Specialty is not just about coffee

Specialty is not just about coffee

Join us for a short conversation with Koray Gencel, the Managing Director at Prana Chai, and a proud partner of Standart Issue 22.

What do you see as the next big trend in specialty chai?

It varies from one market to another depending on the maturity. In Australia for example, where chai consumption is widespread and demand consistent, we are focusing more on offering a unique, specialty experience with our pots and strainers. In Europe, we are explaining what we are all about, and the difference between using powders/syrups and a natural product. Our focus, in the café, has always been on customer experience, and we are avid believers of improving customer experience through offering high quality products. We wanted to focus on chai: so that's the only product that we offer.

'We wanted to create a smooth and balanced natural product first.'

I think it is still too early to chase the next big trend in chai. We, as an industry, still need to come to that tipping point where we all see the value in offering high quality, natural products across the board. Until then, for us, it looks like we are on the road, making friends, spreading the love, and, most importantly, enjoying the fact that what we do is genuine and honest.

Standart Magazine Specialty Coffee Collaboration

How is Prana Chai brewed at home? Is it similar to coffee?

We have two methods: Hot brew and Cold brew.

Hot Brew: In our pot, put 25g of chai. Top up with your choice of milk. (We recommend a plant based milk such as oat milk, or any milk except full cream, which tends to overpower the delicate flavours of the chai). Then simmer to 65–70C (150–160F). Don’t boil, just stir while simmering. Add a dash of honey if you prefer it on the sweet side. Strain into a mug and enjoy!

Cold brew: Using our cold brew flask, fill the basket with chai and add milk of your choice. Put the flask in the fridge. Wait at least four hours or leave it in the fridge overnight. Then empty the basket and enjoy the good stuff!

Standart Magazine Specialty Coffee Collaboration

You have seen impressive growth over the past ten years. What do you think is primarily driving the growth in demand for truly specialty chai?

It is definitely a combination of good product and good service. We wanted to create a smooth and balanced natural product first. And then, through our many combined years of experience running cafés, we came up with a total formula that really works for cafés and their customers. We tested this in our spaces first, then as a supplier to most of the top end cafés in Australia. From there, we've shared Prana Chai with the world. I believe our growth comes from this strong base: people see us making a genuine effort, and are passionate about good service.

This interview is published in proud partnership with Prana Chai.