These 5 pipin' hot Startups are helping us bond over chai again These interesting startups are creating buzz among the Indian chai lovers. So next time if you feel like taking a break from coffee, have tea.

By Samiksha Jain

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A bunch of startups are trying to sell something that is inherent to India's culture and how! The ventures are smartly taking tea from the streets to cafes and lounges in a way it has never been done before.

Funky names, inviting décor, cool ambience and a young crowd – all for the love of chai and more.

Figures reflect that Indian tea industry and the beverage café market are currently valued at Rs 19,500 crore and Rs 1,800 crore respectively. India is said to be the second largest tea consuming market in the world.

India's young entrepreneurs aspire to cater to this latent demand and be the category leader with their innovative startups.

Here are 5 such startups who are striving to make India's tea experience captivating and extraordinary.

#1. Pouring Their Passion into Your heart through Their Chai

Chaisa is a place for people to meet over a good old cup of chai along with some of the more worldly teas, and have a pleasant break from the cliché of drinking coffee over conversations that often surround us.

"Chaisa as the name suggest is a "Chai" cafe and we are serving various varieties of tea with many things in the menu. We serve vada pavs, papdi chats, bhel poori etc which compliments tea," said Rahul Mundra, Owner, Chaisa.

#2. Contemporary Interpretation of the Chai Adda

There was a time when we used to sit together for a tea break at our Chai Adda to have kadak chai and samosa, an irani chai with bun maska over meeting a prospective life partner, or a hot adrak chai in the morning to wake you up; tea was a part of every social setting for us.

Founded in November 2012, Chaayos was born out of this premise, a contemporary interpretation of the chai adda, serving freshly made chai.

"We identified an opportunity in the chai space- although chai is our native beverage, there are very few places outside of home where you can get a great cup of chai. The existing options were the unhygienic tapris, the powdered milk machine chai in office and the dip-dip teabags in most restaurants or cafes. So it was obvious that there was a strong need for freshly made cup of chai in a good ambience," said Raghav Verma, Founder, Chaayos.

#3. Offering Curated Range of Finest Teas With Suitable Tea Accompaniments

Tea Trails, founded in November 2013 by enthusiastic tea drinkers Kavita Mathur and Uday Mathur is the chain of tea cafes in India that offers curated range of the finest teas from around the world along with suitable tea accompaniments.

The co-owners of Tea Trails understand the importance of not only the finest quality tea leaf available, but also the perfect pot.

"We took more than 2 years from ideation to the project launch. Our team traveled extensively across the globe to identify the best teas suitable to the Indian pallet and tasted more than 2000 varieties of teas across the globe before finalising the offering. A detailed study was done on the emerging global tea lounge culture and their offerings. Thousands of man hours were spent on curating a food menu that includes tea infused recipes and "Tea Food' pairing," said Uday Mathur, Co-founder, Tea Trails India.

#4. Chain of Chai Cafes Targeting the Working Population

One of the oldest chai companies, Chai Garam is the chain of chai cafes targeting the working population of the country with small outlets, low rentals, low prices, faster turnaround. Their specialty is that they sell 20 varieties of freshly brewed hand-made Tea without use of tea bags or vending machines along with cold beverages and snacks.

"Our customers visit us every day or multiple times a day as we offer convenience and value for money. Our USP is our Chai which we prepare fresh using fresh tea leaves and spices without use of any tea bags, vending machines or artificial flavouring," said Bhrigu Dutt, Director Eagle Peak Garam Chai Pvt Ltd.

#5. Brewing Your Fresh Chai With Best of ingredients

Their main aim is to brew your fresh chai with the best of ingredients such as mineral water, sulphur less sugar, handpicked tea leaves, pasteurized toned milk and secret ingredient i.e. love. They also ensure that every chai which they make for you creates a new benchmark for hygiene through clean shaven beaming smiles, gloves, caps, aprons and uniform.

"Being a corporate guy, I could never find freshly brewed chai in my office. Generally offices have a chai dispenser machine, which gives you awful taste. I thought to solve this with an entrepreneurial approach and started Chai thela," said Nitin Chaudhary, Co-founder, Chai Thela.

These interesting startups are creating buzz among the Indian chai lovers. So next time if you feel like taking a break from coffee, have tea.

Samiksha Jain

Former Staff,

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