NYC: Doughnut Plant is for Chai

Thursday, April 7, 2011 5comments No tags Permalink 0

You already know the doughnuts here are awesome…especially that crunchy, addictive jam-spotted oatmeal number.

But strangely enough, the bulk of my visits to the new Chelsea location of Doughnut Plant has not been for doughnuts but for warming cups of the housemade Chai Tea.

$2.75 for a small, which is all you need. It’s a potent concoction, milky and sweet. Some complain that it’s too sweet, but I just consider it more akin to dessert than a drink. Take a sip, the liquid is creamy and velvety enough so that an actual layer of skin forms on the surface if you let cool before drinking (which I trust you will not do!) Notes of cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon come in clear though it’s subtle and a take on chai that’s certainly not for purists.

The seating space in this new location is fairly large, and given that there’s not many reliable options close by where one can linger with a drink or doughnut, extra kudos to Doughnut Plant. They serve Intelligentsia Tea here, loose leaf bagged in filters upon order. Speaking of do-it-yourself tea filters, I’ve been playing around with different brands. The idea is that you can take loose leaf tea on-the-go without the hassle of bringing an actual tea filter. Just pour a teaspoon or two of the loose leaf tea into these paper filters and ta-dah, an ideal one time use affair.

These are the four most popular tea filter brands, though I’m sure there’s more on the market:

I use T-Sacs most frequently which I buy either at The Tea Set or Bowery Kitchen Supply. You can find Adiago ones at Whole Foods and Murray’s Cheese. Visit Harney & Sons for Finum and order Melitta’s tea filters online (though you can get all of these brands online). I drink loose leaf teas at home using the filter in my teapot, but when I want to take a sample to friends or know that I’ll be away from home for most of the day, I pre-pack a few filters, put them in a ziploc bag and use as needed. Not a replacement for traditional tea filters, but a nice convenience for sure.

Doughnut Plant
220 W 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

  • gluttonandstudent
    April 7, 2011

    is it at all reminiscent of the masala chai served at indian restaurants?

  • Green
    April 7, 2011

    Girl, get yourself some of the empty tea bags from Asian markets. It's a pouch that has a "cuff" that you flip over to form a enclosed tea bag. It's fully submergible. Once the tea blooms, especially if it's whole leaf tea, they stay put. I hardly have "escapee" tea leaves at the bottom of my thermos. I like them better than the fillable tea bags that have to hang wet off the side of your cup/mug. They come in packs of 50-100 for only $2.50-5.00. You can find them in Asian markets hanging on the clip hangers at the end of aisles. You can definitely find them at Daiso / Ichiban Kan Stores (Japanese dollar stores).They look like these.'ve seen several different brands. They come in individual sizes and larger (for teapots), though I just throw in several individual sizes if I'm brewing a large pot.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    April 8, 2011

    Hi Noya! It is vaguely, but this one is much sweeter, creamier and definitely more dessert-esque than the ones at Indian restaurants.Hi Green! Oh wow – thank you for these tips! I haven't seen these bags before but will be stopping by the Japanese Culinary Center tomorrow to get some dishes…hopefully I'll be able to find them in person there. They seem so much cheaper than these mainstream "American" tea filters hahaa :)

  • anonymous
    April 9, 2011

    I don't think they are serving Rishi tea in Chelsea — I think it's Intellgensia loose teas, the same place they get the amazing coffee they are serving, too. Maybe someone can confirm? I can ask next time I go.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    April 9, 2011

    Hi Anon! Ahh you are right – I will make the correction. Thanks for pointing this out! :)

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