Spending so much time in Washington DC was amazing, especially being there for Memorial Day (which I’ll talk about a bit later)! The city was glimmering with patriotism and you couldn’t help but smile and wave at everyone walking by. Mark and I had some fun moments visiting Bhakti fans at Whole Foods Market, Core Power Yoga Studio, Extend Yoga, participating in DC’s Bike To Work Day and being featured on Good Morning Washington’s Food Truck Friday series!
A stand out day for me was definitely the Harley Davidson gathering for Memorial Day. I’ve never seen so many motorcycles before, and I sure stood out like a sore thumb! It was great though, because so many people were interested in meeting me and trying Bhakti’s delicious chai. I have to say, I felt pretty special because most of the streets were blocked off except for the bikers, but they let me through the barricades and I got to pose as an official biker chick! I’ve never felt so cool before.
I also loved the Memorial Day block party in Takoma, everyone on Memorial Day was feeling extra patriotic, and the energy was infectious! To top it off, I was featured on TV (again)! After having some practice in Miami, I felt much more comfortable on camera this time. ABC’s Good Morning Washington does a Friday Food Truck series and they were anxious to meet me and find out more about what a Tuk Tuk is. I was really excited to meet them, and even though I’m not technically a food truck, it was fun to be featured and spread the Bhakti love to everyone in Washington D.C! You can check out the video feature below…
Overall, I loved spending so much time in this city, and when Mark and I left I felt a deeper sense of commitment to my Bhakti (devotion) by truly knowing this tour is not only spreading our delicious chai, but how much we are committed to making a positive difference in this world by sharing our social mission too.
Stay tuned to hear about Red Sox Nation when we visit Boston this week!
So, one thing is certain about the reputation of Miami – everyone is sexy! And I don’t mean sexy in appearance (though there were plenty of beautiful people around), they are sexy in attitude and the way they carry themselves. It gave me some inspiration, and a boost of confidence, which I really needed to prepare myself to meet Chris Van Vliet -3-time Emmy Award winning entertainment reporter for Deco Drive on WSVN FOX in Miami (and Cosmo’s Bachelor of the year)!
I was beyond excited that he was going to drive me around town, and that I’d be featured on the news! Be sure to check out the video footage from this amazing experience. Miami will always be remembered as the time I became famous.
Perhaps it was my new glowing radiance post-interview with Chris, but after a quick photo-shoot with an amazing backdrop, GoPro happened to think I was looking fab enough to give us some love on Instagram! Mark and I love documenting our experiences and adventures with the GoPro HERO4, and we were psyched to be getting attention from them! The excitement and buzz carried me through the weekend as Mark and I hit up the boardwalk on South Beach and handed out chai to beach goers, and also zenned out with the yogis at Green Monkey Yoga. We were so caught up in the moment that we forgot to take pictures, but let me tell you, Green Monkey Yoga is amazing!
I also was equally inspired at our stop at Girl Power Miami, where we hung out with some amazing and sassy young women, and I was decorated with so much love and literal girl power on my devotion board! It’s amazing what programs like Girl Power can do and the impact they have in local communities. I was so thrilled to be part of that experience and to be able to give a donation to help Girl Power continue making a difference in the lives of these amazing young ladies.
Our Miami trip topped off with a sampling bonanza at Whole Foods South Beach where we met some amazing fans. It really couldn’t have been a better weekend, and as bittersweet as it was to hit the road again, I am really looking forward to spending some time in our Nation’s capital this week!
Be sure to check in with our social channels to track my next adventures in D.C. You can get live updates on the tour by using #MeetGinger and #TukTukTour on Instagram and Twitter. So, in the spirit of Jack Kerouac, “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”
Until next time!
Ginger, the first electric Tuk Tuk in the US will be hitting the streets of Washington DC from May 12th through 25th…sharing our spicy brew and our social mission with fans!
Here is the schedule so far…let us know if you’d like for us to come visit your office while we’re in town — or let us know where you’ll be so we can come and meet you.
Tuesday May 12
- 10am-5pm Whole Foods Foggy Bottom (2201 I Street NW)
- 6:15-8:30pm – Core Power Georgetown (1055 Thomas Jefferson St NW)
Friday May 15th
- Bike To Work Day – We will be at the National Geographic courtyard (1600 M St. NW)
Ginger and Mark had a blast in Miami on their infamous Tuk Tuk Tour!
- We spent the afternoon with Chris VanVliet of FOX’s On Deco Drive in South Beach and even made it on to the 7:30pm and 11pm news!
- Another highlight was meeting the young women at Girl Power in Miami and giving them a donation to continue making a difference in the lives of girls.
- We staged a sampling bonanza at Whole Foods South Beach on Saturday!
Thanks to our Miami fans for the warm welcome!
Every decision we make has a ripple effect and impacts the world around us. No matter how big or small, the way we interact with each other on a daily basis can, and does make a difference. Our goal on this nation-wide Tuk Tuk tour is to start a ripple effect by not only introducing people to our amazing and sustainable chai but to share our social mission – our devotion through social action, which we hope ripples through communities across the country.
Our retail partners are such a huge part of our success in making these goals a reality and we want to dedicate this post to them! Just last week in Atlanta Mark and I were in a pickle to get thousands of our chai minis refrigerated when the sprinter van broke down. Over thirty boxes would go to waste if Mark couldn’t figure out a way to refrigerate them so he went directly to our friends at Whole Foods on Ponce and met Tyrell, who didn’t even hesitate to say yes! We were ecstatic and amazed at his willingness to help us out and just a few days later Michael, the Dairy Manager (pictured below) helped Mark load all the boxes back in the van for us. It’s moments like this where you truly appreciate small acts of kindness. Tyrell and Michael became our Angels in Atlanta.
So many other retail stores and their staff have shown so much kindness and support in our mission including Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Sprouts and all the incredible Co-ops and cafés we have stopped at. We are humbled by how excited everyone is when we arrive at their store, and how all the staff have embraced us, even when things don’t always go as planned. We appreciate you everyday, and just wanted to say thanks from the bottom of our heart.
I didn’t quite know what I was in for when I hit the streets of New Orleans last week. Easter morning started out innocent enough with some yoga at Wild Lotus Yoga Studio. Mark and I were really excited to meet the yogis there and they were extremely friendly and so excited about my ice-cold Bhakti Chai, especially the teacher who buys our delicious, fiery chai at the New Orleans Food Co-op. From yoga, Mark and I went to go convert new Bhakti fans at the Easter Parade in the French Quarter. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but needless to say after weeks of more or less innocent experiences, the Easter Parade, which ended up to be more like a Mardi Gras party definitely burst my innocent bubble.
Mark and I caught the end of the parade, but pedestrians were still casually walking in the middle of the street, like it was a normal thing to do. I couldn’t believe it! The cars and I were forced to move at a snail’s pace (which is good for me considering I can only go 25 mph) as people sauntered up and down Bourbon Street with Daiquiris in hand. Despite the drinks they already had, passersby couldn’t get enough of my chai! The more people that stopped us in the street, the more attention we got, and suddenly I was overwhelmed with new fans while Mark handed out as many mini iced chai’s as he could. Even the pedicab drivers were loving us, making several laps around the block, and after our second pass down Bourbon Street people were yelling out “Hey, it’s the chai guy!” Mark and I were famous!
It was soon after this that people began tossing my mini chai samples up to onlookers on balconies in exchange for beads… and that’s how I ended up with my purple strand. Can’t say it was a bad trade, and now I have something to remember New Orleans by, as if I needed a reminder at all. New Orleans is sort of it’s own little country in many ways… between the architecture, culture, and exuberant celebration of holidays, I’d have to say NOLA is one of the more unique cities in the U.S. Through all of the commotion and activity I think it’s safe to say that the good people of New Orleans know about Bhakti and the friendly “chai guy”. Mission successful!
As wild and crazy as this city can be, the passion and energy is infectious, and the people here are genuinely kind – in fact, hugs between strangers are a regular commodity. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces, and the people I met here are now friends I will never forget! As I look forward to my next adventure in Atlanta, NOLA will definitely carry a special place in my heart.
P.S. Catch me in Atlanta later this week around town and at the Festival on Ponce on Saturday, April 11th!
There are times when our days are full of excitement and endless activities – just like last week at SXSW – that it’s easy to get caught up and let life fly by. As fun as it all was, I was looking forward to experiencing some quiet time and sunshine during my last week in Austin.
Spring is an excellent time to move with the flow of the season and begin to reconnect again. When life around us is blooming, there is a wonderful opportunity to get grounded, renew and reaffirm what we are committed to. To remind ourselves of our purpose, our Bhakti (devotion). As Ginger, the Tuk Tuk, my Bhakti is to spread the joy and the love of what Bhakti Chai is all about: Showing our gratitude and appreciation to our dedicated fans, and creating new fans along the way. It’s about building lasting relationships, trust and showing our dedication to quality, sustainability and giving back to those in need. While the goal on this amazing cross-country tour is bringing delicious, spicy and fiery chai to you, your friends and family, the mission will always be rooted in spreading our devotion to you; our devotion to creating lasting change through social action and inspiring that in others.
So, as I wrapped up my last week in Austin, with a little downtime, sunshine, saltwater and an amazing om day with our friends at the Core Power Yoga Triangle Studio, it helped me to realize why Mark and I are spending ten months on the road across twenty cities. We are doing it because we love our fans and the devotees we have not yet met!
I can’t wait to experience so many other wonderful cities, including Houston and New Orleans this week! Stay tuned to hear more about my adventures as the journey unfolds. Don’t forget to follow Bhakti Chai on Twitter and Instagram and use #MeetGinger and #TukTukTour to find out where I am next!
With love and gratitude,
We went to Austin last week anticipating higher temperatures and sun on our faces, but we got rain instead… Every. Single. Day. That however, didn’t stop anyone from having the best time ever, and enjoying my free Bhakti Chai minis. Despite the gloomy weather, the show at SXSW definitely did go on, and everyone I met was full of smiles! I also have to say that SXSW was more amazing than I ever thought it could be. I met the most incredible and warm hearted people, not to mention the artists that performed during the Quantum Party were so talented!
We mingled with our friends at Whole Foods and Whole Planet Foundation, Saved Series, GoPro, Red Boot PR, Justin’s and so many others! I made a lot of new friends too, as you can see from all the photos. Bhakti Chai fans are some of the best people on the planet and are more than happy to spread the Bhakti Love. I have no doubt that the people of Austin will be hooked for life! I’m so excited too, because I still have another weekend to enjoy Austin, and hopefully at some point the sun will come out!
Don’t forget to follow all my fun on Instagram and Twitter by using #MeetGinger and #TukTukTour to find out where I’m heading. Next week Mark and I will be off to Houston, so stay tuned for my specific locations so you can say hi and get your free Bhakti Chai!
Welcome to day one of my journey! I’ve finally landed in Austin, and am proud to announce that I’m officially the first ever electric Tuk Tuk in the U.S.! What is a Tuk Tuk you ask? Well, other than being fabulously decorated in Bhakti Chai regalia, I am a three-wheeled motorized vehicle that is traditionally used as a taxi in India. But you can think of me as a vehicle for spreading the Bhakti love as I embark on a 20 city adventure over the next 10 months to share Bhakti’s delicious, fiery and sustainable chai with fans and non-profits along with tons of Bhakti swag!
Ashley Brooke, a sassy, gorgeous blogger that you have to check out, recently ordered a chai latte in Aspen and — much to her surprise — was served a Bhakti.
“My life will be forever changed.” was how she explained this magical moment on her ABD blog.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a new fan in our midst.
August 6, 2014
Educating girls globally is one of the top ranked social investments of our time. While this has always been a funding priority for us at Bhakti Chai, we’re thrilled to support Edge of Seven in their #OperationGirl campaign.
A Denver-based nonprofit organization, Edge of Seven empowers women and girls by increasing female educational, health and economic opportunities in remote areas of the world.
#OperationGirl provides girls in rural Nepal access to higher education through erecting school buildings, large-scale water supplies, a girls hostel, and a dormitory for 40 girls pursuing a secondary education in the Everest Region. 2014’s project aims to build a higher secondary school and a dormitory for girls pursuing a degree at the only bachelor’s program in the region.
Bhakti Founder and CEO Brook Eddy commends Edge of Seven’s mission. “Education empowers girls to change their lives, make informed choices, and is proven to not only increase income and stability but health outcomes. I’m so proud of the work that Edge of Seven is doing in Nepal for the next generation of women leaders!”
Edge of Seven suggests that empowerment begins with education, a theory that resonates with seventeen-year old Mingmar from the district capital of Salleri: “Women in Nepal are living very miserable lives because they don’t have a voice, and they don’t have a choice in life. I want to fight this in the future.” Mingmar aspires to be a journalist to increase awareness of the challenges women face in Nepal.
As a mission dedicated to the social and educational advancement of women from remote areas in the East, #OperationGirl is close to Bhakti Chai’s roots and heart.
Bhakti Chai founder and CEO Brook Eddy first witnessed the powerful principles of “Bhakti” (devotion through social action) first-hand in rural Northern India, where community members selflessly devoted themselves to the betterment of their village and its inhabitants. Bhakti Chai now submits this same devotion to the region from which it was inspired and to the population that needs it most.
Join Bhakti Chai by donating to #OperationGirl via BeAwesomeHelpGirls to further the Project’s goal of raising $20,000 by the end of 2014. You can donate here!
Spread the word online by e-mailing your friends and family and posting the campaign link on social media. Use the hashtags #beawesome, #helpgirls, #operationgirl and #edgeofseven.
“I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior. Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”
I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior.
Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”
Launching a company wasn’t risky because I merely had $200 in savings and couldn’t secure a credit card, or because I didn’t have any beverage or manufacturing experience. For me, the nauseating risk was that I was the sole financial provider for my two children and there was nothing to fall back on.
I do not speak of mindless risk taking or extreme-sport-thousand-dollar-poker-table buy-in-behavior, but rather intuitive risk taking. Taking the leap of faith based on gut. Knowing deep inside my dreams demanded that I take action and step off that cliff. Trusting. Trusting. Trusting.
Sure, there were hecklers in the bleachers saying “Not the right time! “Not the right place!” “Not the right gender!” But instead of listening to the naysayers I decided to listen to my intuitive gut. It has now become a practice, as inherent to entrepreneurship as the lack of sleep. Just like my yoga practice, it needs attention, it needs to be fed – and then it will feed me.
Risk taking, for me, has generated more creativity. It’s a cycle that rewards change. Each time I look into those dark waters below, the abyss of the unknown, I learn more about my resiliency, my creativity, and somehow, so far, have come out unscathed into the warm calm turquoise waters of success and learned a little more about who I am and what I want.
This isn’t just for entrepreneurs. Anyone in life feeling safe, wanting a little change, or needing to disrupt the status quo can get to know risk taking. Your bliss and your dreams on are on the other side. Take it out for a spin and see how it can change the trajectory of your life. From moving, quitting a job, expressing your heart, ending that unfulfilling relationship, tackling that musical instrument, or writing the screenplay roaming around in your mind the last 10 years – your bliss will thank you.
The other prong of risk taking is resiliency. Of course not every plunge will bring success. Not feeling attached to these outcomes can then facilitate letting go when things don’t work. The quicker you see and feel it isn’t working, whether it’s an employee that needs to go or a marketing initiative falling flat — pull the Band-Aid off fast and know being malleable and resilient will open you up to more opportunities.
And yet, after thousands of jumps the fear still creeps in at times, whispering “Go Back Home little Girl.” But risk takers don’t turn around. They don’t slump shoulders and fold up into themselves in a corner. They stand up, look the unknown straight in the face and say, “Bring It.”
This week, Taster’s Choice is spicing things up – in the form of liquid chai concentrates, which can be served either hot or cold. With a wide variety available on the market – green tea, red rooibos and more – we kept things simple by sticking with the classic blends that use black tea and spices. In first place is Bhakti Chai. Several of our panelists enjoyed the “complex spices,” noting that the tea offered a “very soothing quality” and had a “nice kick from the ginger.”
We offer a warm welcome to the mid-Summer bliss and the celebrations that ensue as friends gather and bask in the warmth of the season.
We hope to be part of your Summer whether you join us at one of many SoCal Roadshows, jam with us as we sample Bhakti at Red Rocks Concerts, or as you sip our delicious brew during celebrations in your own backyard.
We’re celebrating ourselves these days, after receiving amazing accolades! We were awarded the Gold Sofi for “Outstanding Hot Beverage” (READ: The Oscar of the Artisan Food & Beverage industry) as well as awards from Beverage World, and International Tea Championship.
|Jonah & Kate, accepting the Sofi Gold,
with Host, New York Times Best Selling Author
& International Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Bhakti On The Road: SoCal Roadshows & Red Rocks!
Southern California is the place to be this Summer. The ocean, the sand…and our spicy brew being served at Whole Foods Markets all over the place! Join us at one of the 3-day celebrations and sample some new Bhakti recipes, win Bhakti goodies, and relax while getting a henna tattoo. Here is the schedule of events:
Red Rocks Amphitheater is the most incredible venue for live music and this summer we’ll be sharing Bhakti “minis” with concert-goers to help cool them off while they listen to FUN (8/22) and Lumineers (9/14).
Pour 3 cups of Bhakti Chai Concentrate into a separate container and mix the full can of coconut milk in with the remaining tea. Pour a layer of whichever flavor you’d like to start with in the bottom of your popsicle mold and freeze until firm enough to hold another layer without mixing.
*Consider Bhakti Decaf Concentrate for a refreshing treat without the caffeine.
In 2009, child labor mercenaries posing as education agents, convinced the parents of 12 year old Savita that they could provide her a computer education in Delhi and a good income for their family, with frequent visits home. Unfortunately, once Savita and several of her friends arrived in Delhi, they were forced into slavery as domestic servants. When they protested, they were beaten and separated. Neither Savita’s family nor the girls received any income and the so-called “agency” pocketed all their earnings. Sadly, this type of child slavery is all too common in India, as well as other developing countries.Thankfully, the Movement for Child Rights to Childhood (MCRC) raided the agency, rescued the girls, and re-united them with their families. MCRC is working with Savita and her friends to help them catch up on their education so they can re-enter school.The Global Education Fund is an organization Bhakti Chai is very honored to support, as they work to improve the lives of children living in poverty around the world through education. For children like Savita, GEF administers teacher training for the school that MCRC runs for children rescued from bonded labor. With their support, Savita and others like her can be children again, get an education and become productive members of their communities.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Summer!
WRITTEN BY JEN, 707 BIN BLOGGER, JULY 16, 2013
Copper Door Coffee Roasters began as a small operation started by Sinjin Eberle in college. With a background as a barista, Sinjin decided to begin roasting his own beans and started with one simple goal in mind: no burnt coffee. Since then, Copper Door Coffee Roasters has become a small-batch company that provides people with consistently good beans. They use all American-made machinery to roast their coffee beans- which are purchased at well-above fair trade prices. These beans come in honestly and are never roasted until they are ordered- which is why they stay so fresh. This devotion to fresh, fairly traded beans serves to offer a product that is the way coffee and espresso should be: delicious by it’s self, every time.
Bhakti Chai also began as a small project that aimed to re-create the rich flavors of Northern India’s masala chai. They have now grown into a Sofi: best of specialty food “Outstanding Hot Beverage” award winning company with a huge following. They offer a product that is as personable as it is soulful, blended with the intent of being enjoyed in many forms. Bhakti means “devotion” and is intended to be lived out through social action- as such Bhakti Chai is devoted to all organic flavors with all of their foreign tea being fair trade certified. They also devote themselves to the Bhakti principle through social action by donating a percentage of their revenue to various programs which support women’s rights. So while you’re at Bin 707 Foodbar enjoying your Bhakti beverage, you can rest assured it’s not just an iced tea or latte you’re supporting but also a cause.
From taking espresso back to a place of pure, complex flavor with above fair trade standards, to social action through delicious chai- we are glad to serve products that not only are the best quality, but that also have a deep calling to do things right. Bin 707 Foodbar offers Bhakti Chai’s original chai blend which is vegan, gluten free and non-gmo verified. We also offer Copper Door Coffee Roaster’s espresso blend: a 50/50 blend of pure Columbian coffee and pure Brazilian coffee. This blend ensures freshness and a complex flavor profile that is rich and delicious without any cream or syrup. Stop by today to try it in a hand-made latte or by it’s self. While you’re here, you can also try our delicious Bhakti Chai latte with plenty of spicy ginger and cardamom.
Laura Henderson was chosen as Bhakti Chai’s Q2 “Living Your Bhakti” Leader. Here is her story on how she came to be living her purpose – or her “Bhakti”!
When the opportunity came along to partner with Bhakti Chai through their 2013 alliance with Off The Mat, Into The World, I was delighted to have the opportunity to share my story and my non-profit, Growing Places Indy, with people outside of our community. I’m not from Indiana, and like most people, before living here nothing much came to mind when I thought of Indiana or Indianapolis. Now that I have chosen to make Indianapolis home, and to invest myself deeply in the land and people here, I love to share the beautiful stories of people and places that I have found. I’m excited that as Bhakti’s Q2 “Living Your Bhakti” Leader, we were all able to spread awareness of our passions and the manifestation of our great work!
How did I come to a place where I was truly “Living my Bhakti”? Here is my story:
A few years ago, I met two amazing women who were living their purpose – or as I now call it “living their Bhakti — in ways that I found revolutionary and inspiring. One of those women was Seane Corn, who was teaching yoga with Off The Mat, Into the World in a way I had not encountered. I heard her asking us to consider how we were activating the awareness we found on our mats in our lives in ways that led us to be the change we hoped to see in the world. The second was Debbie Apple, a dairy farmer in central Indiana raising 100% grass fed cows for raw milk. Debbie spoke truth to power in a way that spoke to my soul as she educated and advocated for a food system that worked with the ecology of our land and bodies rather than against them. These two women offered call-to-action that spoke to the core of my being, and I found I simply had to respond.
Fast-forward six years, and my response has manifested into Growing Places Indy, a small non-profit that I founded and direct with the mission to empower individuals – and through individuals communities – to “Grow well, Eat well, Live well and Be well”. Because my inspiration came through first-hand experiences and relationships, our work is activated through opportunities to engage in first-hand experiences and relationships that connect individuals to how and where food is grown and raised, who is growing it, and how to eat it. Because yoga and meditation are central to my ability to show up and do the work that I need to do, we offer yoga and meditation classes to the public, which in turn benefit our programs.
On May 11, 2013, Growing Places Indy hosted “Follow the Trail to Be Well,” as part of official dedication celebration of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a 13-mile recreational trail that circumnavigates downtown Indianapolis, connecting the different cultural districts and neighborhoods. One of our urban micro-farms is located along the Cultural Trail in White River State Park – over 200 acres of recreation and green space in the heart of the city. We offered yoga classes and opportunities to work and learn in the garden throughout the day, as marching bands, street performers, and families of every walk of life passed along the trail that day, and stopped to watch, ask questions, try out yoga or a gardening activity, and of course enjoy a sample of Bhakti Chai.
On June 21, 2013, Indianapolis yoga studios joined together to host the inaugural Monumental Yoga event. We closed down traffic on the south half of Moment Circle, at the center of downtown Indianapolis, in the middle of the workday for an all levels sun salutation celebration of the Solstice. Over 1,200 registered for the event, and it was a site like none we’ve seen in this city. On a day where the temperature topped 90, first time and veteran practitioners alike were undeterred from laying out their mats and joining in the fun. It was really fun to have a “How are you living your Bhakti?” banner at the Bhakti Chai sample table, and on such a hot day the cold chai was extra popular!
This has been such a fun partnership for me personally, and for Growing Places Indy. We are grateful to Bhakti Chai and Off the Mat, Into the World for the opportunity to share our story! If you find yourself in Indianapolis, get in touch! We’d love to help you find the food, yoga and activities that will make your Indy experience one in which you get to eat well, be well and have fun!
Sorry, Regular Tea, I’m just not that into you. You can tempt me with your gorgeous packaging and your delicate scent, but you just don’t bring the right texture and mouthfeel to the table. And I’ve given you an all-out international effort…apple chai in Turkey, mate (both bitter and sweet) in Argentina, chamomile in France. The connection just isn’t happening. The Turkish affair was warm and sweet but not commitment-worthy. The mate offering is a glorious way to make friends, but definitely an acquired taste I didn’t wish to acquire. Years later, that sweet American number from Oregon had me intrigued for a time—the texture was enhanced by the creaminess of milk—but that overly saccharine interlude faded in a few months. I wanted to like it, but it was like awkward first sex…you just know it’s gotta be better than that.
Then I moved to Boulder and became intimate with two locally brewed Indian-style chai teas, taking them home on half-gallon benders, enjoying mutually respectful engagements that lasted a few years. Indecision reigned, and I stooped to occasionally drinking both at the same time. I don’t think they minded. In retrospect, although I owe them for exposing me to the delectable mixture of ginger, cardamom, black tea, sugar and milk, they were but stepping stones to True Love. Bhakti Chai Love. Now this was Tea with a capital B! Not only is Bhakti Chai worthy of an invitation home for the holidays, it inspires soft purrs and heart-warming joy. On certain days you may even recall the line “I’ll have what she’s having” from When Harry Met Sally. And I’m not alone in my devotion-bordering-on-obsession. For thousands of loyal fans, Bhakti Chai has become part of who we are. And this, my friends, is the key to brilliant and successful brands.
Here’s the deal: people connect strongly to brands that reflect their values, identity, and desire for connection. Strong brands anticipate needs and transform desires. Pay a visit to Bhakti’s Facebook page and you see wall posts exclaiming “LOVE!!!”, “amaazzinngggg!!!!”, “yummiest tea on the planet”, “I’m so addicted”, and “thanks for getting me through my first trimester”. Wow. This display of brand loyalty is nothing short of amazing, and BhaktiChai.com artfully and humbly welcomes you into the fold. A brilliant feature on their Facebook homepage is a promotion of “Iced Barackti Chai”, and the web site has an impressive collection of mouthwatering photos and recipes using the liquid magic. Good brands inspire loyalty, return visits, desire, and the “I gotta have it NOW” mantra that further solidifies the brand loyalty. Hmmm…kinda like that oxytocin high you feel when you’re in love! Good job, Bhakti peeps. Bhakti Chai’s founder, Brook Eddy, is committed to social action (Bhakti means “devotion through social action”) and has forged creative partnerships with other amazing brands, further solidifying a loyalist following. The company walks its talk through numerous charitable donations to nonprofits that provide services to women, girls, and the environment. What’s more, they use Fair Trade and organic ingredients, and prioritize zero waste manufacturing.
How Do I Love Thee? Top 10 Ways:
- Public Displays of Affection: Out at your local cafe, ask for hot or iced Bhakti Chai with your choice of milk.
- Take Me Home: Bring home large bottles of concentrate sold at select local retailers, as well as ready-to-drink individual serving bottles.
- As You Like It: Adding milk to Bhakti concentrate allows you to make it as sweet, spicy, or hot as your mood calls for.
- Existential Pick-Me-Up: Need an emotional mood-boost? Simply heat, take a deep breath, and sip slowly. Ahhhhh..
- Night-time Nirvana: Curl up with Bhakti and a late-night Netflix. Paired best with Italian or French films.
- Frozen Ginger-y Love: Eat Bhakti Chai Chip ice cream out of the carton with one spoon and your S.O. (note to Bhakti: I’d relish more dark chocolate chips in the mix!)
- Smooth and Sweet: Add the chai concentrate to any smoothie, for a little caffeine boost, and just for the sake of it.
- Sunday Bliss: A hot cuppa Bhakti with the Sunday morning NY Times.
- Nix a Cold: Run, don’t walk, to drink a hot cup when you feel a cold coming on (it’s rich with antioxidant ginger and other spices). Repeat as needed.
- Anytime. Anywhere. 75% chai, 25% soy milk, extra hot.
Believe me, this magical liquid can sneak her way into your life and take up permanent residence.