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.
|Quick – dispenses in 10 seconds||Tastes artificial and far from real Chai|
|Inexpensive – INR 2-3 / cup||Not hot & leaves a residue on tongue |
|Available in multiple spice (spray dried) flavours||Stored milk powder and sugar attracts cockroaches and flies|
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.
|Quick – dispenses in 10 seconds||Non-homogeneous, light and smelly Chai|
|Variety of Spices (spray-dried)||Uses processed (spray-dried) spices – does not taste authentic|
|Uses Fresh Milk||Milk vessel is difficult to clean and stinks after a few uses|
|Creates wastage as Tea liqueur needs to be flushed every few hours|
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.
|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|
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.
|Quick as Chai is pre-prepared. Just open the tap and fill||The 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|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this and we will help out!