based in Clackamas, Oregon. The flavor was strong but decent. I love chai because it is diverse. I do not think I could get bored of this fabulous drink. I will continue to discover the many variations that people come up with and maybe discover my own. I am happy that my tradition of chai has moved to my truck as well every morning. The mornings are clear and fresh, just like Ramadan nights. So, chai gives me spiritual memories that I can appreciate. I hope you appreciate chai as much as I do. Let me know below.