Hey, hi, hello! I'm Caitlin, the founder and maker of Kinship Milk Tea. 
I grew up in Austin and after graduating from UT, I worked abroad for 6 years first in education and then in cycling tourism. I feel really fortunate that I was able to experience so many different cultures in my 20’s, and I spent most of my time in tea loving countries like Thailand and Ireland. I was teaching English in central Thailand (shout out to my beautiful, lovely students at Sa-Nguan Ying High School), and every morning before school, I would stop at the local 711 and pick up a bottled milk tea - and it became part of my daily ritual.

When I moved back to Austin, I started tinkering in my tiny home kitchen and anytime friends would come over, I would force them to try my newest recipes - I wanted it to be good; I don’t like to do anything halfway. Many months of trial and error and lots of spilled milk later, I landed on something that I felt proud of and wanted to share. My friends started taking milk tea to work and then their co-workers started reaching out and asking to buy it. And I was like, oh shit, this isn’t for sale. It kept snowballing, and I realized that I had to either go for it or shut it down. I started Kinship in the fall of 2019 (which ended up being horrendous timing to start a business).

This was never supposed to be a business, but here we are! It brings me so much joy to serve milk tea to the Austin community and to ride the roller coaster of the small business club.




When I think of Kinship, I think of us as the unruly younger brother that’s really lovable but doesn’t follow the rules very well. We break a lot of the molds in tea culture by steeping our tea within an inch of its life to draw out all the flavor - that’s what allows it to stand up to the oat milk and sugar. Tea culture can be pretty snobbish and we aren’t that. We want to be approachable and playful.

Our mission is connection through common ground. When I think of a bottle of Kinship, I think of it as a distillation of experiences and interactions with people I’ve met along the way during my travels. I want it to evoke a sense of nostalgia and make you feel something. Life is messy and imperfect, and so are we. 



Female founded + operated. Made in Austin, TX.