Kavi's Chai started as an idle idea as I shared my chai with folks and their positive response made me wonder why you couldn't find real chai in America.
I won't dedicate the rest of this to talk about myself in third person, but I will mention a few things about myself, so those of you who don't know me can get a little bit of sense of the person trying to bring real chai to America, starting with Bend, Oregon.
I lived in India from the ages of 6 to 12, grew up watching Bollywood movies and playing cricket, and looking forward to the sweetest, juiciest mangos every summer. I moved to Bend from Delaware in 2018, and very much miss not having the same kind of Indian community as the Northeast. My parents are still in Delaware, though I'm plotting to have them move here.
I've held a variety of different jobs and roles, and I'd say the common thread is being able to have a positive impact. I've always been interested in entrepreneurship and being able to be innovative to solve problems. I love people and building community. Meditation was a very helpful tool to help me through chronic depression. I consider myself spiritual without any strong beliefs, and mindfulness and living consciously is integral to me. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy making and sharing chai – it feels like a very nourishing to do.
Sustainability and climate action are important to me, and I've spent the last few years working for local environmental non-profits, including right now for the Rethink Waste Project of The Environmental Center. Since that's a top value of mine, I'm hoping to sell my chai in a sustainable way, avoiding single-use cups as much as possible.
My hope is to also grow Kavi's Chai in a sustainable way, allowing more and more folks to try real chai, and then with the help of a chai making kit also show how easy it is to make it for themselves at home. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee and appreciate a good latte once in a while, but I feel there's something balanced about chai, and the smooth uptake of caffeine along with the mix of good for you spices and herbs, that makes it a better daily morning drink. I could expound on the health benefits of ginger, cardamom, and the rest, but at the end of the day, I want you try my chai because I think it tastes delicious and makes you feel good. Taking time to make it by hand is a way to slow down and appreciate the journey.