My friend Ashley has been talking up the famous DC cafe, Teaism, for months. We'd be chatting away on the phone, discussing our latest shopping purchases or thoughts on "Gossip Girl," and suddenly she'd burst out, "Hold on, I have to go get a salty oaty cookie." I was confused by her enthusiasm over something so seemingly mundane. A salty oaty cookie? It didn't sound particularly appetizing. Or worthy of a craving that elicits a "have to have one" type reaction.
Despite my misgivings about the salty oaty cookie, I was thoroughly intrigued by Teaism's other offerings, specifically their Chai latte, which Ashley assured me was the best she'd ever had. My interest was further piqued when my roommate's boyfriend independently insisted that I go to Teaism for this so-called "best ever" Chai. I've never known him to drink anything other than alcohol, coffee and the occasional soda, so his admiration for a tea beverage was unexpected. Screw the salty oaty cookie -- I had to have the Chai latte!
This past Sunday morning, my Chai curiosity was finally put to rest. The verdict? Pretty gosh darn great. The latte is rich with spices rather than ample amounts of milk and sugar, so is lighter on the palate than the Chai's I'm more familiar with. While it is made with 2% milk (the only way it comes), the milk is more of an embellishment rather than the centerpiece of the latte. The spices are what come through -- this is an authentic version of the often sugar-saturated hot beverage. I'm not entirely sure it is the "best" Chai latte I've ever had (I am partial to sugar saturation), but it was the perfect way to perk up my senses as Ashley and I walked to church that morning.
At Ashley's insistence, I also ordered a chocolate salty oaty cookie to go. As I paid for the substantial cookie, I told her that she was welcome to partake in some when I ate it later that day. She smiled knowingly and responded, "Oh no, you are going to want the whole thing." I smiled back (equally knowingly) and countered, "It's a big cookie -- I can share!" Or so I thought.
That afternoon I carefully unwrapped my Teaism to-go bag and proceeded to carefully cram every morsel of that chocolate salty oaty cookie into my mouth. The chunks of salt on the cookie's exterior paired well with the intense cocoa flavor, proving to be an addicting combination that was only further enhanced by the layers of hearty oats. The secret is in the simplicity of the cookie -- it tastes like home, not like an overindulgent bakery treat that seems to be a vehicle for consuming a stick of butter. The cookie really is as craveable as Ashley and all those DC foodies insist that it is. I was so enamored by the somewhat crumbly treat that I forgot to take a picture until only one bite remained.
It was a good bite. Maybe not the best I've ever had, but I can see having to have it again. And again. And again. And again...