Tete-a-tete with Tea

Few things can be better than a rainy Saturday evening with a cup of tea. So when I was invited to Gallery Kolkata for a session of Tea Tasting & Auctioning, by Typhoo Tea, I was really excited.

The session was conducted by the Ace Tea-Taster Mr. Arijit Dasgupta of J. Thomas Pvt. Ltd., the world’s largest and oldest auction house. It started with us rolling around cold tea in our mouths, and understanding the basic tones of the various brews, Green, Darjeeling, CTC etc. With the man at the helm walking us through the different shots, even a novice like me could clearly make out the astringency of the green tea, and the vibrancy of the second flush.

As we were guided through the leaf – liquor – infusion, and the distinction between 1st flush and 2nd flush, quite a few Tea Myths were busted in our heads. It was good to know that if stored properly, tea can stay fr 2-3 years, depending on the type and quality of the product. But the greatest surprise was that, most of the properties of the much-famed, health-miracle green tea, are present in the humble black tea too. Woah! Now that was a bouncer indeed!

In the Question & Answer session, Mr. Dasgupta was bombarded with questions. From how to get the perfect brew, to which tea is the most suited to be spiced up, the question were aplenty. Even his diet and restrictions in it, weren’t spared.

Then finally came the Tea Auction. It was nothing even close to what I had expected it to be. The air was filled with mad energy, with each one trying to outbid the others. What started with the minimum bid of Rs.50/- was finally hammered at over Rs.1000/-, in a matter of a few frantic seconds. It was a sheer joy to experience something as exhilarating as it was inside the quaint gallery on a lazy evening.

The session ended with the tasting of the unique Eclectic Tea Mocktails by Typhoo. The Tea Bar which was set up, shaked, stirred and brewed 27 exquisite, high variety of classic, flavoured, green and organic tea. The 100% fruit infusions of orange, cranberry and blackberry, from the iconic British brand, were a delight to have. Being over a 100 years old, yphoo is a name we all reckon with trust and it was great to see such innovations of tea, a beverage we all hold close to our hearts.

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