Generally skeptical of the western appropriation of Indian traditions, we do find the occasional diamond in the rough. The self-billed "chai snobs" at Tipu's recently introduced Chai Now, a fully loaded chai latte that stacks up nicely to their already stellar selection. Building off of their successful Microground Instant Black Chai, Chai Now adds non-GMO soy powder and evaporated cane juice to the instant mix.
Tipu's uses high-quality, non-irradiated spices to produce powerfully flavorful chai mixes and concentrates. The caffeine content is noticeable, and the mix can easily replace a morning cup of coffee. While bold, the flavors are well balanced to prevent any one note from becoming overwhelming. The level of sweetness remains nicely mild, which is definitely a rare quality in mass-market chai. Tipu's recipe comes from founder Bipin Patel's grandmother's recipe, crossing continents to find its way into this ready-to-drink mix.
The only real drawback of Chai Now is that sediment in the mix tends to settle at the bottom of the glass, though that's relatively easy to avoid. We preferred the "slow brew" mixes since they allow you a bit more control over strength, sweetness and milk levels. That said, Chai Now is perfect for your spring camping excursions—just add water and enjoy a spicy cup on a cool night.
Chai Now is available along with the full line at Tipu's online shop.