Last Updated: 1/19/2012 11:12 AM
Bhakti Chai’s flagship flavor is this one, which is labeled “The Original Fresh Chai.” Using a non-shelf stable blend of organic fair trade black tea, organic evaporated cane juice, organic ginger juice, organic soy milk, cardamom and other spices, we’re honestly not sure why they opted to go the refrigeration required route. From a flavor perspective, the product tastes quite good, with layers of spice that make for a complex and enjoyable drinking experience. The ginger provides some heat and bite at the finish, while the cardamom gives the product a semi-floral note. The tea, sugar, and soy milk make up the rest of the drink’s flavor. As far as chai goes, this product is good, but again, we don’t see the benefit of it being “fresh.” Looking at the ingredients, it doesn’t seem all that fresh anyway in the sense that the tea, sugar, soy milk, and spices are all heavily processed prior to going into the bottle (there is fresh ginger juice and freshly ground spices -- but that doesn’t seem to be enough to merit this approach). On the packaging front, there’s a lot to be desired, although the current design definitely has the feeling of a small batch product. Still, there are things about the label that we would change immediately, including use of the word “Iced” (it’s clearly not hot...) and we’d make it more clear that this is a soy milk based product. Overall, it’s an interesting concept that is a good first start, but improving the execution and positioning will be key to this product’s success.