Orlando firm urged to withdraw “Blood of Kali” tea

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CHICAGO: Indian Americans across the country have urged Coffee Shop of Horrors located in Greater Orlando (Florida), to withdraw its “Blood of Kali” Chai Black Tea; calling it highly disgusting.

Goddess Kali is highly revered in Hinduism meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be trivialized in a re-imagined version to sell tea. Indian Americans strongly feel any inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda is unwelcome as it hurt the devotees.

The protest is spearheaded by RajanZed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pitching that Coffee Shop of Horrors and its CEO should also offer a formal apology; besides withdrawing from online and store sale, the “Blood of Kali” teabags carrying re-imagined images of goddess Kali.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.

Goddess Kali, who personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. She is considered the goddess of time and change. Some Bengali poets described her as supreme deity. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

 Coffee Shop of Horrors; launched in 2007; sells coffee, tea, hot cocoa, candy; besides its Cafe Menu in its Montverde and Tavares locations in Greater Orlando. It claims: “We will sell nothing that’s over 30 days old”. Its “Blood of Kali” Chai Black Tea (3-ounces bag of loose-leaf tea) was priced at $10.99 and was a “traditional blend of black tea and finely ground cardamom, cinnamon, ginger root, black pepper and cloves”.