Have you ever ordered a chai latte and it turns out too sweet, too spicy, or just not what you wanted? Having a rainy day and are too lazy to get out to the nearest Starbucks? Read this article, from the perspective of a chai connoisseur and barista, and find your new favorite chai to make at home or ones to avoid at your local coffee shop. Here are my rankings from worst to best of chai tea concentrates.

9. Tiger Spice Chai

This stuff doesn't even deserve to be called chai in my opinion. First of all, it's a powder. Second of all, it comes in all these wacky, artificial flavors like mango and green tea that just don't belong in chai concentrate. If I see a coffee shop pouring 2 tablespoons of this stuff into milk, I walk right on out. It really just tastes like you're adding 2 sugar packets( 18 grams) and a very slight amount of spice to warm milk. Gross. Although, I have to give the company kudos for donating profits to animal welfare. 

#SpoonTip: I recommend generally avoiding all powdered chai, as they usually have way more sugar than the liquid concentrates and lack flavor. 

8. Pacific Chai 

This is my personal least favorite kind of liquid chai concentrate. Even though it claims to be specially crafted for baristas, this concentrate doesn't foam very well and therefore creates a less satisfying hot chai latte experience. It again has too much sugar (15 grams) and tastes flat after a few sips. Go for this if you want a lighter, more of a steamer-like chai.  

7. Oregon Chai 

Sold at Costco and most grocery stores, this chai concentrate is used nationwide in a majority of chain coffee shops. I think it's acceptable, an okay ratio of sweet to spice, and more pleasing in an iced form. I just don't love this brand. However, if you're craving a chai and need to settle, you'll be okay if the coffee shop near you serves Oregon. 

6. Tazo Chai (Starbucks Choice) 

I think Starbucks chose this chai concentrate to use in their drinks because they love to serve all types of customer palettes, which I can understand. However, I always think the chai is a little too sweet, watered down, and still less satisfying as a hot fall or winter drink. My choice is usually to get it iced and with a shot of espresso to cut back on the sweetness and up my caffeine intake. 

#SpoonTip: Add pumpkin spice in fall, peppermint (only recommended hot) in winter, and vanilla in summer to change up your regular order.  

5. Rishi Masala Chai

This concentrate takes on a flavor profile more similar to that of what you would get at an Indian restaurant and fulfills my want for a chai to be a little less on the sweet side and more of a spicy, soul warming experience. It's sold at Whole Foods coffee bars and is worth seeking out for a traditional chai experience. 

4. Third Street Chai 

Third Street is a solid chai concentrate. Pleasantly spicy and just slightly too sweet for my tastes, this concentrate still hits home in what I'm looking for in a chai. It tastes great warmed up and is a great option if you're looking to make chai at home. If you want to make a hot latte at home, pour whole milk into a mason jar, get it bubbling in the microwave, throw on a lid, and shake it vigorously for a minute. You should get some quality foam for an at-home chai latte on a fall day. 

3. Dragonfly Chai

Dragonfly is an up-and-coming concentrate currently only in Oregon and Washington; but, considering that part of the country knows their coffee, you can trust that they know their chai too. They offer many varieties, like Spicy Black or Yerba Mate, that each have a sweet and spicy meter on the bottle so you can get exactly the ratio you're looking for. I'm hoping for them to start selling in more states soon. 

2. Sherpa Chai 

Sherpa is out of a Boulder, Colorado Indian restaurant owned by a guy who used to lead people up Mount Everest. The chai was so good, he decided to bottle it up. I absolutely love this stuff. It is definitely spicier than a normal chai but feels like it's filling your soul with goodness with every sip. A hot Sherpa Chai is my go-to on a winter day with a cold coming on– it helps clear up my senses and make me feel cozy. It's only sold in stores in the Western U.S. but is available to order online. They have an unsweetened version for a healthier, more tea-like version or a decaf one for a night time chai option.

1. Bhakti Chai 

This concentrate is honestly what made me fall in love with chai as a drink. It's the perfect ratio of sweet and spicy, sold in a gallon size concentrate at some Costco's across the country and available in a bottle pre-made at Whole Foods and Target. I could drink this like water– hot or iced. They have a cold brew coffee blend bottle for those craving a dirty chai, along with toasted coconut almond milk for a unique, lactose-free option. If you have yet to try Bhakti try, do it. However, beware that one sip will change your chai standards forever.

Tried chai once and didn't like the way it turned out? You know what they say, if at first you don't succeed, chai chai again.