Chai-lovers have more and more options when supplying themselves with their favorite tea beverage. Once only available to those who could make it from scratch, cups of chai are now sold in most local coffee shops, spiced black tea blends are sold especially for chai in most local tea shops, and even “instant” powdered and liquid chai concentrates are on San Jose area grocery store shelves at Safeway, Lucky, Nob Hill and Zanotto’s. There are two brands of liquid chai concentrate available in San Jose: Tazo and Oregon Chai.
Oregon Chai’s Original Chai Tea Latte Concentrate is packaged in 32 ounce aseptic, sealed, cartons so that it doesn’t need refrigeration until after it is opened. The side of the carton instructs the user to dilute it half and half with milk or a dairy substitute. You can heat the mixture in the microwave or on the stove if you want traditional hot chai, but it’s equally good iced, with cold milk.
Original Chai Tea Latte Concentrate contains water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic black tea, organic vanilla extract, organic spices [extracts], organic honey, citric acid, and natural flavors. The nutrition panel states that there are 90 calories, no fat or cholesterol, and 22 grams of carbohydrates in a ½ cup serving, before diluting it with milk. The product is certified organic by the QAI and the USDA and is a product of the USA (Seattle, WA).
Oregon Chai describes their product as a “magical blend of black tea, vanilla, spices and honey—a perfect balance of yin and yang” and the carton states that part of the money from each purchase of this chai concentrate will be donated to SOLV and the Team Up For Watershed Health environmental restoration program.
I purchased this Oregon Chai product at Safeway in Milpitas. When diluted halfway with milk, the chai has a mild spicy flavor, with a lot of sweetness. While authentic Indian cuisine involves a blend of several spices, they are supposed to be blended so well that they form their own combined flavor, and no one spice stands out. This chai shares that traditional quality, and no one spice dominates the taste, but I found that the flavor as a whole was a little more mild than I liked, and a little sweeter than I liked, too. However, for a quick cup of chai with Indian food, or just because, Oregon Chai liquid concentrate is a handy item to have in the tea pantry.
Oregon Chai, Inc.
7224 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98108
Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.
For more information: “Review of Tazo Organic Chai Spiced Black Tea Latte concentrate”
“Review of Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream”
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“How to make ‘instant’ chai”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“How to make Thai tea”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”