i-genius: Why did you become interested in tea?
Neeraj:Being born and bred in Darjeeling, a region known for its finest quality teas, I grew up amidst the aromas and flavours of the finest teas and am a great fan. However, Tea People wasn’t just born out of my co-founders’ and my love for tea. My wife and I have seen poverty and lack of opportunities from very close quarters in these regions despite the area being so well known for its premium product worldwide. We saw the potential of tea to bring about a positive change in lives of people living in the tea growing areas and we were fortunate to meet a friend who was as passionate as us about tea and equal opportunities. We would like to use the profits generated from selling finest single estate teas to help improve educational facilities for communities living in the tea growing regions.
i-genius: Does India produce the best tea?
Neeraj:While it’s a matter of individual taste and preference, teas produced by India’s three main tea growing regions i.e. Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiri are considered to be world class and appreciated hugely by tea connoisseurs the world over. Infact tea produced by the Darjeeling region is considered to be absolutely unique in taste, flavour and quality owing to the variety of tea plant used along with unique growing and harvesting methods. It is no wonder that Darjeelings are known as the ‘champagne of teas’ and are some of the most expensive teas sold in the international market.
i-genius: What do you foresee will be your greatest difficulty in importing tea from India to the UK?
Neeraj:The Indian market is quite familiar to us and we have very strong links with the tea planters there, so we don’t really foresee any real difficulties in importing tea from India. However, we don’t want to restrict ourselves to Indian teas alone. Going forward we have plans to get finest single estate teas from other premium tea growing regions of the world too such as China, Japan and Taiwan. These are uncharted territory for us and sourcing teas may prove a bit more challenging there.
i-genius: What is your target market?
Neeraj:Within the B2C segment, our target market would range from baby boomers and tea connoisseurs to fashion aficionados, trend followers and even students. Within the B2B segment we would be reaching out to the speciality tea houses, cafes and hotels.
i-genius: What are your plans in say, 2 years?
Neeraj:In two years we would like to have made a measurable social impact within the tea growing communities of the Darjeeling region in the area of educational development by being known as sellers of finest single estate teas from premium tea growing regions of the world.
i-genius: Finally, name three reasons why someone should drink more tea?
- – First, it rejuvenates, revives and helps you relax, something that everyone needs in today’s fast paced world.
- – Second, it is good for health. Tea is packed with antioxidants and so it is considered to not only protect against diseases like cancer and stroke but also aid weight loss. According to experts, you should drink at least 4 cups of tea everyday to maintain good health.
- – Finally, it is an awesome beverage that you can have at any time of the day in any season in so many different forms ranging from the traditional hot tea to an iced drink or the more contemporary bubble tea. In fact it can even be added to ice cream, cake and the list goes on.
While this is true for most teas, what further sweetens ‘Tea People’ tea is the assurance that with every cup of tea you drink, you are involved in educating and empowering yet another underprivileged child.