Top 7 Homegrown Tea Brands Started By Indians - Homegrown

Top 7 Homegrown Tea Brands Started By Indians

Usually the first thing you reach out for in the morning, barring your cell phone is a cup of tea or coffee. Similar to coffees, teas too come in different tastes and flavours and is a natural energy drink with health benefits. It helps you jump out of bed on days that otherwise seem too dull or demotivating.

For a long time now, Indian teas (both Darjeeling and Assam teas) have carved out a special niche for itself in both the indigenous and global markets and is something that is enjoyed and appreciated by one and all. Many Indian immigrants as well have tried to create artisanal teas in their respective places of residence, with truly Indian flavours and tastes. We have curated a few such tea brands that cropped up both in India and abroad, by Indians, who had been true to the charms and flavours of their native. tea. Whether it be the quintessential platform ka chai, or the exotic Darjeeling chai, here’s a list that you might find useful.

I. Kolkata Chai Co.

Located in the vibrant East Village of Manhattan, the Kolkata Chai Cafe brings you a slice of Kolkata in New York. Their menu is worldly and curious, where you’ll find a bunch of different delicacies including their signature oat milk masala chai and their mango avocado toast.

Ayan and Ani Sanyal, second generation immigrants from India to the United States, started Kolkata Chai Co. with an intention to extend the authenticity, respect and tradition behind a cup of masala chai to NYC. As something repeatedly appropriated and re-appropriated in the U.S., the Indian chai has many layers to it, and is no longer the traditional drink that only people from a certain part of the world enjoy. The founders of Kolkata Chai Co. want to make sure that their brand is authentic and true to the Indian palate and culture. Through their venture, they want to make sure that their culinary tradition is being represented accurately and honestly.

II. Project Chaiwala

Founded in 2017, Project Chaiwala is a homegrown tea concept bringing forth the nostalgic charm of traditional recipes to a modern setting. The shop is located in Dubai, U.A.E. and boasts of the freshest organic tea from Nuxalbari Single Tea Estate in Darjeeling, West Bengal (India). The spices and fresh milk (and milk alternatives) are sourced locally to brew chai every day. With 2 branches currently operating in Dubai, Project Chaiwala is looking to grow locally over the next 2 years and build a local fresh Chai presence in the GCC market.

III. Badmash

Badmaash is a family-run Indian gastropub in L.A. by chef, Pawan Mahendro and sons Nakul and Arjun. They’re willing to modernize certain dishes in their “badass” culinary arsenal, but the Bombay Cutting Chai is apparently just how you’d find it on the streets of Mumbai.

The strong Chai ($3), made with Indian black tea that Nakul described as “blacker than black,” comes in small glasses, which chai-wallahs (“tea-people”) typically serve in green caddies to ease delivery. The Mahendros make their chai with two parts water, one part whole milk and tea spiced with brown cinnamon, crushed black and green cardamom, fresh ginger, and a pinch of black pepper. The murky tan liquid, strained before serving, arrives piping hot, and since there’s no handle on the glass, the only choice is to lift from the top, with two fingers. Enjoy a glass during a meal at BADMAASH and expect to feel flavorful, espresso-like effects.

IV. The Good Life Co.

Founded by Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf and headquartered in Mumbai, this tea brand creates teas and coffees with natural and organic ingredients.

TGL sources its teas from where they grow best, which imbue them with a high-quality brew and flavour. It sources teas and coffees from plantations in Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and India. They are then blended with various spices and herbs under the controlled supervision of culinary experts and botanists in Europe. Their products include various types of teas such as green teas, white teas, black teas, oolong teas, and tisanes. In fact, their logo too symbolises the Ancient Tea Horse route which first enabled teas to travel beyond China. With an aim is to take the age-old drink into a new era of ‘unwavering excellence’, they aim to reimagine it ‘no longer as a legacy drink, but instead as one that ‘entices, excites and rejuvenates’.

V. Tea Trunk

Tea Trunk curates the finest Indian tea leaves and crafts them into unique blends, using all natural ingredients. Their teas are whole leaf, flavourful and healthy. Their artisanal tea blends are the freshest and one of the most authentic sources to buy tea online. The brand uses no artificial colours or additives, and are completely natural and organic. Their bestselling teas include the Matcha Cashew Butter, Lavender Buds, Blue Pea Flowers, as well as different kinds of herbal and artisanal teas.

VI. Chaika

Chaika is an instant tea premix brand, that amalgamates the taste of masala tea with the ease and convenience of an instant mix. Tea, sugar, spices and milk are already included in the premix. The product is a great fit for tea lovers who don’t know how to make masala tea or simply don’t have the time! The different flavours of chai made by Chaika include the Dhaba Chai, Platform Chai, Bombay Cutting Chai and many others.

VII. The Tea Shelf

Founded by Atulit Chokhani and Srinidhi Chokhani, The Tea Shelf aims to contribute in spreading the popularity of the beverage by creating awareness about its best tastes and quality. The company sources handpicked tea from across India (particularly Assam, Darjeeling, Kangra, and Nilgiri, etc) in selected quantities “to make sure only the freshest tea reach the consumer,” says Srinidhi in an interview by Your Story.

If you enjoyed reading the article, we suggest you also read:

Love A Good Cup Of Tea? Here Are 13 Artisanal Indian Brands That Should Be On Your Must-Try List

Indian Beverage Brands Promising Great Alternatives To Aerated Drinks

A Selection Of The Best Independent Tea And Coffee Companies Across India


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