The Good Life

Freshly Brewed

Luxury tea brands are giving this humble beverage a new taste

A hot cup of tea, brewed to perfection, is life’s little dose of comfort and relaxation. And now, this humble beverage is getting an elite touch with international brands such as Harrods and The Wellbeing Group (TWG).

Singapore-based TWG Tea specialises in premium tea and has stores all over the world, including an online store to order world-class tea from the luxury of your home. The brand deals in over 800 tea varieties such as single-estate, fine harvests, exclusive whole-leaf blends, and sources them directly from well-known tea plantations worldwide. Talking of its clientele, CEO Taha Bouqdib, says, “Our customers are conscious of what they are consuming, attentive to the quality and origin of the leaves, and are happy to pay more for premium products. This is why we have seen an increasing demand for rare and expensive teas.”

Its most popular luxury tea is the Gold Yin Zhen, a white tea with gold-plated leaves costing Rs.933,706 per kg. It also sells Japanese varieties such as Imperial Gyokuro, Gyokuro Hisui, and Gyokuro Minami, which are mostly cultivated under rice straw mats and are priced at Rs.700,000-Rs.1.1 million per kg. Another popular variety is Yellow Gold Tea Buds, a Chinese yellow tea where each bud is coated with 24-carat gold, costing Rs.527,703 per kg. TWG Tea attempts to provide the complete tea experience with knick-knacks such as gourmet treats, gift packs, and tea-flavoured perfumes. The tea specialist has a total of 72 tea salons and boutiques in 19 countries including two stores in Delhi, and its teas are distributed in 42 countries.

Another premium tea supplier is Harrods. Unlike TWG Tea, Harrods deals in more than just tea. One of London’s upscale departmental store, Harrods is synonymous with everything under the sun that exhibits class, and its tea is another such commodity. Harrods supplies teas ranging from the classic Earl Grey to loose-leaf teas, the latter of which includes exotic varieties from Hawaii to Japan. Some of the popular loose-leaf tea varieties include Happy Valley Snowmist, a black tea from Darjeeling; Hawaiian Black Loose Tea; Tie Guan Yin Supreme, a variety of Chinese Oolong tea; and the extravagant 22-carat gold leaf tea, an Assamese variety infused with gold leaves. All these range between Rs.23,000 to Rs.78,000 for 125 grams. Apart from serving these teas at a brick-and-mortar store, Harrods also sells online.

The world of luxury teas has opened up new avenues for tea lovers, and there are choices galore to indulge in what suits your fancy.