After being introduced to chai at an Indian restaurant in Boulder, Colorado we tried to find out more about this wonderful drink. Finding nothing at the library and very little online, we decided to put a quick web site together. The original site was built in one day - Father's Day , June 1995.
We included a Comments section where other enthusiasts could share their recipes, chai experiences, etc. Usage of the site was limited to a few hundred 'hits' a month for the first few months. However, we received many wonderful and heartfelt thanks from those who also wanted to know more about chai.
The original website was hosted on a PowerPC Macintosh in our basement at home since we had a 64KB dedicated Internet circuit into our house. We ran multiple websites from home which beat our poor computer to death. We hosted some highly popular websites at home (award winning Coyote Creek Elementary School and Ralph Mahan's Wolf Report).
In October 1996 we moved all our web activity out of the house. In the process we lost the nice web program that posted reader's comments automatically. We had to manually rework each comment to html as it came in. As chai gained in popularity more people were finding their way to our little web site.
With our work and life demanding more of us, we had to quit accepting user comments on Feburary 24, 1997. We removed our email address and decided to just let the site die a slow death. We turned our attentions elsewhere, but were saddened that we had shut things off.
The Chai! website continued to grow in popularity as more and more people discovered chai and turned to web site for recipes and information. We posted a webmaster's appeal to see if someone else would take over the site. A number of people replied in just a few days!
We got a call from a food correspondent at the Boston Globe asking us for an interview. We got an email from a book publisher inquiring about possibilites of writing a book on chai. So, we decided we would jump in again!!!
And here it is, after three weeks of hard work completely reorganizing all the content making it easier to find the great stuff contributed by so many of you. This site would not be here if it were not for the many people around the world who shared their feelings and ideas with all of us.
With the appointment of our new Content Director, Gary Osborne, the Chai website is reborn once again! We have moved from odie.org/chai to the more fitting URL, chai-tea.org. We have also added significant new content, including a message board to facilitate greater interaction and discussion about chai recipes and more. In addition, content areas regarding fair trade, organic, and chai as a healthy coffee substitute have been added.
A special thanks to everyone who has contributed!