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.