Chime Chai Maker Review: A Pricey, Speedy Way to Make Chai

Developing up, at any time I brought house some thing to my Indian parents—whether it was new outfits, a gadget, or even food—they typically advised me off. They’d tell me it was flimsily manufactured, too expensive, or missing proper flavor. Not long ago, I brought them the Chime chai equipment I was screening. I predicted them to notify me just how overpriced the equipment is and how the chai it helps make tastes nowhere around as excellent as what they consume every single day.

I was completely wrong.

Let us be apparent, Chime—at its MSRP of $399—is overpriced for an equipment that only helps make chai (my moms and dads agree). Luckily, you can obtain it for as low as $229 at the instant, and its selling price will settle to $250 when it launches in April, which is nevertheless highly-priced. But the device does what it sets out to do: It makes a fantastic cup of chai in a short quantity of time without the need of forcing you to hover over a stovetop.

Building Chai

Absolutely everyone has their personal way of earning chai, but the recipe generally boils down to mixing ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, milk, and water in a pot—not to point out a total lot of stirring and being attentive around a stove. (This recipe from Bon Appétit is rather very good.) The entire process can take any where from 15 to 30 minutes.

It is very simple, but can really feel frustratingly sluggish, particularly if you’re finding prepared in the morning. That is why Gaurav Chawla, founder of Camellia Labs, the California-dependent firm guiding Chime, built the equipment.

With a early morning timetable requiring him to shower, get dressed, make breakfast and chai, get the children completely ready for university, and leave at the proper time so no one is late, Chawla was seeking for everything that could conserve him a couple of minutes. I would just swap from chai to espresso, which is a lot faster to make. Chawla resolved to start off an Indiegogo marketing campaign to make a chai device that turned a 20-minute system into just one that took a tiny above 5 minutes.

Tea Time

The Chime takes up beneficial authentic estate in my little kitchen—it’s a tiny taller than an electric powered kettle and a tiny wider than a modest rice cooker—but it is just one of the easiest equipment to grasp. That is because it follows the Keurig system of employing pods, named Chime Caps, which maintain a mixture of spices and tea.

Chime comes with an assortment of these chai caps. Like Nespresso pods, you pick the flavor profile you desire and get them in sets of 10 each time you want—or have them automatically delivered each and every thirty day period. Every established fees all around $12 ($10 for the plain black tea cap established), which comes out to a minimal additional than $1 for each cup of chai, excluding the cost of milk. It’s advisable you use the caps in just about six months.

Photograph: Camellia Labs

The business statements it delivers its elements from India. The black tea hails from Assam and Darjeeling, and the spices are from Kerala, where by my mom and dad are from. That could be why they preferred the Chime Caps infused with as a lot of spices as possible. The Masala Chai Cap, which is made up of black tea, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, is their beloved (and mine far too), along with the Cardamom Chai Cap and the Cardamom and Ginger Chai Cap. We were not admirers of the simple Assam Cap nor the Ginger Chai Cap.

Once you have your desired cap all sorted out, the rest is a piece of cake. Area the plastic cap in and close it—you awkwardly have to have to use a little bit of pressure to break its contents into the tea sieve. Then make certain there’s water in the cylindrical container. That is all you need to have to do right before customizing your cup of chai.

Working with the knob, you can select the standard or large measurement light, medium, or solid taste the total of milk you want (you can decide for no milk) and no matter if you want the milk frothy or not. Chime will then inform you to add milk to the carafe until finally you hit a amount etched inside of it. For case in point, deciding upon a medium amount of money of milk amounts to the variety four (which I calculated to be a small underneath 1 cup).

There’s a companion Android and iOS app you can use to customize the brew down to the correct temperature and save it as a preset, but I didn’t sense the need to undertaking much from the default options. I’m not a picky chai drinker. You can also use the app to get additional caps (or you can order them online).

When the milk is additional, put the carafe back again in position and faucet the button on the knob. The brewing process takes somewhere among a few to 7 minutes, dependent on your settings, but you do not have to stand by and stir—go get completely ready for do the job. The brewing chamber extracts the tea and spice flavors when the milk is heated in the carafe. Then the two blend and simmer alongside one another. You’ll hear a chime (get it?) when the chai is completely ready for your mug.

I generally include a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten it up, but you can use honey, maple syrup, or skip this step entirely. The results usually are not out-of-this-world, but they are delicious—and not terribly much off from utilizing clean ingredients.

Just rinse the sieve and carafe to cleanse up. You can compost the tea and spices and the firm reported it makes use of solitary layer food items-quality PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in its caps for simple recycling.

For Chai Enthusiasts

Chime’s simplicity, velocity, and the point you can leave the machine to its obligations are its strengths. You can technically include your personal spices and tea into the brewing chamber and forgo the caps, but it needs putting an vacant cap in the chamber to trick the machine into starting off the brewing process. Nevertheless, Chime is nonetheless geared towards persons who presently drink chai—and that’s a whole lot of people. The equipment is an investment, it can take up a lot of area in the kitchen, and Chime Caps fees $36 per thirty day period if you prepare on acquiring a cup each and every working day.

My dad and mom favored Chime—much much more than anything at all I have ever brought dwelling before—but they can’t see them selves doling out $250 for the device, nor do they want to shell out a monthly payment for the caps. But they are also not in a rush to get out of the residence in the morning anymore—all their little ones have developed up. Their routine now includes month-to-month visits to an Indian grocery retail outlet to nab spices and black tea, and brewing two cups has been a ritual for a very long time now.

But if you have identified you in front of the stove, stirring a pot of spices, asking yourself if there was a faster way to get to your sweet (or unsweet) cup of chai, this is it.

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