Looking for more beyond a safe flat white? Do spice infusions and chai blends pique your senses? Then the new bar opened in West Perth dedicated entirely to the art of chai is sure to entice you!

In a combined launch and anniversary event, The Rawr Den opened its doors earlier this month giving a taster of the savoury and sweet treats to come and demonstrating the surprising versatility of chai.

Rawr founder Richie Harrop said the brand had its origins four years ago as a chai supplier with six different chai’s, four arti-fusions and four different teas with the addition of its first brick and mortar location.

When he first moved to Perth from Melbourne, Mr Harrop said he struggled to find the really bold spicey chai flavours he loved and so set about making them himself, with his wholesaler brand born from his kitchen.

“I feel like it should be a flavour explosion, but I couldn’t find what was missing, so I just started playing with chai flavours, because I love to cook and bake,” he said.

“We sold online on our website, its literally been homemade for four years, out of my kitchen.”

“Proper chai or masala chai translates to spiced tea and every region in India, where it originates, has its own recipe and every family has their own variation.”

“[The bar] is to increase capacity and to put a face to the brand as well because obviously people can’t visit my house and have a chat.”

“It was daunting at first, having that unfiltered feedback from people about the product and the lattes we make in there, but it’s been amazing,” he said.

Set in a relaxed red brick arcade just off Railway Parade, The Rawr Den was ready for opening three months ago, but coronavirus restrictions put its launch back by three months which serendipitously coincided with the brand’s founding.

The launch event on September 5 saw Whippersnapper Distillery providing chai-infused cocktails including a Whiskey Sour, Chai Highball and a Dirty White Russian, as well as a gelato cart featuring a chai flavour.

While a liquor licence is still in the works for the Den, more chai cocktails could be coming, Mr Harrop said.

In addition to the traditional chai latte, The Den also offers variations including rooibos, sencha or banana flavours, chai cold brews, Vietnamese iced tea, a Chai Tiki-tonic, an Old Fashioned mocktail, or chai-infused baked creations out of the oven.

“We’re just about to jump into a summer menu which has a lot of chai themed mocktails, we want to show that you can do a lot more with chai than just a latte,” he said.

“The menu will change every few months just to show something new that you wouldn’t expect from a chai.”

The doors of The Rawr Den are open 7am to 2pm weekdays, for more information and the latest additions to their menu check them out on Facebook.

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