Elevating the chai experience with Arkadia

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Chai has been a staple of Australian café menus for decades, but for the flavoursmiths at Arkadia, the crowd-pleasing coffee alternative continues to grow and evolve.

When family-owned beverage specialist Arkadia started crafting chai latte blends for cafés in the mid 2000s, it was one of the pioneers of the chai movement that would sweep Australia.

Today, it’s hard to find a coffee shop in the country that doesn’t offer chai as a pillar of its drinks menu, with baristas continuously coming up with clever combinations and signature serves.

With origins in India, chai is traditionally made by brewing black tea with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs, including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. This combination of warming spices inspired Arkadia’s original Chai Spice blend, which Arkadia Brand Manager Kylie Chan says remains the original recipe since it was first launched more than 25 years ago due to its loyal fan base.

“Our original Chai Spice has such an iconic and delicious flavour and aroma, which is why our chai following continues to evolve and grow,” says Kylie.

The secret to a great chai, according to Kylie, lies in the balance of spice flavours and black tea. She also recommends taking the time to select the right milk to maximise the flavour.

“It’s best to pair a great chai powder with full-cream milk or dairy alternatives that contain higher levels of natural fat as they’ll add creaminess and body to the drink. For those avoiding dairy, alternatives like soy or oat milk work well as they have a good mouthfeel and naturally add sweetness,” she says.

While Chai Spice is an iconic favourite, Arkadia has created a range of chai blends to add more variety to café menus. Each caters to different customer preferences, with the collection offering different levels of sweetness as well as a variety of complementary flavours.

The collection includes Chai Vanilla, for original Chai Spice drinkers who want a little vanilla twist on the classic; Chai Masala, a subtly fiery chai which is vegan friendly and gluten free; Chai Turmeric, incorporating the earthy flavour and orange hue of the superfood; Chai Matcha, matching the mild tones of matcha with aromatic chai; and Natural Sticky Chai, crafted by the Arkadia master blenders to offer the traditional flavours with a touch of honey sweetness.

“The natural Arkadia Sticky Chai is a favourite with chai connoisseurs,” says Kylie. “It’s made from whole spices, Ceylon black tea, and Australian native honey, and delivers an authentic chai experience as it can be decanted and strained at the table.”

The Arkadia team are always looking for the latest beverage trends, and regularly post recipe inspiration on their website and social channels. Simple but delicious ideas for winter include Chai Hot Chocolate, Biscoff Chai Latte, Matcha White Choc Chai, and Chai Mulled Wine.

“Our recipes are inspired by global drinks trends. Consumers are increasingly looking for fun ingredients and flavours, so we’ve introduced easy-to-follow recipes that cafés can effortlessly create and will have customers returning for more,” says Kylie.

“The Matcha White Choc Chai is particularly eye catching. It simply compiles our Matcha Chai, White Chocolate Syrup, and full-cream milk, with a sprinkle of matcha powder and white chocolate shavings as a finishing touch.”

Considering its long history as a stalwart of Australian coffee culture, Kylie says the popularity of chai will only continue to rise.

“Chai is a great alternative for consumers who want to reduce their caffeine intake but also don’t want the sweetness of hot chocolate. A lot of our café clients offer different chai blends from our range to cater to their customers’ diverse tastes,” she says.

The company will soon unveil its new branding, which includes fresh packaging designs for its whole range, including chai.

“Our brand has evolved alongside us over the 25 years we’ve been in business. We decided it was time for a refresh and a contemporary look that reflects who we are as a brand today and in the future,” says Kylie.

“While the packaging gets a makeover, rest assured the delicious taste of our iconic formulas will remain unchanged.”

For more information, visit arkadiabeverages.com.au

This article appears in the June 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

Source: Bean Scene Mag

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