Maya Tea Company first sprouted roots in the mind of our founder, Manish Shah, who noted the rising popularity of chai tea. Born in India, Manish sipped chai throughout his childhood and into his adult life. To meet the demand for an authentic chai product, Manish and his brother Yash developed a chai blend reminiscient of the chai prepared by their mother in youth. Packaged in teabags for convenience and freshness, the new product was labeled “MY Chai” after the first initials of the two brothers’ first names. Later they developed the first chai tea that could be brewed using commercial coffee brewers for cafes and restaurants. As business grew they received requests from customers and retail clients for traditional teas as well. Maya Tea Company was born. Over the next few years the number of teas offered by the company multiplied, and today Maya Tea offers over 130 varieties of tea for both wholesale and individual customers. Though our focus remains on quality loose teas, we have remained ever innovative, expanding our product line to include iced teas, tea accessories and supplies, private label retail programs, and of course our esteemed Maya Chai concentrate, formulated to resemble the original “MY Chai”. This year, we are excited to introduce Maya Chai’s sister, Devi Chai- a devilishly spicy new version of the concentrate. Maya Tea Company continues to grow, and the initial efforts of Manish have generated today’s team of eight, working endlessly to bring the best that the tea world has to offer into each individual cup. Enjoy!
Maya Tea Locations
Maya Tea operates out of Tucson, AZ. We do not have a retail space, but you can find us at the Heirloom Farmers Markets in Oro Valley and Rillito Park on the weekends (more info here).
(Open Mon – Fri from 9a – 4p)
225 W Flores St
Tucson, AZ 85705
(Open Mon – Thurs from 10a – 2p)
1605 W Grant Rd
Tucson, AZ 85745
Manish Shah was born in India, and spent much of his childhood in New York. At a young age, a business opportunity brought his family to Tucson, Arizona, where as an adult he would make his home. In the early 1990’s, Manish began to notice a rise in the popularity of chai tea, a drink traditionally served in India. This prompted the young entrepreneur to develop his own formulation of chai, which he began to sell at a small booth at a local farmers’ market in late 1996. Maya Tea Company was born. As the years progressed, the tea company blossomed and the farmers’ markets grew exponentially, and soon Manish was asked to take over their management. Today, Manish manages two local farmers’ markets and is looking to open a third, and the tea company has grown to provide over 200 varieties of tea. Eternally entrepreneurial, his eyes never close to opportunity, and those of us close to Manish are always on the lookout for what is next to come. Manish favors oolong varieties of tea, and highly recommends our Monkey-Picked Tie Kwan Yin.
Tony Gonzales was born in Los Angeles and spent his childhood in over fourteen states. In the early 90’s Tony settled down in Tucson with his wife and two children. He started his own distributorship in 2002, called Desert Bay. Engrained in the beverage industry, it was not long before he crossed paths with Manish. By 2005 the two had worked together to supply brewing equipment to local establishments and, behind the scenes, to develop a formula for a liquid chai concentrate. In 2008, Tony began working with the Maya Tea Company full time. Tony oversees all orders, from the time that they come in via phone or fax to the time they are rolled out the door for delivery. There is not a package that Tony hasn’t personally handled. His favorite tea is Jin Xuan oolong.
Diane Frisch and her husband called Sonoma County home until 2001 when they moved to Tucson, Arizona. Diane always had a flair for organization, event planning, entertaining and a “Keep Calm and Carry On” type of attitude. These skills led her to establish an event planning business from which she has been actively planning events large and small throughout Southern Arizona. Diane quickly gained notoriety for organizing a wide variety of events, where her focus lies in involving local vendors including restaurants and wineries. Diane’s passion for locally grown foods led her on a quest to open a Farmer’s Market in Tubac, Arizona. This mission landed her directly in front of Manish and Roxanne and their relationship only continued to grow from there. As Maya Tea began to expand, it was only fitting that Diane became part of the process. Yerba Mate Herbal is her go-to Tea, but she loves the Madagascar Coconut White to switch things up.
Roxanne Garcia grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico on a chile and tomato farm. In 2002, Roxanne relocated to Tucson, Arizona where she planted roots with her two children. In 2004, a mutual friend referred her to Manish, who was looking for someone to assist him in running Tucson’s Farmers’ markets. With her background in agriculture and a degree in marketing, Roxanne was an ideal candidate. Roxanne helped Manish to run a successful market in central Tucson and to open a second market in Oro Valley. As a remarkable go-to girl, Roxanne has her fingers in tea as well. Her passion for cooking and sophisticated palate allow her to imagine and create some of our finest tea blends. Her all-time favorite tea however is simple and unaltered: Darjeeling black.