Tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda explains the conscious sourcing philosophy behind her wellness tea brand Tea Trunk
Tea Sommelier Snigdha Manchanda’s label Tea Trunk is so much more than just an artisanal tea brand; the entire philosophy of the Goa-based brand has been anchored by wellness and natural sourcing. Manchanda, who is India’s first certified tea sommelier, has profiled over 2,000 varieties of teas and has travelled extensively around the globe to demystify ‘tea-speak’. During the shutdown Tea Trunk has not only launched quite a few wellness teas but has also gained astounding relevance as all-natural, conscious brews became the unofficial go-to immunity drink.
“We operate out of Goa, which has been a green zone mostly, so we have been shipping throughout the lockdown. In fact, we were just closed for a week. During this time people became so aware of what they are consuming, our tea has ingredients like turmeric, ginger and even superfoods which are so important. People are now drinking tea as a functional beverage, as a means of preventative healthcare,” Manchanda tells us. We caught up with Manchanda to learn more about her label and her vision:
What was the idea behind Tea Trunk?
We are one of the most loved tea brands purely because of our unique tea blends. People usually have this perception that if a tea is healthy, it can’t be delicious. We make our own blends, we do not use middlemen or brokers, each ingredient is chosen with a lot of labour, like our rose petals and saffron come from Kashmir, vanilla is sourced from Kerala. All of our teas have such distinct tastes purely because of our sourcing philosophy.
Matcha teas are some of your bestsellers. Tell us how people warmed up to the superfood element amid the pandemic?
We were the first to launch matcha blends in India, in 2016 and this year we launched our matcha latte premix which is made using almond milk so it’s completely vegan, keto-friendly and sugar-free, and it seems like people would need to make their own matcha lattes at home for a while. We always answer the calls of our customers, a lot of conscious tea drinkers know about matcha, we wanted to use the same sourcing process, we wanted to work directly with the producers in Japan, where we source it from.
Tell us how you zero in on the blends?
We host a lot of tea tasting workshops and through these sessions we gain customer insights into what works and what doesn’t. But our goal is always to stick to the premise of 100 percent natural blends and to keep it delicious without adding artificial elements.
Tell us how the millennial tea drinkers have warmed up to wellness teas
Millennials are not the ones complaining about green tea being bitter (laughs). Millennials have treated tea as a part of their daily wellness ritual, they want to try out newer things, for them it’s a more functional beverage.
Tea Trunk products are available on their official website