Let’s meet: Chalo is here!
The annual and Europe’s biggest Coffee event “World of Coffee” is no news to us. We attend it every year to find delicious new products. This year was successful in particular, since we found and partnered up with the Belgian company “Chalo”, which won numerous awards for their products over the years. An interesting story, funky mood and authenticity of chai latte powders compelled to us.
How a traditional Indian drink was born in Belgium?
Even though one of the co-founders of Chalo Gita van den Boer spent all her life in Belgium, she actually was born in India. Being just a baby, she was adopted by a Belgian family and for many years the only thing she had related to her home country was stories. As an adult woman, Gita decided to visit her home country and went volunteering there for a month at the Kolkata Children’s Home. That’s when she discovered traditional Indian drink, better known by a name of chai latte. In fact, it’s nothing more than spiced black tea with milk and sugar. After returning to Belgium, Gita couldn’t find such tea anywhere, and since she dreamed of owning her own business for a long time, as well as wanted to be related to native India, she decided to implement the idea and co-found CHALO with several business partners.
What does “Chalo” and monkeys have in common?
The word itself in Hindi translates to “let’s go” or “hurry up”. If you are ever in India, you will hear people saying “chalo chalo” while a bartender pours them tea. Gita adds that this word also relates to overcoming difficulties and moving on. When volunteering in Kolkata, she remembers drinking chai latte with her co-workers at infant centre and thinking that she can do everything and that nothing else matters. A funky monkey we see on every CHALO product is chosen to be company’s logo for a reason. It symbolises one of the most famous Hindu deity – Hanuman, a god of strength, victory and ability to overcome all obstacles.
Prepare chai tea with any milk you like!
CHALO chai powders distinguish from others on the market, because it doesn’t contain milk powder. This wasn’t the first choice, but as it turned out, European Union laws restrict imports of products containing Indian cow’s milk, so this decision had to be taken. It finally turned out to be a great thing, as people who are lactose intolerant can now enjoy CHALO chai powders. In addition, chai latte can now be prepared with any other milk, like soy, coconut or rice. Baristas are particularly excited about these powders because they can easily choose which milk to use and show of their artistic skills of latte art. Also, you have an opportunity to use these powders in other dishes as well. What seemed like an obstacle in the beginning became a huge advantage – probably Hanuman, the guardian of CHALO, used his spells here 🙂
From traditional masala to spicy cardamom
CHALO chai powder assortment is full of flavours: traditional Masala chai latte (with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper), spicy cardamom warming tea of Cardamom chai latte, especially refreshing Lemongrass chai latte (delicious with coconut milk!), and Vanilla chai latte which reminds of just recently baked vanilla pie. Fans of a healthier lifestyle are not forgotten, specially made Organic slow chai masala is sugar-free and it’s preparation time is a little bit longer – around 20 minutes. And for those who seek refreshment, CHALO introduces three iced-chai latte flavours: blueberry, strawberry and lemon. Even though CHALO chai tea is a constant winner in various world exhibitions, one of the highest and most important ratings comes from the indigenous people of India. When attending the Indian Street Food Festival, the Indians themselves said that this tea reminds the one they drink at home!
We are happy about our newest member of the family. Enjoy funky CHALO drinks and Hanuman will take care of the rest! 🙂