Over the years we've featured dozens of coffee companies and their beautifully designed packaging and felt like it was time to shake things up and give chai some shine. Lucky for us, Portland has a number of incredible chai makers—Tanglewood Beverage Company, Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai, and Smith Teamaker are all a stone's throw away from the Sprudge HQ.
Today we're talking to Sally Burgess, the founder of newcomer Soul Chai—a shelf-stable powdered chai that packs in an intense flavor and warm spice. Burgess has been making chai for five years and is shipping it out across the country in gorgeous tins. We spoke to Burgess digitally to learn more.
Your website lists two different chai products—tell us about them!
Our original Masala Chai has a black tea base, featuring strong notes of cardamom and ginger with a lingering spice. Our Rooibos Masala Chai is a bit more earthy and naturally caffeine-free.
The packaging it comes in is beautiful—who designed it?
Thank you! It was designed by Blakely and Viviana Dadson, an all-star husband and wife design duo.
What's your preferred way to drink chai?
I like it steamed and sweetened with honey or simple syrup. At home, I like to drink it from my favorite Mazama mug.
How has your company changed in this time of COVID-19?
We are finding new ways to work with our cafe owners who are struggling, so we are trying to send customers to any shops that offer take-away services. Product-wise, feeling grateful that our chai has a long shelf life that can weather this storm.
Where can folks find your products?
We sell direct on our website and are served and sold in a growing number of specialty coffee shops around the country.
What's next for Soul Chai?
We are working to help baristas serve our chai in their own special way. I'm constantly inspired by those enjoying Soul Chai which will guide our next steps.
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.