You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Drinking tea is nothing new to this country but bringing this old habit in a refined way is Anamika Singh. After spending fifteen years in the tea industry she calls herself as a tea-drinker by birth and a tea-taster by profession. She has started her own brand by the name of Anandini Himalayan Tea last year with a boutique in the capital at Shahput Jat with interesting fusions like mix of natural flowers and herbs. “Chrysanthemums, marigolds, hibiscus and aniseed rule this summer. But the special creations for ice teas have been the dark autumn tea splashed with lychee and chilli flakes chilled along with green tea infused with roasted raw mango pulp with a dash of black salt and a hint of sugar and springs of fresh mint,” says tea connoisseur Anamika Singh.
“We are more used to chai with masala or milk but I wanted to introduce something more delicate to Indian palate,” shares the idea behind the initiative and what goes in to make a great tea. “The perfect way to brew a cup of tea is to take a pot rinse with hot water. Heat the water till the bubbles come on the side of the pan. Pour the water over the tea leaves which lie in the pot. The ratio should be 1:1 which means 1 cup of water (200ml) should have 1 tsp of tea infused in it. Cover with a tea cosy not only to make it look pretty but to maintain the temperature of water. While pouring the tea in cups first pour in to halve of the cup and then top it so that the tea is distributed equally with a similar taste rather than the last cup having a bitter infusion.”
Interestingly, Anamika Singh never went to college but perfected the art of tea-making from her father Abhai Singh who she thinks is an institution himself, at their own plantation Manjhee Valley Tea Estate near the hill town of Dharamsala in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.
(Published in Society Aug ’14, Page No. 16)