Customize orders to customers’ tastes and expand your menu with multiple chai drink recipes.
BY SARAH ALLEN
Photos courtesy of Oregon Chai
Sasha Robinson is a barista—and a diabetic. Before she was diagnosed, the 15-year-old Vancouver, Wash., barista made milky sweet hot chai lattes part of her morning routine. But now that she’s avoiding sugar, she has missed her favorite drink.
And she’s not alone. Sasha says she knows plenty of baristas and consumers who struggle with intolerance to sugar, and therefore feel limited in what they can order when visiting their favorite cafés. This is why Sasha was thrilled to find out about Oregon Chai Unsweetened Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, available now.
We brought Sasha some product for a test run, and she was speechless about how well it steamed up on its own, or with extra flavors like syrup or honey. “It is so good,” Sasha says, noting that she often has customers who can consume sugar but find pre-mixed products too sweet. “The Oregon Chai Unsweetened is just like the perfect base. If you want to add sugar or whatever, you can do that to a customer’s taste preference,” she says.
The recipe options for the Oregon Chai Unsweetened Chai Tea Latte Concentrate seem endless. For the customer who wants something sweet, the barista can adjust accordingly, or keep the whole thing sugar-free by using unsweetened syrups, like DaVinci Gourmet’s line of sugar-free syrups. The product steams up beautifully with alternative, plant-based milks as well. (Check out the recipes below for some suggestions, and go here for even more recipe ideas).
“This product also allows baristas to customize the flavor profile of the drinks they serve,” says Kerry Anderson, Senior Brand Manager for Kerry Foodservice. “For example, baristas can add their own vanilla, orange, or marshmallow syrup to create incredibly unique chai lattes that taste great.”
And beyond the customization options, the product is a legitimate game-changer. According to Kerry Foodservice Proprietary Consumer Research conducted in 2020, more than 50% of U.S. adults are opting for reduced sugar in foods and beverages. What’s more, research shows that 61% of consumers would rather cut back on sweetness than use sweeteners.
Sasha agrees. “I see more customers asking for sugar-free or reduced-sugar drinks all the time. Maybe because people are wanting to be healthier after the pandemic, or maybe just because health is on everyone’s mind,” she says. “As a barista, I don’t often have a lot of options for them, especially when it comes to chai lattes, so this really opens so many options to them.”
Offering unsweetened options goes along with wider trends in nutritious beverages, as well—the enormous popularity of plant-based dairy alternatives is ready proof of that. And overall consciousness about best consumer practices drive the trend as well.
“The new Oregon Chai Unsweetened takes sustainability and better-for-you to the next level by eliminating sugar entirely from the formulation, which is a benefit to both consumers and the planet (sugar production drives CO2 emissions),” Kerry continues. “While the rest of the Oregon Chai portfolio has a sustainability goal of reducing sugar by 2024, the Oregon Chai Unsweetened concentrate already exceeds this sustainability goal.”
Delicious chai tea lattes that support health for humans and the planet? Your customers are going to want to hear about this!
Want some recipe ideas? Keep reading or just follow this link.
REAL HONEY CHAI (hot beverage)
¾ ounce honey
7 ounces milk or preferred dairy alternative
Heat together, top with a cinnamon stick.
Expert tip: Use a local or raw honey and sweeten this drink to your exact preference. Add a slice of ginger on top to add extra-spicy heat that infuses over time.
ICED DARK CHAI ESPRESSO (cold beverage)
1 ounce espresso
1 ounce DaVinci Gourmet Chocolate Sauce
8 ounces milk or preferred dairy alternative
Fill glass with ice and pour in mixture.
ORANGE CHAI SODA (cold beverage)
2 ounces soda water
4 dashes orange aromatic bitters
1 sugar cube
1 orange wedge
Muddle bitters, sugar, orange wedge, and cherry. Add Oregon Chai Unsweetened Chai Tea Latte Concentrate and soda water. Fill with ice. Garnish with orange zest.