Our pick of special roasts and artisan teas from estatesthat are just a click away
In pursuit of the perfect cuppa, we took our search to the virtual world to see what the fuss about made-to-order beans and leaves was all about. With latest kid on the block, Tea Shelf, joining the brigade, we present the best options, should you choose to take a break from your regular brew.
For a tea lover like Snigdha Manchanda, sharing her expertise and creativity as a tea sommelier is the only natural progression. Through her company Tea Trunk, Manchanda retails her innovative hand-blends using superior whole leaf teas sourced from estates across the length and breadth of the country, and natural ingredients like rose petals, ginger root and lemon peels. With customised brewing guides in every tin, Manchanda’s teas are a promise well kept. We recommend signature blends like the Exotic Marigold or Berry Blush Green Tea or even the Chilli Chai and Tea Lovers Collection Pack. From Rs 350 onwards. Details: teatrunk.com
If you prefer your cup of tea sans any flavouring or additive, look no further than Tea Shelf by Srinidhi Chokhani. Although operating only since January this year, it is already creating waves with its original Indian teas sourced directly from reputed estates. Think old whole-leaf Assam and Darjeeling teas, alongside Oolong and delicate White teas. Offering over 14 varieties of quality single-estate teas, their products exemplify freshness in little vacuum packets. Priced from Rs 350 onwards. Details: theteashelf.com
Coming from the promoters of the popular Orange County Resorts, House of Ramapuram, Sidapur Coffee is a brand of premium coffees that highlights the intrinsic notes of prized coffee beans from Coorg. Coffee lovers will truly cherish the novel experience of the fine taste of this coffee that has smooth caramel overtones. Offering exclusivity, their two varieties of delectable heirloom coffees — Espresso Bold and Pure Filter Coffee — are a careful blend of premium Arabica and Robusta beans. Priced from Rs 210 onwards. Details: sidapur.com
Founded by Ravi D’abreo, Tej Thammaiah, Ashish D’abreo, Sreeram G and Laaeq Ali, Flying Squirrel (inspired by the frequent visitor to the estates) aims to satisfy coffee purists with access to quality beans all year round. Sourcing beans from their own estates in Coorg and roasted in tiny batches, the grinding and packing is only on order as per specifications made by the customer. Currently offering three single-estate coffees and three blended coffees, the company’s USP is its ability to experiment right from cultivation, creating interesting taste profiles, sometimes with citrus fruit trees or vanilla plantation patches close-by, which influence the drink in your cup. We strongly recommend their Parama blend, designed by master blender Sunalini Menon or the sun-kissed single-estate coffee created using the process of pulp sun-drying. Priced from Rs 270 onwards. Details: flyingsquirrel.in
After getting used to the fresh coffee in Chennai, Namratha and Matt Chitaranjan felt the dearth when they moved to Delhi. BlueTokai was born from six to 10 varieties of coffee beans sourced from as many estates in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “We are one of the very few companies to undertake roasting of the beans in-house. With specialty Probat machines from Germany and an able software that tracks every phase of the delicate process, each of our products has a distinct roast profile, perfectly complementing the unique characteristics of estate beans,” says Chitaranjan. With scheduled roasting days every week, enjoy fine, single origincoffees from plantations like the Bibi Plantation. Priced from `310 onwards. Details: bluetokaicoffee.com
The Indian Bean Coffee
One of the first online retailers of quality single-estate coffees since 2012, Kunal Ross’ venture is one with a difference. Promoting Indian
coffees, it offers buyers a choice of bean and grind. With a treasure trove of beans from Kodi to the hidden hills of Kodagu, Indian Bean Coffees are from pure Arabica beans that can be roasted to order.
Their top pick is Watapi, a high altitude harvest that has a strong citrus note or even Appa’s for its spicy overtones, owing to some pepper plantations close to the estate from where it is sourced. Priced from Rs 290 onwards. Details: theindianbean.com
1. Teriero Artisan Coffee: Sourcing coffee beans from Sakleshpur, Coorg and beyond, and working directly with master-roasters from the US, Teriero’s signature range — Espresso and Avant Garde Collection — are must trys, known for unique blends that are rich and dark. Details: tariero.com
2. Marc’s Coffee: Handpicked coffee beans from India’s flourishing Southern states are machine roasted at Auroville, in Pondicherry, to create unique varieties of Marc’s organic coffee. With aromas of cinnamon, caramel and sandalwood, their Kaveri blend is a winner. Details: auroville.com
3. Tea Box: Offering handpicked Darjeeling and Assam tea experiences, packed with flavour and absolute freshness, this venture presents whole tea and blends as per season and flush. Details: teabox.com
Text: Preeti GT