History of David Rio

Based in San Francisco, CA, David Rio crafts its premium chai and tea products, combining Eastern traditions with Western innovation and style. Co-founded in 1996 in San Francisco by (David) Scott Lowe and Rio Miura, the company continues as the market leader in the premium chai category 20 years later.

Hot, iced or blended, David Rio is America’s Premier chai. The company sources superior ingredients from around the world and continually strives to improve and develop new products and processes. Committed to excellence beyond the cup, David Rio uses reusable packaging whenever possible while maintaining the integrity of its premium product lines. All David Rio products are easy to prepare, free of gluten, hydrogenated oils and trans fats, are non-GMO, versatile and can be used in baking and other delicacies.

The Company first began marketing a line of specialty teas, coffees, and accessories through an all-Japanese language catalog for export to Japan, Rio's native country. David Rio’s first chai, "Elephant Vanilla", was intended to be sold in Japan only, but immediate domestic demand from both individuals and wholesalers led David Rio to offer its chai in the US market. David Rio’s success with Elephant Vanilla inspired Scott and Rio to create a new chai with stronger spice notes and developed its second blend, "Tiger Spice Chai®", which quickly became the company’s signature chai. Since then, David Rio has continued to create innovative flavors under its "Endangered Species Line" of premium chai products, to demonstrate its commitment to animal welfare. Each product is named after endangered, at-risk, or vulnerable animals.

With this deep commitment to animal welfare, David Rio donates annually to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s elephant and tiger programs. These donations contribute to IFAW's global initiatives, such as protecting endangered tigers and elephants around the world. David Rio has also supported the Bay Area’s Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA since 2002, and has partnered with Cat Tales Zoological Park in Mead, Washington since 1999, where the company adopted a Bengal Tiger, Atlas.

Today, David Rio's premium chai and tea products are available in cafés, restaurants, and specialty retail stores in over 45 countries around the globe. With its strong domestic and global presence, the next step in the Company’s vision was to create a retail café. In Spring 2015, David Rio opened the doors to Chai Bar by David Rio, a chai-centric café in San Francisco’s Mid-Market, so that locals and consumers from around the world could enjoy signature David Rio Chai products, as well as have the opportunity and excitement to share in David Rio’s newest offerings and products under development.


David Rio strives to be the global premium chai brand, exceeding customers' expectations, offering exceptional taste and quality, and delivering meaningful customer service. The company also strives to earn the respect and trust of all business partners, giving back to the communities that are instrumental in its success. Without a doubt, David Rio's objective is to be the premier brand in the industry and deliver a rich, indulgent chai experience that will keep even the most discerning chai drinker coming back for more.