Toast the humble tea

Sip on exotic teas, have lively debates at Tea Festival India this weekend
Toast the humble tea

BENGALURU: There is lot more to what we call chai. Many of us have a perception that chai is milk tea but Sushmita Das Gupta, founder of the Our Cuppa Tea and organiser of Tea Festival India (TFI), breaks the myth and says you can make the drink even without Camellia sinensis leaves or what is commonly known as tea leaves.

Anything that is brewed in water is tea, she says, adding, “For example, you can boil rose petal and tulsi leaves. You may also add ginger to it. That can be tea too.”
Explore such facts about tea, food pairing and  tea tasting, and different varieties of the drink at the Tea Festival India. Such an event, endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and approved by The Tea Board of India, is being organised for the first time in the country.

Meet the Masters
Workshops on tea sampling and tasting, tea appreciation, tea brewing and food pairing will be held by some renowned tea masters such as Gurmeet Singh, who has 24 tea inventions to his name, and Jyoti Bhat, who has extensive experience in tea pairing.
The interest in the tea industry has grown over the past few years, says Sushmita. “Many people from abroad travel to India to explore our teas, which is largely consumed in countries such as UK, Ireland and Germany... even millenials are taking to tea. Also, Bengaluru has unique population from across the world who are willing to try new tea and learn about places where to buy.”  

Apart from workshops, the first tea festival in India will have open mic poetry, art, photography and music. Sushmita adds, “A visitor usually stays for 5 to 20 minutes on an average at a fest. Within those minutes, they usually decide what to buy and leave. So, we have planned different activities to keep them engaged.”  The fest will be at JW Marriot Hotel, Vittal Mallya Road, today and tomorrow.

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