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The Good Life

Tracing premium tisanes
Discover the perfect cup of organic tea infused with bold flavors and the goodness of herbs 

Ashvita Singh

For any tea fanatic (and India has many), the knowledge that every drawn-out slurp is laden with a host of toxins from the incessant spraying of unapproved pesticides can be alarming. The outcome of an investigation carried out by Greenpeace India in 2014, where out of 46 samples from major Indian tea brands, 94% contained some kind of pesticide is a warning in itself. With the mounting evidence citing that the pesticide exposure may put tea lovers at a high diabetes risk or even cancer — should an exercise in restraint be advocated? No, assert the premium organic tea brands in India, who assure you of good health along with treating you to a hotpot of handcrafted range of organic tea blends. 

Health is wealth

Most Indians are habituated to the usual tapri ki chai that uses sugar, milk and spices to bring out that energising element of the beverage. With uncertainty brewing around the quality of these ingredients, homegrown organic food brand, Organic India, has stepped up to change just that. It has rolled out over 15 variants of Tulsi Green Tea, infused with different organic flavor-inducing ingredients such as lemon ginger, ginger turmeric, sweet rose, honey etc. Thus, releasing the heady rich aroma of its brewed ingredients and leaving a faint aftertaste of the complex flavors used. The company seems to be hitting all the right notes.

Apart from being an invigorating treat to all the senses, there is also the added advantage that the nutritional goodness of tulsi (basil leaves) adds to the hot potion. The flavourful herb, which is widely revered throughout India for both religious and medicinal purposes, is brought into play by Organic India to satiate the need for a healthy beverage by mixing its three organically produced variants — Rama, Krishna & Vana along with green tea, thereby giving it an edge over the conventional cup of tea. “The Tulsi Green Tea contains antioxidants, has the ability to burn fat, relieve stress and cure acidity caused due to a sedentary lifestyle,” says Abhinandan Dhoke, CEO, Organic India.

These organic blends are also mixed with fragrant spices such as cardamom, black pepper, cloves etc. A package of 25 teabags of Tulsi Green Tea and an 18-teabag pack of Tulsi Green Tea (Lemon Ginger) is priced at ₹164, while a 100 gm tin costs ₹230.  Its summer special Tulsi Ice Tea pack of 28 tea bags is available in both sweet and spicy flavours — with a touch of peppermint, naturally sweet jasmine or lemon and also an aromatic variant of rose petals — each pack priced at ₹544.  

In 2016, as per a WHO report, India earned the dubious reputation of being the ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world with close to 50 million of its residents suffering from type-2 diabetes. For all those diabetic tea lovers, Jaipur-based Sunrise Agriland’s Organic Sunrise Natural Dyab Tea ought to be the saviour. Priced at ₹900, the tea blends herbs like punarnava and ashwagandha, which are known to stimulate insulin production and aid the body in fighting lifestyle disease. It also contains cinnamon, green and black tea extract, which makes it an ideal remedy for the common cold and cough. The tea is available as 50 sticks of 2 gm each, and can be purchased on the brand’s organic portal that houses niche 170 certified organic brands. “The ingredients used in this tea are not easily available. They are well researched; their healing properties are tested and thus, they are our biggest growth drivers,” says Manuj Terapanthi, CEO, Organic Shop.

Tea trails

While organic tea might be a recent fad, the blends find their roots in ancient South Asian traditions. And ethnic apparel retailer, FabIndia that ventured into organic foods in 2004, is bringing this heritage to a retail store near you. The brand produces an extensive range of certified organic teas comprising over 40 variants. Fabindia’s Organic Darjeeling White Tea, in all its golden brewed glory, however, remains one of the most premium quality teas in store. This organic taste fest, with its bewitching mellow aroma is made from the pristine white tea buds of Darjeeling, diligently plucked right before the leaves unfurl. “Known for its multiple health benefits, white tea is amongst the richest sources of antioxidants and is believed to be effective in maintaining cardiovascular and oral health. It is also known for its anti-bacterial properties,” explains Capt. Ashima Agarwal (retd.), category head-organic foods, Fabindia. Priced at ₹190 for a 10-gm box, this organic tea can be brewed in a simple manner in hot water with sugar, lemon or honey.

Similar to Fabindia, Golden Tips Teas is another brand that boasts of a rich legacy of since 1933. Its Desert Delight Second Flush Darjeeling Tea uses summer flush pure Darjeeling tea leaves, which release a pronounced flavour and leave you with a delightful aftertaste. “Darjeeling black teas have very low residual levels, are antioxidant-rich and healthy,” says Madhav Sarda, managing director, Golden Tips Teas. The 75-gm pack priced at ₹717 is cushioned in a handcrafted brass inlaid Rajasthani wooden box, thereby making it an ideal gift for health conscious tea-lovers. Fabindia, too, makes sure that the tea receives the packaging it deserves. “The tea is packaged in special bio-degradable pyramid tea bags to preserve the quality and the flavour,” adds Agarwal.

Feeling guilty about the number of teacups of you savored through the day? No more compromising on health or taste with these organic teas. Simply sniff, sip and slurp!

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