Blog - All About Teas
First published on ; contributed by Madhav Sarda, Managing Director, Golden Tips Tea
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the ancient practice is thought to be even more significant in terms of building immunity and addressing mental health concerns
Covid-19 has been an unprecedented human tragedy which has thrown almost every sphere of life completely out of gear. This once-in-a-century pandemic, beyond its impact on physical health, has also given rise to mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, as Covid-related restrictions were introduced all over the world in various forms. There is an urgent need to address the mental health aspects of the pandemic in addition to the physical ones. In the search for a holistic solution, many people globally have embraced yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated.
Now, against the backdrop of the pandemic, yoga is thought to be even more significant in terms of building immunity and addressing mental health concerns. The fatalities caused by Covid were maximum in individuals with co-morbidities and reduced immunity levels. A weak immune system leaves us vulnerable to diseases and also undermines the body’s ability to fight various ailments. Yoga can build up immunity and preserve good health of the body and mind. Today, the ancient Indian philosophy of yoga has attained world-wide approval.
Recognising its universal appeal, on December 11, 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga by a resolution. The day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga. In fact, yoga is very relevant in our modern lifestyle too.
Importance of yoga in promoting corporate wellness
From an outsider’s perspective, yoga on the one hand and business organisations on the other seem to be worlds apart. But are they really? Practising yoga can have a lot of benefits for those who work in the corporate world and can go a long way in helping employees to give their best to their respective organisations. That is the precise reason why many brands have included yoga in their corporate wellness programmes.
The biggest issues employees face today are stress and ailments relating to bad posture and job pressure. Yoga, through its many asanas and breathing techniques, teaches us to move in ways that realign posture, help release tension, and promote more functional movement patterns.
In today’s modern corporate world, where digitisation has engulfed almost all business verticals, employees spend 12-13 hours a day sitting in front of their laptops and other electronic devices. The repetitive movement that these devices demand can cause neck and shoulder strain and back problems apart from mental stress.
Coupled with these reasons, a fast-paced life, pressure to perform and shallow breathing patterns drain employees’ energy levels and increase vulnerability to various ailments. As a result, yoga sessions at workplaces are becoming increasingly common because they are a relatively low-cost and a preventive healthcare measure.
Given the severity of stress levels in the corporate world, especially in the senior management, yoga could turn out to be a lifeline for holistic well-being and a means of steering the radar of sustainable growth and development of an organisation.
It will serve corporate houses well if they could organise yoga sessions in the office premises regularly. Yoga could enhance productivity indirectly too. As the employees enjoy good health, the number of sick leaves taken due to health and stress-related complexities could reduce, which could give a fillip to the productivity per employee.
Some user-friendly asanas to relax the body and mind
Not all yoga asanas are complex and cumbersome. Some easy asanas which help us deal with stress and keep us young and energetic are described below.
Pranayama is one of the most popular yoga asanas as it helps to reduce stress, increase oxygenation and improve blood circulation to the face and other parts of the body. Devoting a few minutes to practise Pranayama daily allows a natural cleansing of the system. Close one nostril with the fingers followed by breathing in through the other nostril. The air should be inhaled in short sniffs. Then close the second nostril and breathe out. Breathe in again through the other nostril and breathe out the same way. Do this eight-10 times at a stretch. This purifies the bloodstream and reduces stress.
Shavasana or the corpse pose makes you mindful of your breathing, lowering hypertension, ensuring enhanced focus and mental well-being. Lie down on your back, arms around six inches away from the body and legs slightly apart with palms facing upwards. Take deep breaths, relax your mind and body. But be mindful that you do not fall asleep.
Dhanurasana is known as the ‘bow pose’ and is one of the easiest yogasana that strengthens the digestive system as well as the back and abdominal muscles. It also increases the flexibility of the spine. It helps prevent diabetes, relieves back pain, and strengthens the thigh muscles. Dhanurasana is also excellent for removing toxins and flushing the system. It promotes blood circulation and reduces stress too. It benefits the skin, making it clear and adds a glow.
Paschimottanasana pose is a simple and traditional hatha yoga asana in which the back of the body is stretched out. It is one of the best yoga asanas for the healing of the entire body. In Paschimottanasana, your body is folded inwards, stretching the areas from your calves to your hamstrings to your spine.
Paschimottamasana has tremendous health benefits and covers up the entire body system. Its primary focus is on the spine, but it is also responsible for boosting energy levels of the body.
Why Shouldn’t Darjeeling be everyone’s cup of tea
Some people travel for leisure, many people travel for food and some travel for both. So, it would be fair to say that there would be people who travel for the drink that many of us just can’t do without, first thing in the morning. There are few better places to savour a cup of tea than at a tea plantation, close to the land where the leaves were plucked from, overlooking verdant hillsides and picturesque valleys. India has a plethora of stays for tea lovers, mostly estates from yesteryears which have been refurbished into quaint homestays.
In the British era, Darjeeling was one of the favourite retreats for the officers. With its quaint colonial charm and endless green stretches of lush tea plantations, the region has been a favourite for people who have yearned to do away with city life for some time, and get lost in magical natural beauty. Nowadays, estates have started adding varied experiences like horse riding, nature trains, visit to local families, cultural evenings, among other things. Hence, Tea tourism provides travellers with the opportunity to interact with nature, wildlife and simultaneously extract the goodness of socio-cultural diversity of the region.
People can learn about local cultures by getting a first-hand account of the rituals and ceremonies. Boosting rural tourism will help solve socio-economic problems and alleviate the livelihoods of denizens.
It would not be incorrect to state that tea tourism can alter the tea drinking experience entirely by helping us understand the origins, processing, and terroir of tea in an intellectual manner. It can engage sensorially – we can touch the dew laden tea leaves and smell the earthiness of the soil in which it grows. Sometimes to taste the best tea, you just need to have a sense of adventure.
With the government allowing tea garden owners to use a part of their unused land for the purpose of tea tourism, there is also a growing need to educate tea estate owners, guides, and travel agencies on the benefits of tea tourism.
The Challenges: – Tea tourism in India is still in its nascent stage. Given our colonial history and our own rich legacy, India has immense potential to offer a robust tea-tasting and tourism experience. However, it lacks proper structure, policy and marketing initiatives.
Detailed planning is required for making tea tourism more attractive in India. The Tea Board and the Tourism ministry at the Centre can join hands to play a crucial role in this endeavour. Tea companies too should come forward and aim to promote Eco-Tourism by devoting land which is not feasible for plantation tea for multifarious tea-related activities, and setting up resorts and homestays.
This will boost the economy of the region by creating new jobs, increasing revenues of all stakeholders, improve infrastructure and plant a sense of cultural exchange between visitors and locals.
Organising Tea Festivals in the tea gardens, visits to Tea Boutiques located at nearby towns where exotic teas, tea wares & souvenirs are on display, will further drive interest in such tea tourism.
Tea gastronomy could be highlighted with the promotion of Teainfused drinks & beverages, confectionery, food and this could further add to the many lucrative avenues for the areas around the tea estate. These steps could help promote, upgrade & highlight the consumption of teas as well as their multi-health benefits, which fall within the ambit of Tea Tourism.
Most of the above measures can inject a much-needed impetus to the Tea Tourism industry, tea trade in general, rural areas scattered around tea plantations, tourist guides & interpreters, manufacturers & dealers of tea accessories etc. However, there needs to be a concerted effort involving all stakeholders to move ahead in this direction.
Lastly, the pandemic has led people to search for more isolated and secluded spots, which has slowly resulted in more and more people being interested in these beautifully preserved estates. This accounts for the rise in Indian tourists visiting tea estates, which were predominantly popular with foreigners. This momentum needs not only to be preserved but also to be accelerated further.
Tea is one of the most loved beverages in India and across the world. PM Modi’s “tea connection” has caught the imagination of an entire generation. People have enjoyed tea since time immemorial and consider it to be one of the most cherished parts of their native culture. The love of Indian audiences for this super beverage has given the tea industry a loyal customer base in the country.
According to expertmarketresearch.com, the Indian tea industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 4.2% in the 2021-26 period and reach an approximate valuation of 1.40 million tonnes by the end of this period.
Like a bolt from the blue, the Covid pandemic has changed the world forever. A new normal has emerged in almost every aspect of life. This has resulted in tea retail brands to tweak their business strategy and start opening bakeries and cafes alongside their boutiques to cater to popular demand. Not surprisingly, branded tea cafes are frothing up across India’s cities, as an upgrade to the ubiquitous CHAI stalls.
These cafes are located either adjacent to, or within the tea boutiques themselves. They are offering specialized tea mocktails and snacks like cookies, macarons and sandwiches to guests along with premium teas. This combination is a hugely popular concept brewing all over India.
As per a study by Numr Research, about 443 million Indian millennials spend more than Rs 4,000 on their wellness and experiential activities every month. They form the largest group of consumers who will drive consumer demand and result in economic growth in the next decade. They are in fact, accentuating this trend of opening tea bars alongside tea boutiques.
Earlier, tea stalls were a common sight across India, but they were fragmented and unorganised. Tea café chains like the one started by Golden Tips are emerging across India and giving consumers a midway option between at-home consumption and the humble roadside stall. These tea cafes offer a comfortable alternative as against roadside tea vendors and which provide people a more relaxed setting, with proper seating and snacks.
Another narrative worth a thought is that coffee is not a common man’s beverage in India and which allowed cafés to position coffee as trendy and as a consequence of which, coffee outlets became aspirational places. They offered a chic ambience, with an assortment of beverages, snacks along with free wi-fi, and thus became hangout areas for college going crowds and young professionals. Tea companies tried to copy this model, but initially it did not take off since tea is a common man’s drink in India. As a result, tea brands quickly moved towards enhancing the overall tea-drinking experience for the customer by opening plush tea bars.
More importantly, they have positioned themselves as casual Vis-à-vis coffee shops’ sophistication, encouraging customers to make multiple visits a day in contrast to coffee chains. This is in line with how tea is seen in India – as a people’s drink consumed - sweet, milky or even without milk - several times a day.
Post Covid, this homage to Indian roots is mainly what tea companies are bringing to the table in a contemporary setting. This shift in strategy appears to be paying off for the tea brands. Providing more varied options than coffee chains at lower price, goes a long way in appealing to consumers, especially experience-hungry millennials.
For example, a cup of MASALA CHAI at Golden Tips tea bar is priced at INR 80 with complimentary cookies as well, whilst the cheapest coffee at Starbucks could set you off by INR 200 or more. Targeting Millennials is not surprising, since almost a third of the country’s population is in the 15- 35 age group, who are also likely to share their experiences on social media and other platforms.
Meanwhile, personalisation is a major selling point for Golden Tips tea bars. Customers can choose from our eclectic variety of teas and a range of herbs and spices at reasonable rates. With these options of customising their tea, patrons can conjure up a cuppa that appeals to their palate and preference.
This highlights the need for brands to constantly reinvent themselves to reach out to newer customers, not only with product innovations but also with formats that cater to changing times and needs. This can go a long way in acquiring new audiences without alienating traditional brand loyalists.
Madhav Sarda is the expert tea taster and managing director of tea retail brand Golden Tips Tea
The season of long days, sunglasses, bright colors, beaches, heat, and humidity is here. Yes, we are in the middle of summer, and everyone is finding ways to combat the warm temperatures to relax during these hot summer days.
Green tea is universally known to have a myriad of health benefits. It can help with brain function, healthy skin, inflammations, and weight loss. Drinking green tea can even prevent a range of heart-related issues like high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
These are just some of the benefits, and there are plenty more. But, green tea is even more effective for certain things at particular times of the day.
Let's discuss when to drink green tea to get the most health benefits.
What Time Should You Drink Green Tea?
Here are the best times to drink green tea and the benefits of drinking it at those particular times.
Green tea is an excellent morning tea because it has enough healthy caffeine for a good energy boost in the mornings. Unlike coffee, green tea contains L-theanine to help prevent the typical caffeine rush you may get from coffee.
Instead, it offers sustained energy for hours, which is great to start a productive and healthy day.
Before, During, and After Meals
While green tea on an empty stomach may reduce hunger, boost metabolism, and increase EGCg (antioxidant) absorption, it is not recommended because it may inhibit iron absorption. It is better to have it with a meal or after it.
Light green tea is best paired with sushi and stronger green teas with sweet foods for a superior flavor experience. Having green tea 30-60 minutes after meals may help digestion and metabolism, but more research is required to prove this definitively.
Choices of Green Tea
Darjeeling Loose Leaf Green TeaView Price
Earl Grey Green Tea - Tin CanView Price
Kashmiri Kahwa Green Tea - Tin CanView Price
Before and After Workouts
Drinking green tea around 90 minutes before your workout is great for weight loss so that the caffeine and EGCg in the tea can considerably increase your fat oxidation rate during exercise. This way, you can burn more fat.
It also helps increase your brain function for more focus and endurance for exercising. On the other hand, drinking it 30-60 minutes after workouts will help you hydrate, replenish your body, and make you feel refreshed.
Evenings are a great time for green tea as they can help you reduce stress, relax, and prepare for bed. You should opt for low-caffeine green teas with herbs like lemongrass, mint, cinnamon, jasmine, rose or chamomile during the evenings as it eases the body and relieves stress faster. The aroma and taste play a significant part in destressing and energizing your evenings.
Moreover, those who develop a habit of drinking green tea in the evenings can signal their bodies and brains that it is time to unwind and relax. Being able to have this control over their mind and body helps promote deeper and healthier sleep patterns.
Green tea is an excellent choice of drink at any time. Generally, experts and studies suggest that you should have anywhere between 2-5 cups every day. Green tea will help keep you hydrated and energized. You will also see a boost in your immunity, feel a reduction in stress, less inflammation, and better skin.
There are no hard restrictions on when to have green tea, and while it is universally known to be healthy, there are always exceptions, and it may not help you due to your health or medical conditions, which is why you should always consult your doctor first.
Green tea should benefit you comprehensively, regardless of when you consume it. For example, heart and skin benefits depend not on timing but on your drink quantity. For other benefits, follow the mentioned timing, and you will get improved results for the desired benefits.
If you want to learn more about what time you should drink green tea, the health benefits of green tea, or about some of the best and finest green teas, please head to buy best green teas here.
After having sold 1st flush tea from our estate in auction for Rs 23,000 per kg, with good monsoon projections ahead, we are also bullish about 2nd flush Darjeeling tea, says Madhav Sarda, MD, Golden Tips Tea
Ex Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah visits Golden Tips Tea boutique located in Chowrasta, Darjeeling.
9th May, 2022 – Ex Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah recently visited Golden Tips Tea boutique located in Chowrasta, Darjeeling. He savoured premium quality Moonlight Spring Teas in the premises.