Case Study

Aha! IoT-enabled Tea Vending Machine for Chaayos

Tata Elxsi's Design Innovation Behind Chaayos' Personalised Tea Experience

iF Design Award Winner

Freshly brewed chai flavors


Innovative product for fresh chai brewing


When Tata Elxsi was invited to help with the design of an IoT enabled tea vending machine for Chaayos, we knew there was an opportunity to do something different. 

Hot beverages, particularly tea, serve as a staple refreshment in offices, helping employees to recharge and clear their minds during breaks—a deep-rooted tradition in Indian culture. 

Availability of authentic chai in workspaces is often limited, and consistency in taste is a significant concern. We designed an innovative vending machine that offers customised tea and coffee to delight users and enhance workplace tea experience.


Through innovative design and engineering, the challenge was to redefine the tea-drinking experience, culminating in a vending machine that goes beyond mere functionality to become a true centerpiece of convenience, design, and interaction in the tea-drinking world.

There was a need for innovative techniques that help retain tea freshness, ingredient preservation involving optimum brewing process. To ensure better accessibility for diverse user groups, a pull rack  was essential for convenient refilling and maintenance, while a milk chamber was required to uphold hygiene standards, enable storage, and facilitate customisation. Developing the colour, material, and finish (CMF) for the vending machine's exterior involved meticulous pigment experimentation, prioritising durability, scratch resistance, and brand alignment.

Leveraging market research and consumer insights we had to come up with a solution that caters to evolving preferences and trends, ensuring that the final product resonated with target audiences.


The Aha! machine revolutionises the chai experience across Asian markets by offering a fusion of customisation, innovative brewing technology, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability. With an array of up to 50 personalisation options accessible directly from users' smartphones, it guarantees that each cup of chai is meticulously tailored to individual preferences, achieving perfection in under 30 seconds. 

The machine's user-friendly touchscreen simplifies the selection process, while its intelligent Tea brewing technology ensures the optimal blend of flavors. The convenience is further enhanced by features such as a pullout tray for easy access, effortless cleaning, and maintenance routines. 

Embracing sustainable design practices, Aha! stands out as a sustainability champion, crafting every cup with 100% natural ingredients and streamlining processes to reduce waste to less than 1%. 

Chaayos vending machine


Our collaborative journey with Chaayos culminated in a remarkable achievement - winning the prestigious iF Design Award 2024 in the product design category.

The design captures the essence of Asian culture, reflecting its consumption habits, aesthetic values, and the influential design trends prevalent across the region. 

We have also achieved operational success by deploying over 10 machines at customer locations. This milestone not only provided valuable insights into the sustainability of our vending machine, supply chain, and billing processes but also garnered positive feedback from our satisfied customers.

IF-award Logo

Services rendered

Tata Elxsi

  • Product Architecture Study
  • Market & competitor study
  • Aesthetic Ergonomics Concept Development
  • Aesthetic Mock-Up creation
  • Engineering Design and Refinement
  • Proof of concept and release

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