TEA TIME STORY

India Today - - BUZZ - By Ekta Mar­waha

SIM­PLY DELHI caught up with Tea Som­me­lier Anamika Singh over a hot cuppa and got brew­ing about the sud­den emer­gence of tea cul­ture and her newly opened tea bou­tique in Shah­pur Jat. Un­til a while back, in­stant cof­fee and hang­ing out in cafés for hours was the ‘in’ thing to do, but with the num­ber of tea drink­ing places that have opened up in the city, this trend is slowly chang­ing. On of­fer are a num­ber of vari­ants— green, white and even blue; milk tea, tra­di­tional masala chai and of course, in­fu­sions. “Most peo­ple are shift­ing to tea for ob­vi­ous health ben­e­fits,” says Anamika Singh, who has been in the tea busi­ness for 18 years. Singh’s fam­ily owns the Man­jee Val­ley Tea Es­tate in Dharamshala, from where she picked up the trick of the trade. She’s in­her­ited her skills of choos­ing the right leaves, mix­ing the cor­rect in­gre­di­ents and cre­at­ing the per­fect blend. Singh ex­plains how bored and dis­ap­pointed she was with the kind of teas avail­able here and the tea bag cul­ture. This urged her to come up with some­thing re­fresh­ing. She came up with her own tea in­fu­sions la­bel named Anan­dini Hi­malaya Tea. Her in­fu­sions have a beau­ti­ful mild aroma, which stems from the herbs and flow­ers she has tact­fully mixed with the leaves. Most of us have suc­cumbed to green tea for var­i­ous rea­sons, but many of us don’t like its lin­ger­ing af­ter taste. Her in­fu­sions, how­ever, act as palate pleasers and give vol­ume to tea. Try the rose hip—green tea with rose petals, del­i­cate and flavour­ful. “From what leaves to use as a base—first or sec­ond flush—to keep­ing in mind the In­dian and global pal­ette, tea shouldn’t be too sweet and the fla­vor shouldn’t over­power,” says Singh. Af­ter a long wait, she has opened doors to her quaint lit­tle tea bou­tique in Shah­pur Jat, and as soon as you step in a whiff of spices and flo­ral aro­mas wel­come you. On of­fer are a range of hand­crafted teas, seven blends of green and black tea with var­i­ous flow­ers and Hi­malayas. Each of them seem so tempt­ing that it’s dif­fi­cult to take your pick. This pas­sion­ate tea drinker ends our con­ver­sa­tion by say­ing “Four min­utes of your life is all it takes to make and en­joy a good cup of tea. Sa­vor it.”

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