Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clash of the Titans?

I hear more and more these days about people ordering chai lattes. What the heck is that? Chai, according to the American Heritage dictionary is "A beverage made from spiced black tea, honey, and milk." Lattes, on the other hand, are "hot espresso with steamed milk, usually topped with foamed milk." So is a chai latte a coffee drink or a tea drink? I read, when I googled, someone describing it as chai tea with foamed milk on top. So to me, that's just a chai tea with foamy milk. How the heck does that make it into a latte? If I put foamed milk on top of my hot chocolate, does that make it a hot chocolate latte? Am I just being too obnoxious and persnickety about what should mean what?

3 comments:

ShadesOfGrey said...

Ok, here's my 3 cents. ;)

Latte is derived from the word for milk (lait in French, for e.g.). So latte to me just means 'with milk'...doesn't matter whether it's coffee, expresso, tea, etc. Europe is traditionally all about coffee, so latte was traditionally just assumed to be 'milk with coffee/espresso'. Now that other beverages are as popular in the world, "latte", then, goes back to meaning "with milk" no matter the beverage.

Just my guess anyhoo.

Epicure68 said...

Wow, I got 3 cents. Must be inflation. ;)

I'm looking at it more from the Starbucks idea of what a latte is, and that's all they call it, it's not a coffee latte, it's just a latte. Just being curmudgeonly.

ShadesOfGrey said...

Yeah, well, stop looking at Starbucks. ;D