The minds behind instant premix Chaika tell us why it's so relevant to a new generation of tea lovers
Just before the desi, chai-loving millennials shut themselves up in isolation they hoarded up enough packets of the convenient instant tea premix Chaika. We know this because the names behind the brand agree that Chaika could be a great quarantine buddy. “We are both from tea families – our families own tea estates, and as Next Gen tea entrepreneurs, we wanted to do something different with the traditional tea business. Flavoured tea and tea bags we felt were overdone and the market totally saturated, so we saw our opportunity in instant tea,” says Devanshi Chitlangia, who co-founded the brand with Aradhita Agarwal.
Chaika is not even a year old and has already found a huge user base, especially among the young crowd who basically want to make their tea as they stream Netflix. But how did the brand start its trajectory? Let’s find out from Devanshi and Aradhita:
Tell us how Chaika was conceived
We are both tea lovers, who don’t know how to make tea! We had grown up constantly hearing how important it is to know how to make basics like tea. So we decided to launch a product for others who, like us, love tea, but don’t know how to make it or have no time to make it!
How did you zero in on the flavours?
Chaika seeks to evoke an element of nostalgia. We chose our flavours and their names accordingly. So Bombay Cutting, which was the first flavour we launched, it’s a sweet and spicy masala tea, just like the cutting chai found on streets of Mumbai. Kolkata Karak is a tea inspired by the Share Market Chai of Kolkata.
Dhaba Chai is a ginger cardamom tea, just like most teas served at the popular highway dhabas, it's also the closest to home-made chai. Platform Chai is a sweet and sour lemon liquor tea and Firangi Chai is lemongrass ginger tea, which is different from other lemongrass teas because it has milk!
Why do you think the brand is doing so well with millennials?
It appeals to millennials for the simple reason that it's convenient! We are millennials ourselves, so we understand that people our age don’t want to waste half an hour in the kitchen making tea! This is the perfect product for those who typically have a busy lifestyle, where even a minute saved is precious. It is on-the-go.
Has the lockdown affected your production? Are you still delivering online?
Just before the lockdown we saw people buying Chaika in bulk and hoarding, as they wanted to stop deliveries of milk, and Chaika being a premix already has milk powder in it. The lockdown however, has impacted our sales to wedding planners, hotels, clubs, cafes, shops and offices that were using our tea on a day-to-day basis. We are delivering to some grocery stores in Kolkata and are shipping pan India through our www.instamojo.com/chaika portal ! We also have something exciting coming up- we would soon be delivering through Swiggy in collaboration with Hyatt Regency Kolkata!
Can you tell us anything about your future plans?
We are planning to launch a new flavour Diet Chai which is a masala tea without sugar to cater to the growing number of diabetics and fitness enthusiasts. We are looking to increase our online presence and will also start shipping internationally. The biggest step is we have plans to go retail starting out with East India.