Taste Test: La Colombe’s New Chai Draft Latte

It rings in at just 140 calories and sports a way lower sugar count than Starbucks's take on a chai latte.


If you’ve stumbled onto a YouTube spoof making fun of people who prefer yoga pants over real pants and yoga happy hours over, well, real happy hours, you’ll note that they rarely fail to leave out a chai latte reference. What can we say? We leggings-clad folk love our chai lattes. Which is why I was so excited when Alexis Siemons, a local tea consultant who works with La Colombe, emailed asking if I wanted to be one of the first to taste La Colombe’s brand-new addition to its canned draft latte lineup: the Chai Draft Latte.

My email response? “CHAI DRAFT LATTE SAY WHAAAAT.” I know: I’m super professional.

And today was the big day, guys. Today I got to sip on La Colombe’s canned Chai Draft Latte, which launched online on Monday and will be rolling out in La Colombe stores in cans (and possibly on draft at some locations) this summer, exact date TBD. And let me tell you: It is freakin’ delicious. And ringing in at 140 calories and 15 grams of sugar, it so beats an iced chai latte from Starbucks. (For reference, a Starbucks tall chai latte with two-percent milk comes in at 190 calories, with a whopping 32 grams of sugar. So, some simple math: The 12-ounce tall Starbucks chai is three ounces larger than La Colombe’s can, but contains over double the sugar count.)

So about the taste: Like La Colombe’s Draft Lattes made with espresso, the chai, made with reduced fat milk, chai tea and many-a spice, tastes super rich and frothy without feeling heavy. Like the Draft Latte, the pressure from the nitrous oxide works to sweeten the drink without adding much sugar, so while it does boast five grams of added sugar, it’s sweet without that signature syrupy flavor many sweetened chai lattes have. The cinnamon and cardamom cloves really stand out in the drink, but none of the spices are overwhelming. And a note for all you dairy-averse folks: While it’s made with regular ol’ milk, it’s lactose-free. So if lactose is what bothers you, you’re in the clear. We will be keeping our fingers crossed for a non-dairy option, though.

Long story short: The Chai Draft Latte is the bomb dot com, and once you can get your hands on one, I suggest you do. If you are thirsting for it now, you can order online (a 4-pack will cost you $12), but otherwise stay tuned to learn when it will be making it to La Colombe’s cafes.

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