Made by hand, from scratch.
We grind our organic spices fresh, and combine them with fair trade, organic tea. We microbrew our chai, simmering slowly in small batches. We sweeten our chai lightly with organic, unrefined sugar, for the perfect balance of spicy and sweet.
Our owner, Sarah, started Chico Chai in 2004 selling chai at the local farmers' market and to a few local cafes. Before long, demand grew for her fresh chai and it's now served at the fine coffeehouses all over Northern California. Despite its popularity, our chai is still brewed fresh from scratch in small batches, with great attention paid to detail and quality.
Respecting traditions and origins
(A note from the owner)
Although tea in some form has been a part of my life since I was little, I was only introduced to masala chai in college. I fell instantly in love with this South Asian tea and that began my lifelong search knowledge about chai.
Now that I make chai for a living, I'm committed to brewing and serving chai with respect and honor to its origins. I also strive to source our ingredients from South Asian-owned, direct trade tea and spice companies (we're partly there), and financially support South Asian causes whenever possible.
I will continue to read, watch, listen and learn more about chai, the histories, people, cultures and traditions that surround it. This is a work in progress with no end date. If you have any suggestions or feedback for me, please reach out to me on our contact form.
Striving for Sustainability
Chico Chai is committed to using only whole, certified organic ingredients in its recipes to create a chai without preservatives or flavorings. All of the teas we use are certified fair trade or direct trade. After we’re done brewing chai, the spent spices are provided to our community as valuable compost. We recycle when we cannot reuse, and provide bulk products whenever possible to reduce the amount of packaging necessary. We are continuously updating our procedures in order to make a more positive impact on the world around us.
Supporting our Community
Over the years, we have donated chai and labor to help support our community, which so graciously supports us and the South Asian community, globally. Here are just a few of the organizations we’ve worked with so far: Khaana Chahiye, Safe Space Winter Shelter, National Bailout, Chico Stonewall Alliance, KZFR Community Radio, NSPR Northstate Public Radio, Centerville Recreation and Historical Association, Independent Living Services of Northern California, Chico Peace and Justice Center, Butte Environmental Council, Chico Cabaret, Kids and Creeks, Blue Oak Charter School, Forest Ranch Charter School, Bioneers, CSUC Environmental Action Resource Center, Farm Sanctuary, Just One Person, Childrens Organ Transplant Program, Chico Grange, Salmonid Restoration Federation, Chico Certified Farmers Markets, BikeChico. (more beyond this list, and more to follow!)
Praise for Chico Chai
"I can't say enough great things about this DELICIOUS chai."
Wendy from San Francisco, on Yelp!
"complex and arresting layering of taste"
"so refreshing and cheer[s] me up with the very first sip"
The Homespun Life - Blog
"divinely delicious chai"
Chico News & Review
"Luckily for Sacramento, Sarah Adams has her Chico Chai to help us in our tea-cup quandary."
Sacramento News & Review