We issued ourselves a challenge: Try the same drink at six different local coffee shops. We decided to take it a step further and issue some Soda City java superlatives.
For our control drink in this experiment, we picked a dirty chai — we love a classic chai latte, but add a shot of espresso to it? To chai for.
And the roastery recognition goes to…
Make it spicy
Curiosity Coffee Bar, 2327 Main St. | If you love your latte spicy, this is the spot for you. Order the dirty chai cold brew coffee and pop in before the holidays to snag local and niche gifts.
Or keep it sweet
Drip, 729 Saluda Ave. | Sweet but not too sweet. Pop in here for a dirty chai and shop around Five Points for the boutique lovers in your family.
For the tea lover
Indah Coffee, 2238 Sumter St. | Indah’s chai is very tea-forward, so you can still taste the chai through the espresso. Plus there’s a wide range of seasonal drinks to choose from and the bounty of seating makes it a great spot to work.
Piecewise Coffee Co., 2001 State St., Cayce | Easy parking and tons of space make this a great place to meet friends or hunker down with some work.
Chai with heart
Oliver Gospel Roastery, 1120 Taylor St. | This bustling cafe benefits the Oliver Gospel Mission with each cup supporting those experiencing homelessness.
Nuts for hazelnuts
Azalea Coffee, 2700 Devine St. | This woman-owned coffee shop has its own spin on a dirty chai — the “Talk Show” latte is made with hazelnut chai and cinnamon. Plus it offers tons of events like the Holiday Market on Sun., Dec. 11.
We only visited six shops for this story — the human body can only drink so much espresso + chai. Let us know if we missed your favorite place in Columbia. We’d love to swing by for a sip. ☕️