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  • - This is not chai.

  • This is a chai tea latte.

  • And look at how they spelled my name.

  • Emme?

  • (laughs) We're not gonna go get this.

  • If you see something

  • You better

  • - Hey, guys!

  • I'm Ahmed Ali Akbar.

  • I'm the host of See Something Say Something,

  • Buzzfeed's show where we tell life stories

  • and talk about being Muslim in America.

  • It's very cold out here in New York,

  • and we are gonna go find a good hot cup of chai.

  • We're gonna be joined by our cab driver Jamil.

  • I'm gonna go to Brooklyn, pick up my sister,

  • then we're gonna go to three chai places

  • and sample the stuff they have there.

  • To you, what is chai?

  • - It's a part of life, you know?

  • It's hard to quit that, you know?

  • - Yes.

  • Definitely addicting.

  • Do you like cardamom in your tea?

  • - No.

  • - Wow.

  • So you're very milk, sugar. - Just milk, sugar,

  • and that's it.

  • - Zainab, how obsessed with chai are you?

  • We are not about chai tea lattes.

  • - No!

  • Chai means tea,

  • so a chai tea latte is a tea tea milk.

  • - That's what I told you. - Chai is tea with milk.

  • - So, we're gonna go to three places.

  • My favorite place is Chandni.

  • Zainab, your favorite place is?

  • - [Zainab] Punjabi Deli, whoop whoop!

  • - [Ahmed] And Jamil? - [Jamil] I go to Haandi.

  • - You go to Haandi.

  • We're gonna compare all three,

  • decide which one is the best cheap,

  • delicious, tasty chai.

  • - Let's do it.

  • (energetic music)

  • - Ever since I started working at Buzzfeed,

  • I will go to Chandni and grab two cups of chai,

  • and I would give it to my coworkers.

  • I had somebody describe to me,

  • which, not inaccurately, but I wouldn't have thought of it,

  • as brothy.

  • - Huh.

  • (energetic music)

  • - So, we're here at Chandni in Manhattan.

  • We're here with the chef of Chandni, Muhammad.

  • How do you make your chai?

  • - Water, milk, spices,

  • pour tea inside, and that's it.

  • Tea is ready.

  • (funky music)

  • - [Ahmed] (chuckling) That is gorgeous.

  • - This is international recipe.

  • I learned from my mother.

  • - As all good recipes come.

  • I just learned so much.

  • I mean, I've seen it, but not like that.

  • That was on next level stuff.

  • Oh my God.

  • - It's magical.

  • - It hits you so right away.

  • - It's perfect.

  • - Every sip is just like,

  • it's got spice, it's got cream.

  • - Oh, it's like, silky.

  • - And a lot of sugar.

  • I know you don't drink sugar.

  • - Regularly, I don't actually, you know, as a routine.

  • If it comes, that's okay, doesn't matter.

  • - What would you rate it out of five?

  • - Definitely, I'm gonna go four for that,

  • because I don't drink with...

  • I mean, cinnamon and the laung, that other thing, you know?

  • It's not my taste, actually, for that.

  • But no doubt, it's a very good tea.

  • - I would give it a five out of five.

  • - I would give it a four because it's too sweet for me.

  • - That's good by me.

  • I'm happy with that.

  • All right, let's go to Punjabi Deli.

  • - Let's do it! - That's our next stop.

  • (Middle Eastern music)

  • (inhales and sighs) Yes, it smells so good.

  • - Smells like home! - It's very comforting.

  • I'm Ahmed.

  • - Okay. - Nice to meet you.

  • Your name is?

  • - My name is Kulwinder Singh. - Kulwinder Singh.

  • What do you put in your chai?

  • - In our tea, we put half water, half of the milk,

  • and then we add in cardamom, ginger, cinnamon.

  • We have also the cloves.

  • You will really enjoy this tea.

  • - [Ahmed] So, did you always make it

  • with the espresso machine?

  • - Yeah.

  • It's always working 24 hours.

  • As a taxi.

  • - [Ahmed] Like a taxi.

  • Are most of your customers taxi drivers?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Oh, it tastes so good.

  • - I feel like the difference between this and Chandni,

  • this you put in a Thermos, you drink it all day.

  • - When you open it up,

  • you can see the clove and the cardamom,

  • and I think there's even a slice of ginger

  • floating in here.

  • I love that.

  • - The chai, how would give it out of five?

  • - Four.

  • The method of cooking it different.

  • The other maker, a stove.

  • This one, a little bit different.

  • - To me, it's a five, right?

  • The chai is great,

  • and just being in that cozy cramped space,

  • just surrounded by smells of home,

  • it's a five for me.

  • - This is really, really good.

  • I would give it maybe a 4.5.

  • But what's amazing about it is,

  • they're in such a small location.

  • - But still, it's one dollar.

  • - One dollar! - One dollar, fresh tea.

  • One dollar, okay.

  • - Okay, so, because it's New York,

  • Zainab had to leave for an appointment,

  • so it's just me and Jamil Uncle for the last place.

  • You said you wanted to come in to Haandi.

  • Why did you want to go in?

  • - The owner and the other guy who works over there,

  • they know me.

  • So I hope we're gonna meet them.

  • Special tea for us.

  • - (laughs) That is the key!

  • You get better stuff. (laughs)

  • If you know the people, or if you're of the background.

  • (Middle Eastern music)

  • - [Jamil] What did you want over here?

  • - Well, what kind of chai would you drink here?

  • - Oh, just a good chai you saw here.

  • - Dudh patti, or...

  • - [Jamil] Dudh patti, let's try the dudh patti.

  • - All right, we'll get some milky...

  • I'm gonna have him do the ordering.

  • And speak in Urdu.

  • My Urdu is okay, but his is gonna be better.

  • (speaking foreign language)

  • - All the time, I bother him, you know.

  • (laughing)

  • - We've got three different types of chai here.

  • We got the regular tea on the left.

  • We got the dudh patti tea in the middle.

  • And we're gonna see the kashmeri chai downstairs.

  • You might not believe me, but it's basically green tea,

  • that when you stir it for hours and hours and hours on end,

  • it oxidizes and becomes pink.

  • Oh my gosh! (laughs)

  • Oh, I got some pink on my pants.

  • Okay, there we go.

  • That requires some expertise.

  • Oh my God, it's so pink!

  • Jamil Uncle is opening up his dudh patti chai.

  • We got seikh kababs, chicken kababs,

  • qormas, samosas.

  • They just gave it to us.

  • Because that's the way Pakistanis do, I guess.

  • We're gonna start with the dudh patti chai.

  • It's your favorite, right? - It's my favorite.

  • The color is really good.

  • (speaking foreign language)

  • - Yeah.

  • - Oh, yeah.

  • - This is my chai. - Oh, yeah.

  • There's no spice, right?

  • - [Jamil] No spice here, yeah.

  • - Just good tea.

  • - Good tea, yeah.

  • A little extra milk, you know.

  • - A little extra milk.

  • - A little bit extra, you know.

  • - The texture is amazing.

  • The texture is definitely the best of all

  • of the three we've had.

  • How would you rate your chai out of five?

  • - Five. (laughing)

  • - I don't think about this chai,

  • but it is really, really reminds me of home.

  • I want to give it 4.5, though.

  • I don't know, it's kind of a five, to be honest.

  • It's a five, let's be honest.

  • Very comfortable tea.

  • I could drink it all day, honestly.

  • So we recorded a conversation

  • with Jamil Uncle, also, for the podcast.

  • You can find that at buzzfeed.com/seesomethingsaysomething.

  • Talk about New York and the cab driver life.

  • Rate us on iTunes and subscribe,

  • and we're gonna do a lot more videos

  • like this in the future.

  • (hip hop music)

- This is not chai.

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