Ten years ago, Mohato Motloang was selling hand-brewed ginger tea outside a bus stop in the African country of Lesotho, with aspirations of moving to America. After years languishing on immigration waiting lists, Motloang made it to the U.S. via a lottery visa. Now he’s selling tea again.
The 38-year-old has been working at Something Natural for the past three years.The sandwich shop just started selling Motloang’s recipe for khemere, an iced tea made with ginger, pineapple and brown sugar, on Oct. 7. It took Motloang by surprise.
“I went right down to Something Natural and the first thing I did was open the bottle and have a taste because I wasn’t sure they were going to nail it the way I made it,” Motloang said this week. “But it came out exactly the same.”
Born and raised in Lesotho, Motloang said he grew up drinking khemere, a popular drink in his country, commonly consumed at ceremonies like graduations and weddings.