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Farah Jesani, Chief Chai Officer

I have to start by explaining my relationship with chai. I'm Indian so drinking chai is basically in my blood. I have memories with chai that most people in the US have with coffee.

I remember being young and watching all the "adults" drink chai religiously, anxiously waiting until I was "old enough" to have a mug of my own. I still remember getting my first cup in a small amber mug with a matching saucer, which I used to cool the chai and slurp it up. At mosque, it was a ritual to meet by the chai stand in the courtyard where small white cups flooded the scene. We dunked our Ritz crackers in chai as we caught up on school, life, and who-was-dating-who. In college, I abandoned my chai and Ritz ritual for a new libation - coffee. Coffee was the new partner in crime through all-night study sessions and long walks across campus in the winter.

Soon enough after college I was reacquainted with chai, but I still avoided ordering "chai lattes" at coffee shops because I always found them to be too sweet or incredibly bland. Fast forward 5 years, and I had quit my job in consulting and found myself in Portland launching a chai company to bring this South Asian beverage back to its roots. Since then, we've had the exciting opportunity to launch additional South Asian beverages, like "It's Haldi, Doodh" - with more to come.