The general population, especially in India, can be divided neatly into two brackets—those who prefer a strong mug of coffee as their beverage of choice, and those who can’t imagine a life without tea, or good ol’ chai. Those who love tea might be on to something, though. It may come as a surprise to coffee fans, but tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world (first is water), and why not? It’s delicious, soothing, and comes with a host of health benefits.
This International Tea Day, we raise our cups to the home-grown brands who are championing Indian tea. From a wide variety of offerings that range from flavourful infusions to single-origin high-quality tea, these artisanal labels deserve a spot on your kitchen shelf, and on your morning breakfast spread.
No. 3 Clive Road
An artisanal tea brand that makes hand-blended mixes, No. 3 Clive Road is named after the address where the founder Radhika Chopra’s father was born. Most of their unique blends are named after historical Indian cities—like the Jaipur blend that is a heady mix of Assam tea, cocoa, dried orange, and rose petals; or the Aurangzeb blend with ginger, cardamom and hints of rose, jasmine, and marigold.
Single estate teas. One-of-a-kind house blends. Herbal tisanes. Vahdam has it all. The brainchild of Bala Sarda, a tea enthusiast, the brand is known for their offerings based on Ayurvedic principals. Think turmeric ashwagandha herbal tea tisane, green tea detox kit, and more. They also have a citrusy chamomile mint citrus tea and a vanilla matcha powder that have glowing reviews.
With their charming blue elephant mascot featuring on their cute packaging, Tea Trunk’s tea boxes are a delight to own. Founded in 2013 by tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda, they source their teas directly from farmers and turn them into fun blends like marigold green tea, rose oolong tea, and masala chai black tea, though we are big fans of their lavender white tea and the soothing chamomile tea.
Anandini Himalaya Tea
A family venture, Anandini Himalaya Tea has been delighting tea connoisseurs with their unique blends of teas since 2013. Their tea is packed in unbleached muslin cloth and is sourced from the family’s own tea gardens in Himachal Pradesh. Their Firdaus blend is quite popular, and features green tea along with marigold flowers, cockscomb, saffron, and cardamom. Their tisanes are worth a sip too—try the purple-hued moon tisane made with blue pea flowers, lavender and corn flower.
Sourcing their leaves from Indian tea estates, Chado started as an artisanal tea brand in Los Angeles but now has a strong presence in India too. Their motto is to show everyone the way of tea, which is apt considering their name is a combo of ‘Cha’ that means tea in many languages, and ‘Do’ meaning path or way in Japanese. Try their Rose Oolong tea, Blue Pea Flower Tea, or the Yerba Mate, which is a South American tea.
A New-Delhi based brand, JugMug Thela’s offerings range from spices, blends, to teas and snacks. Browse through their extensive collection of fine teas that come in unique concoctions like thyme tea (which has savoury notes), to the three flower tea that has rose, hibiscus, and pomegranate tisane. Their Kulhad Chai Box will make for the perfect gift for chai lovers—it comes with their house-made chai masala blend, tea, raw sugar, baked matthi (wholewheat crackers), and two kulhads (traditional terracotta mugs).
Lead image: Athiya Shetty / Instagram