Chai It, You’ll Like It!
A roundup of chai tea brands + news
Alongside the ubiquitous (and incredibly sweet) PSL, no drink signals “fall” quite in the way that a chai tea latte does. That said, tying chai tea to a specific season does a disservice to the rich history of the traditional masala chai beverage, which originated in India and today is a staple beverage in many South Asian households. Check out the following chai offerings, from both a large multinational chain and two craft chai tea brands, that speak to the versatility of this beverage.
ONE STRIPE CHAI
Female-owned South Asian beverage brand One Stripe Chai just launched two new latte blends to accompany the company’s flagship Masala Chai Concentrates. These new at-home blends—It’s Haldi, Doodh, a turmeric latte blend, and Chai Me at Home, a masala chai blend—retain the authentic, delicious flavors of a spiced chai, but customers get the added benefit of total customization. All One Stripe Chai products are crafted in small batches, and the tea itself is directly sourced from a family-owned organic and biodynamic farm in Assam, India. One Stripe Chai founder Farah Jesani aims to offer the most authentic flavors of Masala Chai while staying true to its Indian roots—an important point, as One Stripe Chai is one of the few U.S.-based chai brands actually owned by South Asians.
DONA boasts a delicious lineup of three unique concentrate options, each created with a proprietary blend of single-origin, premium spices. Indeed, spices are the primary focus of this chai company, and the team prioritizes traceability in the spice industry (an area that is historically opaque, which the brand posits isn’t good for farmers or consumers). DONA offers Masala Chai, Turmeric, and Dirty Chai concentrates; the Dirty Chai concentrate is the brand’s latest offering, combining Brooklyn-based Variety cold brew coffee and DONA's signature Masala Chai for a delicious and highly-caffeinated fall beverage.
Dunkin’ is getting in on the chai trend too: the beloved fast casual breakfast purveyor debuted its fall lineup back in August, bringing its pumpkin spice products back earlier than usual this year, and included a new Chai Latte in the launch. This Chai Latte can be made with the customer’s milk of choice (including oat, which Dunkin’ launched—to national delight—alongside this fall menu), is sweetened, and features a hint of spiciness from cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Dunkin’ is even encouraging PSL defectors to add a dash of pumpkin spice flavor to its chai latte.