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Dublin chai review: Cafe Noto


I've decided it's high time that I start doing something constructive with my time... So I've decided to more formally review all the chai I drink here in Dublin.

I'd previously complained that chai was hard to come by. Turns out, I was wrong. In addition to the 3 Starbucks outlets in the city (and in pretty much every mall), loads of other places do chai. You just have to read the menu(s), and be a bit adventurous. Because what some people think is chai, is not necessarily what you might think it is.

Anyhow, for my first review, I've selected Cafe Noto.

Cafe Noto
David and I both ordered a regular size chai (probably equivalent to a Starbucks "tall"). When you smell the chai, it smells a little like marshmallows. Like marshmallows minus half the sugar, maybe - quite pleasant. The chai came quite hot, which is great - David hates a cold "hot" drink.

As you drink the chai, it retains the less-sugary-marshmallow flavour, but there's a bit more depth to it - a malty-ness. When we got to the bottom of our drinks, we both noticed a dark substance that could, indeed, have been some sort of malted powder or syrup.

What this chai lacks is spice: it's sweet and delicious, but it completely lacks the cinnamon/ ginger/ cardamom/ clove flavours that I'm used to.

In terms of presentation, the chai came in a nice white mug, and it looked decent. My only quibble would be that there was a bit too much foam on the top - which leaves less room for actual chai. But at a very respectable $2.35 (larger size $2.60), it seemed like pretty good value.

There wasn't a large selection of food available - it was Sunday morning - but sandwiches and salads seem to be the thing - plus coffee, of course.

The premises themselves were warm and comfortable, with plenty of seating - though a few more couches and comfy chairs wouldn't go amiss. Located at the corner of Francis & Thomas Sts, in Dublin 8, it's not super-central, but it's close to tourist sights like St Patrick's and Christchurch cathedrals. And, crucially for me, it's only a short walk from where we live.

Overall? Well, it's a nice cafe, and it's well-priced, but it isn't what I'd normally call chai. If you've never tried chai before, and you're a bit scared of the spices in it, then this is a good one to start with. I'd drink it again.

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Blogger Violet Says:

I was hooked on traditional chai with cardamom, when I was in India. The Starbucks versions are not too bad, but waaay sweeter.

 
 
Blogger Violet Says:

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Blogger Lien Says:

Laura! I finally found your blog again. I knew I'd seen it before.

I forgot to ask you at the last SnB- my Swedish housemate is moving to NZ in October to work for a year or so, and she wanted to talk to people who would know about NZ. Is it alright for her to talk to you, maybe?

BTW, Insomnia coffee shops have chai made from the Oregon Chai brand, which is near and dear to my heart, and is also my favourite chai so far.

 
 
Blogger papusicadea Says:

i think u should try the chai latte from The bald barista,in 68 aungier street,where the DUBLIN BUSINESS SCHOOL IS.it's expensive ,i know but it worth the try!i love it!and i have an observation too,chai latte is made without caffeine,it's just chai syrup and steamed milk with cinnamon on top!

 

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