Our Story

The Yogic Chai Story...a little long, but quite entertaining ;)

I guess that it all started back in the Summer of 2006 when I had the opportunity to travel to the foothills of the Himalayas in India to meet and spend time with my spiritual teacher, Maha Yogi Pilot Baba.

While walking in the streets of New Delhi, I kept of hearing Chayee! Chayee! from either a chai vendor walking with a few thermos or from a chai stand. One thing about the people from India is that they love Chai! Since my only experience with chai tea was your typical starbucks like chai, I was not very interested in trying it.

I went to the train station to catch my train to Kathgodam, a small village in the foothills of the himalayas.

8 hours later...It mush have been about 6-7 am and the train had come to a 15 min stop. I decided to step outside and stretch my legs. Not even 5 min. later, a little boy approached me and all he kept saying was chayee! chayee! as he tried to persuade me to buy a cup of chai from him. I could not say no to his sparkling eyes or to the smell of the spices that were coming from the cup.

His chai was totally different from what I had experienced in the coffee shops in the US. It was so warm, spicy, nurturing & delicious!

At my Guru Ashram, to my surprise, masala chai was served every morning and it gave an opportunity for all of us to connect with each other and share stories while enjoying the wonderful flavors of a good cup of chai.

When I came back to the U.S.A., one of the many things I was missing from India, was that morning cup of masala chai, so I went to my local health food store and bought a few different blends to try. They all came in packages of 18-20 tea bags and neither one of them satisfied my craving for true masala chai. Since they all came in tea bags, I thought perhaps I should try to find some blends that came in loose or bulk form.

To my surprise, there were not that many companies offering loose chai and the ones I tried, I was not very impressed with the flavors. None of the blends, including the tea bag blends were bad, they just did not taste to me like the masala chai I had tasted in India, which is what I was particularly looking for.

My search for Chai continued for a few weeks until I met Prem Prakash & Ambika Gibbs, founders of the Green Mountain School of Yoga in Vermont, also known as Kailash Ashram. I was talking to Prem Prakash about my experience in India, and out of nowhere he asked me "Do you drink Chai?" to which I replied "Oh, I miss that real cup of chai in the morning" and he said "wait until you come visit us in Vermont. Ambika makes the best chai on this side of Rishikesh!"

Few weeks passed, but it did not take long before I made my way up north to visit Prem Prakash and Ambika. I could not wait to taste her Chai. I arrived in the morning at their home/ashram where I was greeted with a warm cup of masala chai...Oh I can still remember that smell ;) Prem Prakash was right! Finally my search for a good cup of masala chai was over.

Ambika's chai had everything I could remember tasting in India. It had a rich black tea flavor as a base and a tasteful, well-balanced kick from the spices, which did not included black pepper, just like it was prepared at my Guru's Ashram in India.

It was after meeting Ambika that I started making my own blends, using what she had suggested as the base combined with my previous knowledge as a Chinese Herbalist.

I started serving Chai to my students that came to the Yoga classes at the studio I used to own in Warwick, NY. I got some great feedback from them and then I started serving Chai to the people that came to our monthly Spiritual Cinema Nights. Everyone loved it!

One of my students, then Angela Pica, was really into tea at the time we met and she took me to several tea shops in Montclair, NJ and Manhattan, NY.

I was learning from her about all the different tea varieties that came from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. She used to tell me about her dream of having a tea house... As an herbalist myself, I thought I could probably combine the same spices of masala chai with different varieties of tea bases.

Since Chai is a great digestive formula, I decided to also add some of the chinese herbs to create different blends for different medicinal purposes.

Angela and I started working together creating different blends of Chai and in less than a month, we had our first Chai stand at a Kindred Spirit Fair in Washington, NJ.

We had 6 different blends, but no brand yet. We were using the name of my yoga studio. The fair was a huge success and we were able to see the potential of what we were doing.

We spent hours and days to come up with a good name for our chai company, but nothing was clicking until we started thinking about the uniqueness of our chai and the answer was plain and simple "It is a Yogic Chai!"

Yogic Chai was registered the next day and nowadays we have over 30 blends of Chai, all made with a 100% Organic Ingredients.

Angela and I are now married, living in Montclair, NJ and we just had our second baby girl!

We hope that you enjoy our chai blends as much as we do!

Ricardo, Angela, Dalia & Giulia Devi Da Costa
The Yogic Chai Family!

Our Qualities

Values We Believe In:

Our Products

  4 oz  

  4 oz  

  1 lb  
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Get to Know Us

What inspires you?
We love reading our customer's reviews and getting on the phone with them. The few fairs we have done so far have being great sources of inspiration too. The thought that one day Yogic Chai will be able to support us financially. Nothing better than been able to support your family by doing something you really love doing and have others appreciate you for doing so ;-)
What is your favorite part about creating your products?
My favorite part is grinding, mixing the spices and blending them for each order. Its a hand-made process. I love the smell of freshly ground cardamom.
What is the toughest part of your day?
Been able to balance all aspects of my life...work, eating properly, breathing fresh air, spend time with our children, with my wife and with my self ;-)
What was the best day in company history?
It was Black Friday 2008...few months after celebrating our 1st year in business. Back then, we were selling an average of $300-500 a month through our website. We spent the whole month of November promoting our Black Friday Sale through all Social Networks and we sold $2250 worth of Chai on that day...that was really good ;-)
What was the biggest decision you ever had to make?
Every day I make a choice to follow my heart and my dreams, thats big enough! Decisions for me are like tasks. When I make a decision, its done. I get to it and move forward. No need to live in the past. I dont sit to reflect nor contemplate on my decisions.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
For the past 3 years, Yogic Chai has focus solely on online retailing. Now that we have gathered more than enough reviews from customers and critics, we look forward to enter the retail stores environment next year. We have also added a public presence in our local town with the Chai Cycle, which is Yogic Chai's mobile chai vending unit. We see ourselves as been the company-to-go-to when it comes to Chai.
Our Favorite Song
Survival by Bob Marley, Creator by Tribal Seeds & Hanuman Chalisa
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Vermont, Long Beach Island, Tobago, Woodstock, NY
Our Favorite Product Besides Our Own
I really like my Galaxy Nexus!
Our Favorite Quote
You will come in due course to realise that your true glory lies where you cease to exist. - Ramana Maharshi
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