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David Rio Orca Spice Sugar-Free Chai

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


An image of David Rio Orca Spice Sugar-Free Chai mix.

Orca Spice is a good choice for people who are watching their sugar intake, but may not be suitable for people with diabetes.

Marko Goodwin
David Rio offers seven types of instant chai (also known as "masala chai" or, incorrectly, as "chai tea"). Orca Spice is sugar-free and Flamingo Vanilla is sugar-free and decaf. While sugar-free options never quite measure up to their traditional counterparts, Orca Spice is better than I expected it to be.

Tasting Notes -- I tasted all four David Rio instant chais with hot water. They can also be made with hot milk or prepared on ice.

Nutritional Information

Each convenient pack makes a single serving of chai. Orca Spice Sugar-Free Chai contains no hydrogenated oils or trans fats. It uses sucralose (Splenda) in lieu of cane sugar. When mixed with water, each serving contains 65 calories, four grams of fat (three of which are saturated fat) and 0 grams of sugar. However, it does contain maltodextrin, which is "considered to be metabolically equivalent to glucose (dextrose)," so it may not be suitable for people with diabetes.

People with soy allergies should note that it contains soy lecithin. Black tea lovers should note that (unlike some "chai" mixes) it does contain actual powdered black tea.

Appearance & Aroma

When mixed with hot water, Orca Spice Chai is a cool cream color with Bailey's-colored foam on top. The aroma is creamy, spicy and sweet, with more of a cinnamon scent than David Rio's Tiger Spice Chai.


Orca Spice is not as rich and flavorful as Tiger Spice. It has a distinct sucralose finish, which some people don't mind and others abhor. Being of the latter camp, I don't typically drink diet beverages, but Orca Spice was better than the other sucralose-sweetened drinks I have tried.

Overall Opinion

Personally, I'd much rather drink a homemade masala chai with no sweetener added than drink Orca Spice. However, if you're watching your caloric intake and you want a convenient, sweet drink, this is a better choice than most.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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