The homegrown artisanal tea market is growing by leaps and bounds, and we’ve tracked how several Indian brands are creating small batch tea that focus on quality and blends. We’ve now discovered a new entrant to the game, and we’re loving the teas they offer. Ahista Tea describes itself as ‘Progressive Indian Teas’, and blends, flavourings, and western techniques employed on Indian teas is at the heart of what this luxury tea maker does.
What we’re loving
Based out of Ahmedabad, and the brainchild of founder Ashmit Patel, the brand ships their small-batch teas across the world. Each batch is made-to-order, and seeks to bring out the vibrancy of Indian culture. Built upon the legacy of the elaborate Indian tea drinking tradition from the time of maharajas, it amalgamates that with contemporary choices of today. Their teas are sourced exclusively from small tea growers throughout the country, and is organic wherever possible. Along with quality and innovation, they also cater to dietary needs – aside of the Mango Lassi flavour which has yoghurt bites, all their teas are vegan.
What’s on offer
What we love is the range that the brand has to offer. Even though they are artisanal, there is a lot you can choose from, and the leaves sourced from different parts of the country.
Their offerings include white, green, oolong, and black. The silver needle white tea is sourced from Arunachal Pradesh, with buds crafted by a Nepalese tea-maker there. Grown at a height of 1,200 metres and carefully air-dried in trays for five hours, it carries hints of honeysuckle, buckwheat honey, and fresh hay.
The green teas are sourced from Meghalaya, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. Processed using either of the four methods – steaming, pan-firing, sun-drying, or charcoal firing – these carry herbal, grassy, or vegetal notes. The oolong is from Nilgiri Hills and Himachal Pradesh, with nutty flavours supplemented by sweet notes and a smooth texture on the palate. And sourced from Manipur, Bihar, and Assam are the black teas. Dark chocolate, malts, caramel, and woody hints are what you can expect from these.
The five herbal teas range from tisanes that have flavours like the Chiclets gum from childhood, channeling that nostalgia; a meditative ‘Om’ blend, a spiced chocolate concoction that reminds you of the electric Mumbai – ‘Mumbai Maté’; ‘Golden City’ inspired by Jaisalmer; and ‘Vintage Chai’, a caffeine-free soothing version.
There are also aromatic fruit teas featuring flavours such as pineapple, coconut, orange, mango, strawberry, and citrus fruits.
The flavoured teas come in 13 different options, from ‘Mojito’ to ‘Mosambi’, ‘Palace Breakfast’ to ‘Roadside Chai’, an ode to Jodhpur in the form of ‘Blue City’, and same for Morocco in ‘Arabian Nights’. With many more interesting creations, the array of flavours is a vibrant one, spread across borders and palates.
Ahista Tea also has its own line of tea accessories. Though in the nascent stages at the moment, they currently offer tea bowls, and teacups, with teapots in the making. Spanish and French clay is used for making these, created using only hands, no moulds. Built on the ideas of simplicity and sophistication, the design is sleek and clean, with solid colours such as brick, white, and black used on the products.
You can get Ahista Tea products through their website.
All images: Courtesy Ahista Tea