Chalo to launch new Chai Latte with less sugar at The London Coffee Festival
Surfing high on the tide of the third coffee wave, Europe is starting to get a taste for chai. The Belgian startup Chalo now offers new, funky flavours, following the original Indian recipes.
Despite launching only a year and a half ago, Belgian startup Chalo is conquering Europe and the U.S. coastal states with four funky Indian chai lattes. At The London Coffee Festival on Thursday, a fifth one will be joining the ranks: Chini Chai, made with twenty percent less sugar. Chalo also announces an organic low Chai, especially aimed at the purists. Furthermore, on Thursday and Sunday at the festival, co-founder Gita Van den Boer will host workshops to tell visitors all about the chai tradition in India, her country of birth. Award winning barista Peter Hernou will join her on the one on Thursday to cook up some spectacular chai recipes.
Original Indian recipe
Surfing high on the tides of the third coffee wave, this is the perfect time to explore a new beverage, right? Something funky, perhaps. Meet Chalo’s chai. With less caffeine and a spicy punch to it, Chalo’s chai is the quirky alternative to coffee. Drink it hot, at night in your favourite bar, or cold, in the morning, for a fresh start of the day. The adventurers can add a shot of espresso - better yet: a shot of rum - but by all means it’s the basics that makes chai such a great, versatile drink. Hence, Chalo sticks to the original Indian recipe. Strong, black tea, harvested from estates in Assam, India, and the right mixture of Indian spices that give chai it’s characteristic, spicy finish. Because really, there’s no other way to make the tea Indians perfected centuries ago and still love to drink lots of it on a daily base.
Instant or extended pleasure
Since August Chalo has been selling chai latte as an instant powder containing the tea and spices. Just add hot water and (warm, foamed) milk of your choice. Masala chai is Chalo’s best selling flavour, made with a mixture of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper that makes for the warm and spicy flavour. A ‘hug in a mug’, as Chalo likes to call it. It also sells a rather fresh tasting chai with lemon grass, a sweet one with vanilla and a bittersweet one just with cardamom - all made with nothing but natural ingredients. On Thursday, a new flavour will be added to the so called ‘Funky Feel Good Food’ product range: Chini Chai, made with twenty percent less sugar. Chalo also introduces organic low Chai, providing for the purists, with tea that’s harvested from an organic-certified estate. Whole tea leaves are packaged apart from the spice mixture, meaning you can go all out brewing your very own chai.
A taste for chai
Co-founder Gita Van den Boer grew up in Belgium but was born in India, where she spent some time in an orphanage. At age 30, she went back to India to do volunteer work in that same orphanage. The children and her co-workers introduced here to chai, they drank it every day at breakfast and at lunch. Van den Boer: ‘Back in Belgium, I wanted to continue drinking chai, but there weren’t a lot of places where I could order some. What’s worse is that if it was available, it tasted dull and usually was way too heavy on the cinnamon. I returned to India to seek out the best ingredients to produce my own chai. Chai that would pay tribute to the original flavour: interesting, warm, spicy. To make the process easy for everyone, barista and home consumer alike, we sell our chai latte as an instant powder, but without the milk. That way, you can opt for, say, a soy milk or coconut milk, making chai a great drink for vegans too.’
Chalo was founded on a mission to motivate people to eat and drink healthier, and to let them experience ingredients and recipes from other cultures. Not because one has to, we’re not preaching here, but isn’t it just awesome to try new flavours? Chai is just the start. At the moment, Chalo’s ‘Funky Feel Good Food’ product range features four chai lattes, adding on Thursday a fifth one with 20% less sugar. People all over Europe can drink Chalo’s chai at home or in specialty coffee and tea bars. You can order Chalo’s chai at your specialty deli too, or at Chalo’s webshop at chalo.eu. By using the original ingredients, sharing adventurous recipes online (chai cake, anyone?) and making authentic chai available in specialty coffee bars throughout Europe, Chalo kickstarts the chai movement. Oh, and starting next month, the Chalo chai lattes will be available in California and New York too. Let’s drink some chai to celebrate, okay?
Additional information Chalo:
Visiting The London Coffee Festival? Come meet Gita and taste some chai at Chalo’s booth #HP5 at the Old Truman Brewery site. Or visit our chai workshop at the Lab Programme on Sunday, April 9th at 4:30 pm.