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‘Chai’k mates, all!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | POOJA PRABHAN
Published Mar 18, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Mar 18, 2016, 12:07 am IST
Tea lovers in the city can bond over a cuppa at these unique meet-ups where the love of the leaf and its hues comes alive.
Models pose for a tea party
 Models pose for a tea party

Whether you’re readying up for a misty work morning or relaxing on the couch on a balmy evening — a warm cup of tea, at least for most of us, can make a world of difference. Vouching by a similar ideology — and for the sheer love of great conversations over an even better cup of chai, Susmita Das Gupta, a Bengaluru-based brand coach, decided to start with ‘It’s Our Cuppa Tea’, a community that brings tea lovers under one roof — to revel and relish in India’s most popular beverage. We talk to her as the community preps up for ‘The afternoon tea party’, that’s slated to take place on March 19.

 Tracing the origin of the idea back to her family’s fixation towards the beverage, she explains, “Hailing from a family of tea connoisseurs, I grew up trying various varieties and flavours of teas brewed in myriad ways. And I often wondered if there more such people with the love for tea to share their distinct style of making the beverage under one roof?”  

 

The group started out in the 2013, and saw its first event on February 14 of the year. Fast forward to three years and there’s at least one such meet up taking place on a quarterly basis. Elucidating about the difference her group brings to the table, she reveals, “There are a whole lot of activities such a tea tasting, tea making and the like. The idea is to make people aware about the goodness of tea, its varieties and how to put in the right ingredients so that you can savour that perfect cup in the company of people who respect and relish the beverage.”

The venue for the sessions is often zeroed in on by a couple of active members of the group. “We usually pick exclusive or lesser known tea rooms in the city and taste the different kinds of teas on offer. On special occasions where any of us have collected tea leaves from an authentic place, we gather at their home.”

Expectedly, the city’s tea-loving folks seem quite kicked about the whole idea, with a minimum of at least 20 people making it to every meet. “In the past five to six meetings that I've attended, I've learnt a lot about the different varieties of tea, and how brewing it differently can completely alter its flavour,” says Bharat Bhusam, a city-based software professional.

Adding to the same, Suzana Syiem, a business project lead, tells us how the idea gets her to meet people with similar interests. “ I attended one of the events for the first time in October last year. I loved how there were conversations about tea and some really interesting tidbits by people from different walks of life. I make time to attend these because it’s really refreshing to be around people who genuinely have similar tastes like you do.”

Giving us a peak into what’s next, Susmita says, “I wish to extend and improve my knowledge about tea and tea-making. I’ll be scoring a few days off from work to do a couple of tea tours in some of the best tea gardens in Darjeeling and a couple of tea museums in Kandy , Sri Lanka .” She concludes by saying, “We’re also planning a very interesting full day program on tea tasting and food pairing soon.”

 

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