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Press & Media

Unkrate Exclusive: India Still Runs on Chai. However, the Colour is Changing – It’s Green, White and Black now

This morning, while having my breakfast, we ended up discussing with our families on how our tea drinking habits have drastically changed. There was a time, when our fathers would easily gulp down 5-6 cups of tea, just to remain active. It is more like your body needs refueling, he said. My wife exclaimed that she has brought down her consumption to just one cup a day, thereby saving the world her wrath! (Or Not!) What more? My bestie, a true Tea lover now has boxes of flavored green, white and black teas stacked up at home and swears by it. I myself had a bad habit of not stepping out my home without getting my daily dose of ‘kadak chai’. Now, green tea is what gets me going through the day. It is not just my friend or me but many people I know have made a switch from traditional milk tea to the modern teas. What is the reason behind this change? Is it entirely true?

Team Unkrate caught up with leading Tea Brands and Tea Cafes in India to get these answers. Let’s find out!

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TGL Company Forays into Luxury Coffee Segment; Looking for its Retail Expansion

The Indian tea and coffee market is growing rapidly and is expected to touch Rs 25,000 Crore by 2021, of which coffee constitutes Rs 5,000 Crore. Sensing potential growth in this sector, TGL Co. (The Good Life Company), a luxury tea company have forayed into the luxury coffee segment. They have classified their coffee into four collections – International, Indian, Flavoured and Instant Coffees.

TGL Co. a 15-month-old Indian start-up has expanded rapidly in the B2B segment with its teas now available at more than 160 hotels, restaurants and cafes across nine cities including popular properties such as Taj Hotels, Hyatt Regency, Westin, SOFITEL, The Lalit, Yauatcha, Hakkasan, Smoke House Deli, Theobroma, Fatty Bao and more.

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Only the best, for the best

The following Article is an initiative by CNBC TV-18 and it is intended to create awareness among readers.

The 13th edition of CNBC-TV18 India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) recognized leaders who are leading India’s journey to the future, by creating and sustaining entrepreneurial initiatives, developing best practices and carving out powerful businesses in the economy.

To congratulate the winners on their success, CNBC-TV18 presented the champions with a luxury hamper that, like them, was a step above the rest.

Luxury Teas by The Good Life Company (TGL Co.)
TGL Co. believes that the world’s finest teas should be an everyday luxury. Sourced from where tea grows best (China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and India), the teas are blended with dehydrated exotic fruits, flowers, and natural flavors at the company’s facility in Europe, in the controlled presence of botanists and culinary experts, resulting in extremely unique, healthy and high-quality tea blends.

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Tea startup, The Good Life Company, expands into luxury coffee segment

Luxury tea startup The Good Life Company has announced venturing into the luxury coffee segment. Shariq Ashraf, Co-founder, TGL Co. said, "We have been closely studying the consumer market in India and have realised that there is an evolving consumer preference for higher quality, fresher, premium coffees. This prompted us to conduct extensive R&D that resulted in us sourcing world class coffees from the finest estates around the world."

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Of high tea and fine wine

In 2014, working in the London office of the Boston Consulting Group, Bhuman Dani would often hit Amanzi, a tea bar in central London. That was the beginning of his fascination with tea. Dani, now back home in Mumbai, runs the gourmet tea company with co-founder Shariq Ashraf.

Less than a year-old, TGL Co’s delicious gourmet teas are already among the most popular in the city. On menus across most Mumbai cafes and restaurants, their blends are unconventional and cater to both non-tea drinkers and lovers of tea. Their first experiential store, at the Sofitel Hotel in BKC, allows you to sample the brew before you buy.

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Ayesha Takia-backed The Good Life Company brings unique flavours to the tea cup

Mumbai-based startup The Good Life Company brings tea with unique and different blends and flavours from across the globe.

Bhuman Dani, an MBA graduate from INSEAD was working at The Boston Consulting Group in London when he discovered a new love – tea. Exposed to teas of different varieties, blends and flavours, Bhuman became a regular at the Amanzi Tea Bar.

A visit to the East India Company store in central London decided for Bhuman that he had to build a business around teas. This was the birth The Good Life Company, which brings unique varieties of teas and tea blends.

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Give it a chai? Rare teas are making inroads as tasting shots, tiny batches

At The Good Life Company’s (TGLC) outlet in Sofitel, BKC, you sample teas in shot glasses before buying. Co-founder Bhuman Dani will explain where each tea comes from and what goes into each blend.

"Geisha is a mix of Chinese sencha, Chinese bancha and Japanese kukicha , all rare and not commonly available in India," he explains.

Alisha D’costa, 22, a student from Bandra tried TGLC’s teas at the AKA Bistro in Kala Ghoda. She was intrigued by the fruits and berries they contained.

"Their Shou Mei tea which is Chinese white tea, for instance, has notes of mango and pineapple," she says. The restaurant also stocks oolongs with bits of dried mango and orange, perfect for beginners.

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Rolex-style boxes to rose-gold infusers — the luxury tea gifting industry is pulling out all stops

The Good Life Company (TGL Co.), another gourmet tea venture, launched an online store earlier this year, and more recently, their first experiential space in Sofitel, Bandra-Kurla Complex. The tea salon offers blends and botanicals from China, Taiwan, Japan, Sri Lanka and other countries; they are known for their natural ingredients and blends — think mallow petals from Western Europe, schisandra berries from Eastern Russia and thistle flowers from Scotland. The tea leaves and the botanicals are flown to Europe, where master blenders work with culinary experts and botanists to create tea blends.

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Domestic tea start-ups to set up stores, cafes overseas

"We should have 10 stores in the next one year across West Asia, UK and the US selling both loose teas and tea bags since globally speciality teas is a ₹50,000-crore market with Germany and US leading in this category. In India too, start-ups like us are competing head-on with Teavana from Starbucks and even our online prices through sites like Amazon are similar to it," says Bhuman Dani, Co-Founder, TGL.

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Tea talks with Takia

News is actress-restaurateur Ayesha Takia Azmi and husband Abu Farhan Azmi have invested in The Good Life Co., a luxury tea strat-up co-founded by Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf, six months back. Offering nearly 300 exotic blends under development, the company sources its whites, greens and Oolongs from plantations in China, Japan and Sri Lanka, which are then infused with ingredients like barberries from Iran and mallow petals from Western Europe. Sound business acumen aside – considering the tea culture blooming in the city, and we’re not talking of cuttings here- we also believe it is Takia’s love for tea that may have led to this decision. Why, just in February, she admitted to mid-day that after turning vegan in 2011, the one thing she missed the most was the morning ritual of having the milky, masala chai. Now, she has plenty of other organic options to try from.

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