I’d never put much thought into the curiosity that is self-foaming teas (and coffees) until today.
In my quest to find more weird and wonderful food products, I stumbled upon Lipton’s Chai Latte Foamy 3-in-1 Cookies & Cream.
From what I can tell, this product launched in 2013 specifically for the Asia, Middle East and Africa region, as a premium version of Lipton’s standard, non-foaming, instant Chai Latte.
But it doesn’t stop there! This OTT, amped-up version of the classic Chai Latte 3-in-1 is not only self-foaming, it also contains chocolate coated crispies!
Anyone who knows me will know that I love weird food combinations, so this was right up my alley.
I started by emptying the sachet into my mug. But I then decided that I wasn’t ready to enjoy it quite yet, so I left it on the desk while I continued to do some work.
And I forgot about it. Until I heard some strange crackling, popping noises. What IS that?
I grabbed the mug and listened to it. It sounded like Pop Rocks. My colleagues looked at me like I was crazy.
Sure enough – my mug of Chai Latte Foamy powder was doing some weird chemical song and dance, leaving the surface so pockmarked that my colleague commented that there must be worms inside.
However, the item was new and the puffy pyramid packaging fully intact, so I proceeded to pour hot water on top.
My tea continued to pop and sizzle like it was alive and then foam miraculously appeared. (Or perhaps the worms were just dying a sorrowful death.)
The instructions tell you to “Sit back and enjoy the perfect Chai Latte” so I sampled. The flavor was creamy and sweet, like a Japanese milk tea, with a subtle flavor of speculoos biscuits.
But then I got two small crunchy bits – guess these were the chocolate crispies. And then a couple big, soft chunks. It’s like a confused speculoos lost its way and disintegrated into soggy cookie pieces in my cup.
Perhaps the inspiration comes from the time-honoured mini-marshmallows floating meltingly atop a hot cup of cocoa. But in this case, the sometimes-big, sometimes-small, sometimes-crunchy, sometimes-salty “cookie” pieces just didn’t have the same effect.
I didn’t wholly dislike this product, but I’m not sure I liked it either. One would argue that this isn’t tea at all. (Nor are they cookies.) And personally, I’m a coffee lover, myself. But it was worth trying just the once, and it’s certainly an interesting example of how advanced food technology has become.
In the meantime, I’m still trying to work out what reaction made the powder snap, crackle and pop. If you know, do tell!