What do legendary rock bands like Jimmy Buffet, Blues Travelers, Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd have in common? They all have a cult following. A cult following is a group of dedicated and incredibly passionate fans. Well, here’s a little more trivia. Did you know there is a cult following for a certain chai tea? Yep, I’m not joking. It’s called Bhakti Chai and lately, I’m rockin’ my Chai Green Smoothie with this magical elixir. However, at first, I had no idea the special powers that behold Bhakti Chai.
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One day, while I was meeting a friend for coffee, she asked the barista what kind of chai they use and I recall her excitement when they said “Bhakti.” I was like, Ba-what? Never before, had I heard of Bhakti and thought maybe there was some secret underground Chai language going on or that Bhakti was a super special strain of tea leaves.
I mean isn’t chai just chai?
That day I learned that many chai tea producers use only powdered ingredients, whereas Bhakti uses fresh ginger and spices, and as my friend described, “you can definitely tell the difference.”
I’ll be honest, I never paid much attention to the different chai teas. So my inquiring mind began to ask and compare chai teas from the local coffee shops in my neighborhood. During this time, I also learned that many other chai-loving friends also prefer Bhakti. As was inevitable, I soon joined the ranks of the Bhakti cult following.
Behind The Scenes at Bhakti Chai Brewery
Imagine my excitement when I was invited to attend a recent Bhakti Chai Brewery tour (sponsored by Sprouts Farmer’s Market). Seriously, I was all giddy to go behind-the-scenes and get the “inside scoop.”
Our tour kicked-off in their Boulder, CO brewery sipping fragrant bottles of their traditional, craft-brewed Iced Chai and their new Sparkling Teas. The Sparkling Teas were a bit too sweet for my Paleo taste buds (I eat very little sugar these days) as were the sweetened Iced Chai Teas. However, for other low sugar palate’s like mine, there is a Semi-Sweet Iced Chai, a Reduced-Sugar Almondmilk Iced Chai, and an Unsweetened Toasted Coconut Almond Milk Iced Chai.
Their additional “grab-and-go” Iced Chai flavors included Original, Decaf and my husband’s favorite, Cold-Brew Coffee Blend Iced Chai.
Next, founder and CEO of Bhakti, Brooke Eddy, took us into the immaculately clean brewery that tempted all of our senses! The clanking of the glass bottles gliding along the stainless steel rollers on the assembly…the brightly scented spices… the strong aroma of the golden yellow pressed ginger. It was pure chai heaven!
We also learned about Brooke’s inspiring story.
Ultimately, Brooke’s prior career in social policy and non-profit led her down an unexpected path exploring the culture of India’s variations of chai tea. What struck her was that every family created a distinct blend, and Brook was drawn to the different aromas and vibrant flavors. Upon her return home, Brooke began crafting her own custom blend that was an immediate hit with friends and family. To her surprise, requests started pouring into her home kitchen.
From home bottling to Farmer’s Markets and then to Whole Foods. Bhakti Chai was born!
5 Reasons To Try Bhakti Chai and Join the Cult Following
1) Fresh, Fair-Trade Ingredients
My personal favorite ingredient is their fresh-pressed (not dried) organic ginger. Bhakti sources sustainably harvested, yellow ginger from Peru and they press it in a giant, stainless press machine. The spicy ginger aroma is one of my favorites! Plus, ginger is incredibly healthy. It’s beneficial to your gut and digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. Yes, I try to get ginger into my diet every chance I get and you should too!
You guys, they are a zero-waste facility. This is HUGE! They compost the tea leaves and ginger pulp (288,000 lbs of fresh ginger to be exact!).
3) Socially Conscious
In Sanskrit, Bhakti means “devotion” or “love.” An important premise of this company is “Devotion Through Social Action.” Brooke’s background and passion for helping others can be found in their “GITA” platform for positive social change. In Sanskrit GITA means “to share your story” and for Bhakti it stands for “Give,” “Inspire,” “Take Action.”
4) Chai Concentrates
If your local coffee shop serves Bhakti Chai, the concentrate is what creates this magic-in-a-cup. The great news is you can purchase the same concentrates for home consumption. As I quickly found out, these are a game-changer to bring easy, fragrant spice to any recipe.
You can try their 3-pack quart size or the 4-gallon case of concentrates in everything from sweet and spicy smoothies (like my Chai Green Smoothie with Cherriesrecipe below), to Bhakti Chai Coconut Sweet Potato Soup and savory Bhakti Brined Chicken. YUM! The recipe options are nearly endless.
5) Awesome Bhakti Gift Sets
Who knew a hat would bring me such joy. Sure, it’s a trucker hat (pictured below), but it’s not any old trucker hat. I’m serious, there is something to be said about a well-constructed and beautiful hat that represents a company with a conscious. You can get this hat with their 2-quart Chai gift set! Perfect (and practical) for your friends who love Bhakti like me.
So don’t be shy….
- Grab an ice-cold Bhakti Chai Tea Latte at your local grocery store such as Sprouts Famer’s Market.
- Ask your local coffee shop to use Bhakti Chai as their concentrate of choice.
- Order your own concentrate or other products on the Bhakti website. If you cook with it, be sure to check back and share your culinary adventure!
Once you go Bhakti, you’ll never go back!
Bhakti Chai Green Smoothie with Cherries
In my humble opinion, there is no other chai quite like Bhakti. The fresh ginger and spicy notes make for a delicious Chai Green Smoothie with Cherries (recipe below). It’s great for the entire family with a boost of healthy greens!
Note for AIP’ers: Chai contains nightshade spices. For those who are in the elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet, please have your friends, kids, and husband try the Bhakti Chai. They will love it! Even my kids were begging for seconds when I made the Chai Green Smoothie and that’s a feat in itself. As for me, I do follow the AIP diet and have a recipe modification that removes nightshades with a special AIP chai spice blend noted below.
Enjoy this spicy, naturally sweet green smoothie with delicious Chai and cherries. Just five natural ingredients. AIP modification in notes section.
- ½ C full fat coconut milk, canned (like this one)
- ½ C Bhakti Chai Concentrate (your choice of unsweetened and unsweetened decaf)
- 1 handful of baby kale (or other baby greens)
- ½ banana
- 4 frozen cherries
- 8 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (We’ve had our Vitamixfor more than 8 years and love it).
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into glass of choice and enjoy!
Baby kale (and other baby greens) have a nice, mild flavor and work well in green smoothies, especially if you are serving to kids who may not like a stronger “green” flavor. But any greens will work in this recipe. It’s all a matter of taste so have fun with it!
AIP modification – Substitute the Bhakti Chai concentrate for the following: 1/2 C canned coconut milk (you want 1 total cup of liquids), 1/4 tsp dried cloves, 1/2 tsp dried cinnamon, 1+ tsp fresh ginger (add more if you enjoy more spice)
If for some crazy reason chai or my Chai Green Smoothie isn’t your thing and you are still reading this (you are awesome, BTW), you might want to check out my Paleo Margarita (w/Kombucha). It’s a delicious, low-sugar alternative to a traditional Margarita and perfect for Summer patio parties.
What’s your favorite way to drink chai? Have you tried chai in any recipes?
Peace and Love,
Disclaimer: Bhakti Chai and Sprouts provided complimentary products to bloggers as part of the brewery tour. All opinions are my own.