Sitting down over a warm drink on a chilly November day, Jillu Zaveri, the founder of Jaipur Avenue, and I enjoyed a little chat about chai tea. We jumped right into her recent Facebook endeavor of offering free samples of her chai tea mix to everyone who replied to a posting on Jaipur Avenue’s fan page: “I was expecting maybe 200 responses—I got about 5,000 within the first hour-and-a-half and they just kept pouring in.” For a smaller company, the overwhelmingly positive response was both exciting and terrifying. Jillu expressed her desire to mail out as many of the free samples as quickly as possible. “There are some people who are very excited to get it, and I don’t want to disappoint them. Sending out the chai sample only costs me about 88 cents… it’s the shipping that costs the most.” The tea, which is made in India, takes about 45 days to get from the plant in Bombay, through customs in New York and on to Seattle. From there it will be shipped all over the nation, even to “small towns in America I had never heard of before!” Considering how delightful the tea is, it is definitely worth the wait. Jillu grew up in India and never drank coffee, so she takes her tea seriously. When she found a delicious drink that was made only by adding water, she wanted to share it with the world. She described her teas perfectly when she said they are “smooth and soothing, with hints of spices and sugar.” When asked what she wanted someone to take away from an experience with her chai, she replied, “This is the real chai: there are no additives, no preservatives. There is an original formula, but we’ve tweaked it so there’s less sugar.” In a world where half the ingredients on food labels can’t be pronounced, Jaipur Avenue’s chai is a welcome, refreshing relief. As for plans for the future, the sky is the limit—she hopes to expand to the East coast, sell in retail stores, team up with corporations such as Microsoft or Google, and possibly go international. In general, she wants her tea to be a “cultural ambassador” to people around the world. Until the day when Jaipur Avenue’s chai can be found in Metropolitan Markets or Whole Foods across the nation, the tasty chai tea mix, which comes in five tasty flavors, can be purchased on Amazon—just in time for the holiday season!