One of the perks and perils of San Francisco is the stream of culinary novelties. A few weeks ago I set aside my skepticism about our continuous chase after “the cool” and went with a colleague to the David Rio chai bar, where I had a lovely cup of steaming chai. Only one of their recipes is vegan (why, when easily all of them could be, and just as tasty?) but they do have a really nice assortment of nut milks, including soy, almond, hazelnut, and macadamia.

Last time I was there, they had some bottled chai for sale, including an intriguing blend of their green tea chai with chia seeds. I’ve been ruminating on how to make a homemade version, and today’s blended treat came out delicious.

I put all the following in the blender:

2 cups vegan milk (this time I used unsweetened Ripple, which has a very bland and forgiving taste, but any nut milk would work just fine)
1 heaping teaspoon Matcha green tea
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
a drizzle of maple syrup, or pitted dates to taste)

After blending and pouring into a tall glass, I mixed in a few chia seeds and waited a few moments for them to expand and absorb the liquid. It was delicious: a creamy-but-refreshing afternoon beverage.

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