Drinking tea is an essential part of many cultures, and Chime founder Gaurav Chawla knows this well. Growing up in an Indian family, chai is what you offer when guests come over or wind down with after work – but even the most proficient chai makers can forget the boiling milk on the stove if they’re not watching carefully.
Hence, Chime was born. It’s basically a Keurig for chai, which has a tea making component up top and a conductive heat plate below to boil milk. You pop a tea pod into the chamber above to brew the tea, and once it’s ready, the tea is poured down into the frothy milk.
All of this is done simultaneously, with you selecting how strong you’d like the tea to be. Based on the tea type and strength, Chime will calculate heat temperatures so that both components of the chai are done at the same time.
With the milk boiling portion separated from the rest of the machine, you can pour in the amount of milk you want without storing them in the machine like some coffee-making devices. Chawla says he prefers this design so you don’t have to consistently take the machine apart to clean the milk-storing portion, or worry about the contents going bad.
Chime will also offer chai pods sourced from India, with flavors like cardamom, ginger, and masala – to name a few. I asked him if you can use your own recipe, but he says the device requires the registration of a pod in order to begin brewing. You can use a base black tea pod then drop in your own spices if you’re fancy.
Chime will begin taking pre-orders at $249 which is on par with a lot of other Keurig-type devices. Seems a bit expensive? Perhaps. But it’s not the first time I’ve seen tea makers go beyond the $200 mark, and some truly are worth the investment.