Product Type: Drink Me Chai Tea
Newest Review: ... of ways to contact them on the site, and the address on the tub. Address: Drink Me Chai Willow Walk business Centre 10 Willow Walk S... more
Christmas in a Cup
Drink Me Chai
Member Name: ryanando
Drink Me Chai
Date: 12/12/12, updated on 12/12/12 (86 review reads)
Advantages: hot, creamy, tasty, real comfort drink, glutten free, suitable for vegetarians, 99% caffeine free
Disadvantages: High on calories, ingredients not very clear
===The Dreaded Monthly Shop===
It was the end of November. It was also a Sunday. Our friend Linzi found herself off work and desperate to avoid doing housework so asked if she could come shopping with me and my partner Allan. We gladly agreed. We also decided while shopping that since Linzi was staying for tea afterwards, we would pick up some treats. This lead to taking a rather long look at the hot chocolate section in out local Asda trying to decide what flavours we wanted for afterwards. All of a sudden Allan and I both looked up at a tub on the shelf somewhere between the hot chocolate and tea and got quite excited. This happens far too often. I think we inhabit the same brain space. What had gotten us so excited? A tub of Drink Me Chai Latte.
"Drink Me" started off with a woman called Amanda Hamilton selling Chai in the streets of London about 6 years ago. She started off with the Spiced Chai Latte that I'm reviewing and built up to have 6 additional flavours: Green Tea, Vanilla, Chocolate, Peppermint, Mango and a fair-trade version of the Spiced Chai Latte. Not only do they make these flavours for you to take home (supplied by most big supermarkets but not always the same flavours from each one), they do supply to café's too, the biggest chain stocking them at the moment being Caffe Nero. They have a fantastic little website (www.drinkmechai.co.uk) that will tell you all about the history of the company and even gives you some really delicious sounding recipes for things you can make. The tub itself tells you how to make both your normal hot Chai latte and an Iced Chai Latte but the website has even more ideas! Currently they have an extra Christmassy idea called Santa's Spiced Gingerbread Chai latte. I'm actually drooling looking at the other ideas so it's definitely a good little site to look around. There's also a section for samples which is currently closed down due to a high response but states that it will be opening again soon so might be worth keeping an eye on it!
They also like to hear from customers so they have included a number of ways to contact them on the site, and the address on the tub.
Drink Me Chai
Willow Walk business Centre
10 Willow Walk
Starts Hill Road,
Chai latte is basically a milky tea based drink. It's pronounced as one syllable, starting with a "Ch" sound and ended with an "eye" sound. Chai tea tends to have tea, cinnamon and ginger in it. Other places throw some nutmeg and various other spices into the mix. It's generally quite a sweet and flavourful drink that people will either love or hate. Its rich, creamy, spicy flavours and scents really make me think of Christmas so it's a very comforting drink for me. The company themselves say it's like Christmas in a cup! The scent alone is lovely and you can smell it as soon as you pop the lid off the tub.
My first Chai Latte experience was when I visited my friend Jess in Atlanta. She took me to a lovely little hippie restaurant and ordered a Chai latte to go with dinner. My first impressions were that it was too sweet with a very odd flavour. I wasn't certain I liked it. Upon trying more from Starbucks the flavour really grew on me to the point where I ended up falling in love with the stuff. Allan is also incredibly partial to a nice cup of Chai but it was, until now, impossible to make at home as the teabags you can get just don't taste as good.
£2 will get you a tub that holds 250g of Chai Latte Mix which is basically a very light brown powder that you mix with hot water or milk, similar to hot chocolate. £12 will get you a much larger tub but the small ones work out slightly better value for some reason. The tub is a creamy colour with a rich, almost blood red lid and highlights. Upon pulling the lid off (which is easy) you'll see that the tub is also sealed with a foil lid with a pull tab on it. This is really easy to pull off and doesn't leave any messy sticky out foil cut offs. It also keeps the contents fresh till you want to open the tub. The foil part obviously can't be resealed but the pull off lid can.
The instructions on the tub tell you to pop three teaspoons in a mug and then add hot water then stir well. It also states to pop half hot milk and half hot water in the mug for a creamier drink. Following those instructions is easy enough. With three teaspoons I find that the Chai flavour isn't quite as strong as I would like, so I generally add another teaspoon in to get a really nice strong flavour. As for the creamy side of things, I actually prefer to use just hot milk to mix this with. That's obviously a lot more fatty than just using water but it gives a fantastically creamy and comforting drink.
===Whisked to a frenzy===
I've noticed that if you just stir this with a teaspoon it looks like there's a bit of residue on the top of the drink. While it's fine to drink I prefer it to look a bit nicer. I've found out that my whisk fits nicely into my tea cup though and a couple of spins of that not only froths it up a little more, but mixes the powder much better, dissolving it fully. If you let your cup sit a while when you are drinking it, you may sometimes find a little residue settling in the bottom. I tend to drink it fairly quickly so it's not much of an issue for me.
===A cup or four===
Having swiftly fallen in love with the cinnamon flavour of this Chai latte, Allan and I have been pretty much drinking it non stop. We have noticed that it runs down very quickly: there's only about six cups worth in each tub. We both put a teaspoon extra in so if you stick to the guidelines you'll get about eight cups. Still not that many, especially for £2. I guess though it depends on how you want to drink it. As it's 99% caffeine free I've been replacing it for the tea that I usually drink. Caffeine and I don't really see eye to eye at the best of times. I feel a bit hung over if I have more than a couple of cups of tea. Coffee kills me. Chai is a nice tasting and hot alternative.
Despite its lack of caffeine there are other slight drawbacks. There are 93 calories per 20g of this stuff. If your tub lasts you six cups then you're having 41g per cup meaning roughly 190 calories per cup which is more than some chocolate bars. That's probably down to the top two ingredients being sugar and skimmed milk powder. A normal cup of tea with milk is around 14 calories without sugar adding 17 calories for each teaspoon of sugar you want to add. Basically, this stuff is much more fattening than your average cup of tea.
===Who can have it===
Drink me Chai is both gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. Vegans can't go near it as it's got milk powder in it. It is approved by the vegetarian society to back up its claims too. The only issue I have with the tub is that it doesn't go into detail about the spices it uses which may cause issues if you have allergies to certain things. I can't find an exact list on their website either. For those interested I'll list the ingredients here, if you're not interested please just skip!
Sugar, skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat, whey powder, black tea extract (2%), colouring (caramel), caseinate, thickener (cellulose gum), spices, natural flavouring, stabiliser (E451).
Personally I'd like a bit more information on what spices and natural flavourings they use as I know a few people with awkward allergies and this could cause a little doubt.
I really love this stuff. It has a strong cinnamon flavour which I love and the creaminess just makes it a total comfort drink. The flavour is something that some will love and some will hate so you might want to get some free samples from the website before you decide to buy a whole tub. For me, however, this is a sure thing. I have a tub of it in my drawer at work and my cupboard at home, as does Allan. I may have to calm down on it after realising the high calorie count. I would happily give this product five stars if it had a clearer ingredients list but I will have to knock one off for that as it could cause issues in being certain that some people can drink it. For most people, though, I'd definitely recommend a nice hot cup of Chai. We'll probably be having a cup of it on Christmas morning while we open our presents.
Summary: A really lovely christmas-flavoured hot drink
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