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An introduction to the story of tea

Tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda Binjola will share how to pick tasting notes, tips on how to brew the perfect cup of tea and talk about the five different colours of tea (there's more than just black and green!) at a tea appreciation workshop, this Sunday

Snigdha Manchanda Binjola stores her most prized possessions in a trunk. Surprising? Hardly. Not until you realise that the trunk is filled with jars of varying sizes, wooden boxes and packets all filled with: Tea.



"In the morning, mom always had two kettles boiling on the stove," says Snigdha, recalling some of her earliest associations with her favourite beverage.

"Tea boiled in one, while the other had anything from ajwain (carom seeds) to leftover mint leaves from the previous night or lemongrass boiling inside," she says.

Snigdha and her sister would dutifully sip on the resultant herb-infused concoction throughout the day, after their morning cup of tea.

"We grew up drinking these herbal infusions," says the 28-year-old tea sommelier, recalling times when her mother returned home from Assam with teas and fresh memories of visits to tea estates.

Journey to Sri Lanka
Having completed her training in Sri Lanka, a country that can boast of six tea estate regions, Snigdha says, "We had to taste 100 types of teas each day from a table lined with teacups. We would then spit it out into this colonial-looking brass spittoon."

Tea myths
Of the myths associated with tea, Snigdha says the most common are the ones associated with green tea.
"It's such a fad to drink green tea, but most people don't know that the level of antioxidants in the same amount of black tea (without milk and sugar) is actually greater than in green tea."

In the course of the one-day workshop participants will learn how to distinguish between tasting notes, different types of tea, including the five different colours of tea.
 
"Participants are surprised when I tell them that green and black tea are obtained from the same tea bush," she shares, adding that the teas refer to the different stages in the oxidation process.

To be a true connoisseur of the drink comes down to one thing: Practice. "Our sensei would tell us that you can't make, you can only practice it, only then can you perfect it."

ON December 11; 4 pm to 6 pm
AT Bombay HUB, 4th floor, Candelar Building, 25 St John Baptist road, near Mount Mary Steps, Bandra (W).
Call 32220475
ENTRY Rs 500 (To register, send an email to
bombay.hub@unltdindia.org)

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