As someone who’s addicted to tea drinks and loves a good soda, when I spotted a bottle of Chai Cola at my local zPizza I knew I had to try it.
This particular specimen is by Natural Brew, one of the many soda microwbreweries that’s popped up in the US in the last couple of decades. The ingredients list for the Chai Cola, as you can see here, includes mostly normal, pronounceable ingredients, along with the vague and mysterious “Natural Flavors”. I’m assuming that includes the chai spice flavor. No high fructose corn syrup, no caffeine other than the decaffeinated black tea — no decaffeination process is perfect.
The flavor is more chai than cola. If you handed to someone without telling them what it was, they would immediately identify it as some kind of chai soda. The cola flavor is much more subtle, but gives a little extra depth to the chai. The flavor would probably be more complex if the cola were caffeinated (caffeine is naturally bitter).
Overall, I really liked it. It’s tasty, not overwhelmingly sweet, and paired nicely with a pepperoni pizza. If you’re looking to try it for yourself, the Natural Brew website has a Store Locator, but it doesn’t seem to work so well. It didn’t find anywhere near my zip code selling it, even though I got mine just by walking down the street to a pizza joint. But keep your eyes open at any store or restaurant that has a cooler of “natural” or “alternative” sodas, and you might just find a bottle.