A few moments with Peter Rothstein of Dona Chai
Meet Peter Rothstein. Along with his partner Amy, he creates the perfect blend of spices for a chai concentrate, bottles it, and sells it to chai lovers across the country. Since we're some of them, we jumped at the chance to ask Peter a few more questions about how Dona Chai came to be (and how he makes it taste so darn good).
Where did you grow up?
Suburban Detroit — West Bloomfield, MI.
What sparked the idea for Dona Chai? What were you doing beforehand?
My sister was getting her masters at NYU in Food Studies. She was always studying at third-wave coffee shops and noticed a movement to better coffee and local baked goods, but people were still using corporate chai concentrates. So she decided to make her own.
What makes your blend of spices unique to your chai tea concentrate? How long/how much experimentation did it take to get it just right, to what you sell today?
We brew in small batches and we use fresh ginger juice. We also grind our spices in house so they stay as fresh as possible.
We’re always experimenting to make it just right. We cup our ingredients every day to make sure they’re up to our standards.
How did the turmeric concentrate come about?
We wanted a product to complement our chai, and turmeric is a new thing in coffee shops.
What’s your favorite way to use each of your concentrates?
Mixing equal parts with milk to drink as a latte.
Who are your go-to taste testers for your products and your recipes?
What’s your favorite local restaurant, café, or market?
Moe’s Doughs in Brooklyn.
What’s your favorite drink of the moment?
Now, for a few quick-fire questions: don't think too long about any of these, just answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Dog or cat?
Tomato sauce or pesto?
Chocolate or caramel?
Pizza or pasta?
Wine, beer, or cocktail?