The Chaiwali is very close to my heart. It is a celebration of both Indian tea and culture which are completely intertwined.
My travels to various remote tea growing parts of India for several years now has made me keenly aware of the passion and toil that goes into producing these orthodox teas. From the high hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim to the Brahmaputra basin in Assam to the beautiful blue mountains in Southern India and so many other places. The best leaves are painstakingly and tenderly picked by skillful hands and then the magic of experienced tea makers transforms those lush green leaves into beautiful teas. Black, oolong, green and white of pristine quality.
Also having grown up in India I have been fascinated to see how tea (or chai as we call it) is such an inextricable part of Indian life.
When I left the bustling metropolis of Mumbai many years ago to make my home in a small sleepy village in Belgium I carried with me a tin of my mother’s special blend of Darjeeling and Assam teas and a precious set of her porcelain teacups.I also brought with me so many happy memories of family and friends bonding over hot steaming cups of tea. I carried in my heart the nostalgic fragrance of the spices used to create these aromatic cups of chai.
Back here in my new home it was tea that helped me transcend barriers and differences and forge new friendships and connections one cup at a time.
In the very same spirit of friendship and hospitality I offer you a simple cup of chai and invite you on a journey to the heartlands of Indian tea. I hope you will find as much joy in drinking these teas as I have in curating them and creating the blends.