Chai Machines used in Offices & Cafes

Making a good cup of Chai (Indian-style Tea) takes time (~5 minutes) and requires monitoring (to prevent boilover) thereby making it an involved process. Hence, people resort to Chai Machines outside homes specially in Offices and Cafes. This blog provides a quick overview of the existing methods employed to deliver Chai outside homes.  This blog is helpful for folks who are contemplating getting a Chai Machine for their employees or customers.

Premix Chai Machines

This technology is at least 3 decades old. These machines mix hot water with a mix of spray-dried milk, spray-dried tea, spray-dried spices and powdered sugar.  

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Quick – dispenses in 10 seconds Tastes artificial and far from real Chai 
Inexpensive – INR 2-3 / cupNot hot & leaves a residue on tongue 
 
Available in multiple spice (spray dried) flavours  Stored milk powder and sugar attracts cockroaches and flies
 
advantages/disadvantages of a premix based Tea vending machine
Vending Machine - Tea Vending Machine Manufacturer from Jabalpur
A typical Premix-based Chai machine or a Tea vending machine

Liqueur-based Chai Machines

These machines are actually filter coffee machines in disguise. Just as filter coffee machines prepare coffee by mixing hot milk with coffee decoction, these machines prepare Chai by mixing hot milk with stored Tea liqueur.  

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Quick – dispenses in 10 secondsNon-homogeneous, light and smelly Chai
Variety of Spices (spray-dried)Uses processed (spray-dried) spices – does not taste authentic
Uses Fresh MilkMilk vessel is difficult to clean and stinks after a few uses
 Creates wastage as Tea liqueur needs to be flushed every few hours
advantages/disadvantages of a liqueur-based Tea vending machines
image
Liqueur based Chai Machines mix pre-prepared & stored liqueur with hot milk

Tea bag based Chai Machines

These machines dispense a mix of hot water and warm milk in a cup. The user then grabs tea bag and dips it multiple times.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Variety of Tea bags (ginger, cardamom, masala)Tea is light and not homogeneous as the tea leaves are not boiled
Variety of beverages (Tea, Coffee, Lemon Tea)Time consuming & inconvenient as it requires dipping tea bags multiple times
Available in multiple spice (spray-dried) flavours  Not hot so needs to be microwaved or steamed 
 Expensive as usually using 2-3 tea bags for a cup need to be used
 Tea dust in these Tea bags are of very poor quality
advnatages/disadvantages of a Tea-bag based Tea vending machine
Plain Tea Bag at Rs 395 /pack | Yerwada | Pune | ID: 13335472630
Tea bags are dipped multiple times in milk-water mixture

Pre-prepared Chai stored in Vessels & Flasks

These are not machines per se but sometimes referred to as specially if the flask / urn is heaterd.  At tea stalls and cafes, to reduce effort, Chai is pre-prepared in bulk (~1 – 20 litres depending on the need) and stored in flasks or heated or non-heated vessels.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Quick as Chai is pre-prepared. Just open the tap and fillThe flavour & freshness disappears within a few minutes of storage. Chai tastes bad
 Inconsistent taste from preparation and storage.
 Cleaning of these vessels is difficult and after a few uses the vessels stink of milk 
 Wastes a lot of Tea if not consumed
advantages/disadvantages of stored pre-prepared Chai tea vending machines
Heater Tea urns used in Cafes and Tea flasks used at Tea stalls

In short, machines present an efficient way to make Chai but fail terribly at providing the authentic taste that we want in our Chai. The real method of making Chai is too slow and involved thereby making it impractical to put to use outside homes. Pre-prepared and stored Chai option makes Chai taste bitter and stale within a few minutes and creates a lot of waste.

If you have to decide for one for your office / cafe and are unsure about something, you can get in touch with us at connect@mytbrewer.com or fill out this and we will help out!

MyT’s website

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