Sometime last week my friend Roanna called to tell me that she’d heard about a tea tasting event that was happening soon – would I be interested in going? A big part of me wanted to make up an excuse & not go because I’m so lazy (plus it was very rainy & halfway across the city). But nothing can keep me away from tea (& the company of a good friend just makes it better!) so I went.
And this wasn’t just your ordinary tea tasting either – Snigdha Manchanda, certified tea sommelier had just launched her gourmet tea label, Tea Trunk & was going to introduce us to the six varieties they currently stock.
Snigdha has always studied under a Japanese tea master in Sri Lanka back in 2011 & tea trunk has been around in a different form since then. She then returned home & started to conduct private events & workshops. But since the teas were sourced in very small amounts from various estates, they weren’t available for purchase, until now that is.
The Tea Trunk e-store officially opened for business earlier this month with 6 signature blends – Rose Oolong, Vanilla, Ginger, Lemon, White Moon and Black Tea.
I’m am (& have always been) a sucker for cute packaging. I absolutely loved these tins with cute elephant illustrations.The teas are all loose leaf but for convenience sake they’re packed in tea bags. Not your regular, garden variety tea bags, though. These are transparent so you can see the leaves inside & pyramid shaped to allow it to better infuse. They also are 100% tea leaves (along with completely natural additions according to flavor) – no dust!
Snigdha was warm & friendly & it’s was obvious that she knew what she was talking about. She dispensed quite a few useful tips that I’ve included in this post.
Infusing the lemon green tea – Always remember to pour the hot water over the tea bag & not the other way around. We Indians are used to ‘cooking’ the tea but it’s pretty much murder. Milk isn’t advised for most of these, although you can definitely sweeten according to taste.
Did you know that for something to be called natural in India, it just needs to have 1% natural content? Well as I mentioned earlier, tea trunk is 100% natural & doesn’t contain artificial flavors of any kind. The lemon tea has dried lemon zest, the vanilla tea has real bits of vanilla bean, the rose oolong tea has dried rose petals. The absolutely antithesis of the strong, artificially flavoured teas I’ve been buying from Goa, the tea trunk teas are much more subtle, which I think makes for a much more pleasurable brewing + drinking experience.Each tea bag can be used twice (great for sharing!) & each tin comes with precise brewing + pairing instructions much like an old favorite DAVIDsTEA. Green Tea shouldn’t be infused at very high temperatures if you don’t want it to be bitter. After the water is done boiling, wait 30 seconds – 1 minute before infusing (that how I wing it, at least. If you want more precision, use a thermometer). Vanilla Tea tastes lovely with dessert, especially cakes & pies.
All of the teas used in these blends have been sourced from India itself, with Snigdha making many trips & tasting hundreds of teas to make the perfect one.
Lastly, Tea Trunk’s offerings are definitely on the pricier side but I think all the care + the best ingredients are enough to justify the price, especially if like Snigdha you see tea as less of a commodity & more of a lifestyle product.
Tea Trunk is available for sale on their e-store, they’re also on facebook & twitter. Snigdha even has a blog. Read Roanna’s take on the tea tasting session (along with some pretty photos) on her blog Jupiter Skye.