Step into the Coffeeshop here at Ginger and Baker and the first thing you may notice are the smells – fresh-baked pie, rich coffee and the heady spice of coconut chai. That last bit of deliciousness is thanks to the flavor wizardry of Jennifer Lopez, founder of Fort Collins’ Swallowtail Foods Pi Chai and the creator of our house blend Coconut Chai.
Jennifer began partnering with Ginger and Baker before we even opened, working with our team to create a unique chai that captures our spirit and offers a delicious complement to our menus.
“The coconut and lemongrass flavors really build on my original chai recipe,” Jennifer said. “I source the natural coconut flavor from a supplier who makes it fresh every time I order it. That’s why the flavor is so robust and the taste of this chai is so special.”
Jennifer’s background in culinary arts – she worked in the food & beverage industry for hotels and restaurants for over 30 years – provided her with a deep knowledge of flavor profiles that has served her well in developing her business.
She started Pi Chai just over four years ago and since then, her top-quality, all-natural dried chai blends have become a staple at coffeeshops, bakeries, restaurants and specialty stores throughout Northern Colorado.
Jennifer’s original recipe is a propriety blend of six different spices, a fresh take on classic Masala Chai. “I spent a lot of time researching various chai, then added my own surprises within the spices to make it unique,” she said. “Many of my customers are native to India and they say it’s the best chai in the US. It’s a great compliment.”
Why the name Pi Chai? “It’s not just because it rhymes,” Jennifer said. “Pi is a universal symbol and science’s most intriguing number. In culinary arts, math and science are half of the process, so Pi Chai is a combination of science and art; half math, half creative and infinitely delicious.”
Add a piece of pie to the equation and the results may just be incalculable.