Review: Bhakti’s RTD Shelf Stable Chai
Covers Products: Classic, Classic: Reduced Sugar, Mocha
When Bhakti first launched a few years back, the company did so with a refrigerated product that had a relatively short shelf life. At the time, delivering a ready-to-drink chai that used nut milk and had a fresh taste was a bit of a pipe dream.
Fast forward to 2018 and, thanks to innovation in the industry, the product is now a reality. Bhakti has partnered with Elmhurst to provide the base of cashew milk for their line of aseptically packaged RTD products, and they’ve been able to build these products with a clean and high quality set of ingredients.
The three-SKU line includes Classic, Reduced Sugar Classic, and Mocha. All three of the flavors feature the bright flavor of pressed ginger juice, which is something that has been the hallmark of Bhakti since the beginning. The products range from having 166-198 calories and 14-19g of sugar per 12 oz. bottle (and 2-3 grams of protein).
Of the three varieties, Classic was our favorite hands down. It is the best showcase of chai spices, the tea, the cashew milk, and the ginger. Plus, the level of sweetness seems spot on and where it needs to be for a broad audience. The Reduced Sugar variety, which has 25 percent less sugar than Classic, is good, but we don’t think it cuts the sugar enough to really make that much of a difference (it also unintentionally implies that their flagship product is high in sugar -- it really isn’t).
Finally, there’s the Mocha offering, which, with added cold brew coffee and chocolate, is the most adventurous of the bunch. It’s definitely an enjoyable product, but the addition of coffee masks some of the flavor of the chai. There’s a lot going on in this bottle: coffee, ginger, chocolate, and chai, but it somehow works.
On the outside, the product comes in a 12 oz. plastic bottle that looks the part of other aseptic beverages. It features a sleeve wrap that covers the entirety of the bottle, which they’ve decorated with bright accent colors and a glossy finish. It has a level of visual pop that simply wasn’t there with Bhakti’s refrigerated products.
Overall, we think that Bhakti has done a really nice job with these products. Between being plastic and shelf stable, which allows the brand to go places it literally couldn’t go before, and the more polished look, we definitely think these will be winners.