Startup offers premium teas, some from abroad

Startup offers premium teas, some from abroad

Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf quit their plush jobs to chase their passion.

Shariq Ashraf and Bhuman Dani returned to India from the USA to establish a stratup.

After a stint overseas, MBA graduates Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf decided to return to India to give a form and purpose to their love for tea. The duo’s startup sources tea from plantations across the world, enhances the taste and sprinkles it with elements that will enhance the experience of having a cuppa. Metrolife finds out more.

What prompted you both to get into this field? 

Bhuman Dani: I was mesmerised when I walked into the East India Company store in London and saw their world of brews, blends, blades and beans. When I researched the Indian speciality tea market further, I realised that there was no other player I could clearly relate to when it came to premium teas; that was a eureka moment for me.

Shariq Ashraf: This idea struck me when I was travelling through Argentina, on my way to Antarctica. I came across ‘Tealosophy’, a speciality tea boutique. The founder, Ines Berton, inspired me with her knowledge; she educated me about teas, blends and the business model. This, combined with the fresh artisanal coffee culture of Melbourne, prompted me to move back to India and follow my passion.

What made you want to bring tea and coffee into the Indian market? Isn’t there enough competition already?

Bhuman Dani: Through our market research, we understood that the new category of aspirational Indians is more value-conscious than price-conscious. Due to a lifestyle shift, people now value healthy products with fresh, natural and clean sourcing. All our blends have real tea and real ingredients that are sourced from the finest plantations across the world.

What makes your tea different? 

Shariq Ashraf: We source tea leaves from plantations in China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and India, and blend them with 100 per cent natural ingredients, including real fruits, flowers, herbs and spices under the controlled supervision of culinary experts, botanists and tea masters. Our blends include green Sencha tea mixed with mango, banana, melon, guava, sunflowers, cornflowers and passion flower leaves. There are eight ingredients in one tea, so it’s extremely flavourful and healthy.

What are some of the health benefits of consuming your tea? 

Bhuman Dani: They contain unique antioxidants known to help fight radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries. All these teas also have caffeine and a unique amino acid L-theanine which improves brain activity, heightens mental alertness and reduces stress.

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