Origin Story

Our journey started on Oct 2nd, 2016 when Abhi and his good friend Vicky, fresh off their burning man adventure, were brainstorming about what they could bring as their gift to The Playa in 2017. As Abhi was nostalgically sharing about the amazing times he had with friends and family over a cup of chai, Vicky was like “Holy Smokes, that’s it! We should bring Chai to Burning Man”. And so it began…….

Vicky was pretty new to chai so Abhi took it upon himself to have Vicky experience a new world of Chai. He took her around SF to experience various chai spots, look at the ingredients, taste the flavors and then returned to Abhi’s cozy Pac Heights apartment where he whipped out a shiny pot and made his take on vegan chai for her. And Vicky was like “Holy Smokes, this shit is Da Bomb! We need to turn this into a business”

For Abhi, the idea of chai was more than just a beverage. It was a natural expression of friendship, laughter, connecting, and ultimately sharing a slower and more delicate moment of life. After some encouragement from Vicky, Abhi started sharing his chai with a broader audience in the Bay Area, like with various yoga studios in San Francisco and his coworkers in San Mateo. It started to make a name for itself. The chai became very loved and over and over, Abhi was asked, Where can I buy this?

Unsure of selling chai given his concern for keeping his craft authentic and gatherings intimate, Abhi pulled a few close friends and decided that the best way to share his chai was to create a platform that would provide access not only to artisan chai but also create wonderful experiences for people.

That’s why we chose to create Samay (meaning 'time' in Hindi), a business and a brand committed to creating moments for people to cherish!




Be Present: There’s a certain space you enter when you drink chai. You can’t help but enjoy the moment and find some zen. Whether you can’t wait to share what happened earlier that day, or you just need some stillness, our goal is to create the space for anything in between. You are the designer of that moment

Giving Back: Our chai and your experience drinking it is about you, not us. We make the chai, but the moment is for you! We encourage you to share moments in chai with your loved ones and friends, sharing with them a part of you <3

Showing Up: Our team motto is to show up. At Burning Man in 2017, Abhi and Tim showed up with a bunch of ingredients but after a series of unfortunate events, the two found themselves at their wits (no kitchen, no way to transport 8 gallons of milk). But after 5 hours, running off of little to no sleep, Abhi created one of his best batches yet. Served to burners as the epic sun of Black Rock City rose, they were reminded of what making chai is all about - it’s about the smiles and calm on people’s faces as they partake.