India, chai, the nation’s beloved beverage, holds an unmatched place in daily routines and cultural traditions. This centuries-old tradition has experienced a rejuvenation in recent years, thanks to the emergence of a multitude of chai startups. These ventures, each with its own innovative approach to chai, have redefined the landscape of tea consumption across the country.
As we step into the year 2024, the momentum behind chai startups continues to grow, signaling a significant shift in the way chai is perceived and enjoyed. With a keen eye on evolving consumer preferences, these startups offer an extensive array of flavors, blends, and brewing techniques, catering to the diverse tastes of modern India.
From the vibrant chaos of roadside stalls to the trendy ambiance of specialty cafes and the convenience of online delivery services, the chai experience has evolved to accommodate the demands of contemporary lifestyles. This evolution has been instrumental in nurturing a dynamic chai culture that thrives on innovation and inclusivity.
From traditional chai served on the streets to specialty cafes and online delivery services, the chai culture in India is constantly evolving. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 10 chai startups in India that are at the forefront of this revolution.
1. Kannu Ki Chai
Since its inception in 2016 in Pune, Maharashtra, by Ranjeet Tale and Kunal Gulati, Kannu Ki Chai has rapidly expanded its footprint, now boasting over 40 outlets across five cities, establishing itself as a national brand. Offering a diverse range of teas such as natural care tea, detox green tea, and their signature masala chai, alongside a selection of delectable snacks, the cafe has garnered accolades including the prestigious ‘India 500 Startup Award’ and the ‘Times Young Achievers Award’. Backed by a dedicated leadership team committed to maintaining exceptional quality and consistency, Kannu Ki Chai continues to thrive, solidifying its position as a leader in the tea and cafe industry, driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence.
Chaayos has become a household name in India since its establishment in 2012 by Nitin Saluja, boasting over 200 outlets in various cities nationwide. What sets Chaayos apart from other chai startups is its unique customizable chai option “meri wali chai”, enabling customers to tailor their preferred ingredients and personalize their chai experience. Along with a wide range of teas and snacks, Chaayos has established itself as a leader in the Indian chai industry.
3. Chai Point
Chai Point, founded by Amuleek Bijral in 2010, has grown to become one of the leading chai startups in India. With over 150 outlets across the country, Chai Point is renowned for its freshly brewed chai made using high-quality ingredients and a strict brewing process that ensures each cup of chai is perfect. The startup offers a wide range of chai blends, including classic masala chai, ginger chai, and green chai, to cater to the diverse taste preferences of its customers. Chai Point also offers a range of snacks and desserts that complement its delicious chai.
4. Tea Trunk
Tea Trunk, founded by Snigdha Manchanda in 2012, is a premium tea brand that sources its products from various regions of India. The startup offers a diverse range of teas, including chai, and sets itself apart by emphasizing quality and ethical sourcing practices. Tea Trunk ensures that its teas are of the highest quality by using only the finest ingredients and following strict quality control measures.
5. The Chai Story
The Chai Story, founded in Bangalore in 2015 by Nitin Bayani, is a popular chai startup that caters to chai lovers across India. With a range of unique chai blends like ginger chai and chocolate chai, the startup has established itself as a go-to destination for a quick chai fix. Along with its teas, The Chai Story also offers a variety of snacks and desserts to complete the chai experience.
6. MBA Chaiwala
MBA Chaiwala, founded by Prafull Billore in 2018, is a chai startup with outlets in several Indian cities. The startup’s menu features a variety of chai blends, including its signature “kadak chai,” a strong and flavorful option that’s perfect for a quick energy boost. MBA Chaiwala also offers a range of snacks and desserts, including its popular “chai ice cream.”
7. Chai Sutta Bar
Chai Sutta Bar, founded by Anand Nayak and Abhinav Dubey, is another popular chai startup that has grown rapidly since its inception in 2016. With over 100 outlets across India, the startup is known for its range of chai blends, including the signature “sutta chai” which has a smoky flavor and is perfect for a relaxing evening. In addition to chai, Chai Sutta Bar offers a variety of snacks and hookahs to accompany the beverage.
TeaBox, founded by Kaushal Dugar, is a premium tea brand that sources its teas directly from the tea gardens in Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiris. The startup offers a wide range of teas, including chai, and follows a farm-to-cup model, ensuring that its teas are of the highest quality and freshness. TeaBox also offers a subscription service for customers who want to receive regular deliveries of their favorite teas.
9. Vahdam Tea Company
Introducing the VAHDAM® India Story: A homegrown brand committed to sourcing teas, spices, and herbs directly from plantations, farmers, and cooperatives in India. By eliminating middlemen, VAHDAM® ensures freshness and fair prices, benefiting millions of farmers. Their Climate Neutral & Plastic Neutral certification reflects their commitment to sustainability. Through their TEAch Me initiative, 1% of revenue supports education for farmers’ children. VAHDAM® strives to bring the magic of native Indian wellness wisdom to the world, reimagining supply chains and delivering unmatched quality.
Another intriguing aspect of VAHDAM® is that it is the reverse of the founder’s father’s name, Madhav. This hidden connection adds a personal touch to the brand’s identity and reflects the deep-rooted familial influence behind its creation.
Chai startups have revolutionized the way Indians consume chai, offering a range of tea blends, snacks, and desserts. With a focus on quality, ethical sourcing, and customization, these startups have carved out a niche for themselves in the highly competitive Indian market. The top 9 chai startups in India, including Chaayos, Chai Point, Tea Trunk, The Chai Story, MBA Chaiwala, Chai Sutta Bar, and Tea Box, Kannu ki chai have disrupted the traditional chai culture in the country, bringing in new flavors and experiences for tea lovers.