Frequently Asked Questions
Spice Care & Questions
Are all your spices organic?
All our spices are 100% pesticide free, and all of our farmers have been growing beyond "organically" for 6+ years. They're all not yet USDA certified because once you get the 1st certification (expensive so was impossible for them until we came along), you need 4 years of inspections and certificates before you meet USDA standards. At this point, they’re all in some stage of this process licensed by Aditi Organic Certifications Pvt. Ltd. in accordance with the Indian National Programme for Organic Production Standards.
Are the spices gluten free?
They are! The only spices with extra ingredients are the ground Guntur Sannam Chillies, and the Byadgi chillies which contain salt and sesame oil. We’re very careful during the milling process (for turmeric and chillies) to ensure that the spices don’t come into contact with any other spices that might be contaminated with pesticides, other spices, or other ingredients.
Is the turmeric lead-free?
Harmful levels of lead contamination are between 28-52ppm, while our turmeric has a tested lead content of 0.184ppm, which is similar to the amount you'd find in your own body, and therefore completely safe! You can check out our most recent test results for lead here!
What is the best way to store the spices?
Store them in an airtight container in a dark, dry place. The powdered spices stay fresh and retain their potency best when stored in glass, thus our jarred packaging. Do not store the jarred spices in direct sunlight, as this will shorten their shelf life.
When do the spices expire/how long do they last?
Most of the spices are good 2 years from the mill date, which is listed on the harvest label sticker on the jar or bag. That being said, our spices are extremely potent and fresh as we take incredible care to source yearly and aim for quality, so 2 years is our most conservative guideline, compared to most spices in the grocery store which are often 5-7 years old upon purchase.
What pepper grinders do you recommend?
We’ve spent a lot of time grinding pepper, and these are our top 3 favorites!
1. Männkitchen: very expensive, but comes with 5 year guarantee, and super high quality
2. Unicorn Pepper Mill: affordable, but hard to find anywhere except Amazon
3. Vipp: smaller than the Unicorn, a little more expensive, a solid third
I’m not sure how to grind or process the spices, help!
For whole spices, you can use them whole or ground, depending on the needs of the recipe.
For general spice grinding, you can use a mortar and pestle, or you can an electric grinder such as the Krups coffee & spice grinder, which truly lasts forever.
Do you offer gift cards?
Yes! We have digital gift cards you can buy for varying amounts, that you can purchase here for yourself or for a friend to spread the spice joy!
How should I clean and care for my dabba?
Your dabba is made from brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. Like copper, brass is a living metal which develops a patina over time giving it a warmer tone with use. Some people like this aged look, while some prefer to keep it shiny and bright! Clean the dabba as and when you need to, or as a nice seasonal ritual, it's up to you!
Just like you season a cast iron pan, begin your relationship with your dabba by rubbing all over with a little coconut oil and then wipe down with a clean towel to create a protective coating. This will help prevent stains from fingerprints or food touching it, and help it patina more beautifully and evenly.
To clean your patinated dabba:
1. Make a paste of flour and white vinegar (no special ratio, you're just creating a carrier paste for the acid which helps remove the tarnish).
2. Scrub the paste onto the dabba with a soft brush, like our favorite vegetable scrubber or toothbrush. Do not use any kind of steel wool/metal scrubber!
3. Once the stain is removed, rinse with warm water and wipe dry. You may have to do this twice for tougher stains.
4. Finally, rub all over with coconut oil to seal, and wipe off with a soft towel for a smooth shine!
Note: You can also use Brasso or Flitz powder if this is process does not work.
You can also check out this process step-by-step on the diasporaco instagram!
How can I get my dabba engraved?
Congratulations! You're the owner of a beautiful masala dabba! To help you take your dabba to the next level, we have partnered with several engravers across the nation to customize your dabba in the signature Diaspora font. Email any of the engravers in the list below asking for the "Diaspora engraving", along with:
The exact text you want engraved. Most engravers can accommodate special characters (e.g. hearts, ampersands). Currently we only offer engravings using the English alphabet due to font limitations
Your mailing address
The engraver will get back to you to confirm the engraving text and cost and share their mailing address where you can send your dabba lid. We recommend you send only the lid to minimize shipping costs. The engraver will invoice you for the engraving and send back your lid once the engraving is complete. From there - share photos with us and enjoy your personalized dabba!
|Heirloom Engravers||San Francisco, CA||$2.00/letter, $20 minimum||Wade Dickinsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Engrave Detail||Grandville, MI||$12 for 12 characters, $0.50 for additional characters||Amy Ericksonemail@example.com|
|Charleston Engravers||Charleston, SC||$15 flat fee||Johnfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Beach Engraving||Virginia Beach, VA||$30 flat fee||Brandonemail@example.com|
*If you would like to find an engraver closer to you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can tell you what questions to ask them! The ones above have been thoroughly vetted though, so we recommend choosing one of them.
How much does shipping cost?
Shipping is free for orders over $65!
Shipping costs depend on the weight of the order, the shipping tier selected, and whether it is domestic or international. Most orders with economy (8-10 day) shipping cost $6-9. Most international shipping costs around $15.
Do you ship internationally?
We ship to Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the EU, and the UK! Currently, we are not able to ship to Australia because they put a ban on imported spices. If you would like to order any non-food items, let us know and we'll help you place the order!
Please be aware that customs duties may apply and take that into the cost of ordering. We have no control over when customs fees are charged, and you take that responsibility upon ordering. Keep an eye out for a notice from customs to pay duties & fees. Often you will need to pay this before they will deliver it to you, and if it is not paid they will return it to sender.
FYI we’ve seen very high customs fees for the masala dabbas, so please be aware of this when ordering!
Can I change my shipping address?
Yes! Shoot us an email with your new shipping address, and as long as the shipping label has not been printed yet, we’ll change it!
If the order has already shipped, we cannot change the shipping address en route. If your order goes to an incorrect address or is returned to sender, we can resend the order to you, but you are responsible for covering the shipping costs of having it resent.
Can I change my billing address?
If you entered the wrong billing address, as long as the payment was processed, it’s usually not an issue. If it does actually charge the wrong person, let us know, and we can refund the order to that person and send you an invoice
Can I add a gift note?
Yes, we offer gift notes on our custom holiday cards which you can purchase for $4 here!
This order is a gift, can you leave out price info?
We don't include invoices or packing slips in our orders so you're all good!
Can I modify my order?
Yes, just shoot us an email at email@example.com and as long as the shipping label for the order has not been printed we can update the order :)
Can I cancel my order?
As long as the shipping label for the order hasn't been printed, you can cancel an order.
Once the shipping label has already been printed, we cannot cancel an order. However, we can send you a return label to send the order back to us, we just ask that you cover the cost of shipping, and then we'll refund you for the cost of the order.
What is a pre-order?
When a product is marked pre-order, it means we don’t yet have it in stock at our US warehouse. Pre-orders are a way to guarantee you will receive an awesome new item that may not be ready yet as well as to help support us! They allow us to pay our partner farmers advances on the spices and to bring all of these new spices to you! When you place a preorder, it won’t be shipped immediately to you. They will ship out as soon as they arrive at our warehouse, under the same guidelines as mentioned above in “Shipping Questions.”
Why can't I get the ready to ship spices in my order now?
If you have ready to ship spices and pre-order spices, they will ship all at the same time once the pre-order spices have arrived. We don't automatically ship the ready to ship ones because shipping costs are expensive. If you would like to receive the ready to ship spices now, you can pay to have them shipped separately. Just email us and we can help you figure it out!
My package was marked as delivered, but never showed up. What do I do?
Usually, your package will show up within a few days to a week. Sometimes shipping carriers will mark packages as delivered a day or so before they actually are in order to meet quotas, so consider it a delivery window and keep an eye out for the delivery! Once the package has left our warehouse, the carrier is responsible for your package and delivery. If it has not shown up after 5 business days of being marked delivered, we'll resend it to you!
If your order is lost, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will resend it to you! If your order is lost because you entered the wrong shipping address, however, you are responsible for covering the shipping costs of having it resent.
My item arrived broken or damaged, help!
Oh no! If you received a broken or damaged jar, send us a photo of the item and your order number to email@example.com and we’ll take good care of you.
My order is missing an item/I received the wrong item, help!
Sorry to hear that! We’re only human, mistakes happen, but we’ll make it right. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can resend missing items to you at no further cost, or refund you for them.
The tracking hasn't updated on my order, help!
If you just received a shipping notification email, the tracking may not be working yet. It usually takes a day before it starts updating.
If your tracking never started working, or started and has not updated in a long time, let us know and we will look into it. There have been lots of delays with packages, and usually the packages will arrive, it just might take some time :) If your tracking has not updated in 2 weeks, then we will resend the package to you. If your order is international, we will resend your package if it has not updated in 30 days.
Refunds & Returns
At Diaspora Co., our goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality of goods. We want you to be happy with your spices, so we strive to make sure our return policies reflect that.
If you’re not happy with your order, email us within 30 days of receiving the order, and we will refund it. We can accept returns of unopened, unused spices; however, we cannot accept returns of any opened spices because of our food safety and sanitary protocols. If you are wanting to return a non-food item (totes, dishtowels), email us within 30 days of receiving it and we’ll send you a return label.
You are responsible for the shipping costs of returning the item. Please let us know the reason you are returning it, for our records. We are unable to offer refunds for items that are returned to us in anything less than like-new condition.
Do you sell wholesale?
How can I be a wholesaler?
Fill out our wholesale interest form here. This has prewritten questions that you can respond to that will give us a better idea on how we can potentially work together!