Spilling the tea about the 5 best chais in FoCo


Collegian | Trin Bonner

Ivy Secrest, Life and Culture Director

The cold of January has fully set in, and while some may turn to coffee or hot cocoa, chai offers a depth of spice and warmth that coffee and hot cocoa cannot compete with.

Unfortunately, with chai, you are taking a much bigger risk in ordering it. After all, your $5 treat to yourself could end up tasting like lukewarm water with a cinnamon stick thrown in for aesthetic. 


To avoid this devastating blunder, educating yourself on the superior chai spots in town is essential. And while it might not be as satisfying as the home-brewed chai that may be dominating your TikTok feed, it will bring you comfort in a time of ice-cold winds and first study sessions. 

1. Alley Cat Coffeehouse

The Alley Cat chai is thick and flavorful, inherently sweet and best served hot or blended. Obviously, Alley Cat is a beloved local coffee shop, but for tea lovers, it’s even more sacred. Chai is the perfect warm drink for this frigid weather, and Alley Cat has the perfect blend for those with a bit of a sweet tooth. 

2. Momo Lolo Coffee Shop

Momo Lolo offers a chai experience similar to Alley Cat’s: sweet with full-bodied flavors. The staff is kind and just as warm as their chai. If you’re not a chai drinker, their alternative beverages are also delicious. Just avoid getting your chai with almond milk because it definitely changes the flavor profile, unless you’re super into the creamy nutty thing — then go for it!

3. Mugs Fort Collins

Mugs has a variety of chais for those who like to switch things up. Sweet, spicy and matcha are all delicious, though the ginger base flavors of the Bhakti Chai are always a favorite. This is the concentrate you can buy at the store, but there’s something special about drinking it in a true coffee shop.

4. Lima Coffee Roasters

Lima is best known for their coffee, but don’t sleep on the chai, best iced for the crazy people who enjoy cold drinks with cold weather. Classically flavorful and comforting, it will satisfy. And though it may not be chai, the turmeric latte gives the same satisfaction that comes with the spice blend of chai. 

5. Little Bird Bakeshop

Little Bird Bakeshop is a cute nook in Old Town that certainly has its pros and cons. The coffee is quite possibly the most bitter, burnt-to-bits dirt water to ever be served, but the chai makes up for it. With great pastries to accompany it, the chai elevates the whole dining experience, but don’t bring any coffee fans. 

Coffee isn’t for everyone, and as chai becomes more and more popular, it’s always handy to know where to get the best of it. It also lends itself to the vegan diet much more readily than coffee has been able to without changing the base flavor profile too drastically. 

Whether you brew your own or brave the cold to grab a chai in town, these little staples of the Fort Collins community will absolutely help carry you through the freezing temperatures and the stress of the spring semester. 

Reach Ivy Secrest at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.