Anamika Singh, 43
Founder & Director, Anandini Himalaya Teas
Tea does to Indians what coffee does to most of the world. We need no time or a reason to drink this pleasant, and sometimes powerful, cup of brew. Some like it strong while others prefer it with milk, but now a growing number of people want their tea to be more than just a regular cup of morning drink. But for tea sommelier Anamika Singh, the beverage is the answer to most, if not all, her prayers. After spending a good 24 years, and still falling more in love with the tea industry every passing moment, Singh says people’s preference for the country’s favourite beverage is slowly changing. “People are becoming more tea-educated. The Delhi crowd is growing experimental and loves to try tea with more flavours,” she adds.
Singh’s love for tea and all things related to it, made her open Anandini Himalaya Tea Boutique in Shahpur Jat. Under her boutique’s roof, one would find the choicest of teas from the Manjhee Valley Tea Estate in Dharamsala owned by her family and also meticulously sourced varieties from across the globe with interesting blends that people would have never heard of earlier. She believes Delhi’s diverse culture and cosmopolitan crowd are encouraging factors to make the city become a destination for people who would love to experiment with different blends of tea. “There is so much happening here. With new restaurants coming up every day, we get newer opportunities to pair tea with different foods. This helps us to create new blends of tea as the taste of food depends a lot on the brew that accompanies it,” she adds.
Growing up on the tea estate, she was always surrounded by connoisseurs. “My father is my mentor and it was under his tutelage that I first took my baby steps as a tea sommelier. I have never seen anyone being so passionate about tea, and it was then that I decided to continue my journey in this industry,” says Singh. She cannot imagine a world without the beverage and has no idea what she would have been if not what she is today—a person whose life revolves around tea and the different blends of it.