A cup of chai for the tea fanatics is the elixir of life. Tea is derived from a particular plant (Camellia sinensis), which comprises of four flavours- green, black, white, and oolong. Karma Kettle, an online tea store in India provides real teas with a medley of flavours that are not only good to taste but are also healthy and affordable. BE’s Ayantika Halder spoke to Dhiraj Arora, the co- founder of Karma Kettle, about the varieties of flavoured teas he offers to his discerning clientele.
Q. What are the varieties of teas presented by Karma Kettle?
A.We work with lots of herbs and flowers. Each of our teas is inspired by a particular place and we hope to transport those who taste our teas to those places. The most favoured are the Gulmarg- Kashmiri Kahwa Blend, Benares- Masala Chai, Travancore- Black Tea with Coconut and Kokum, Nathula- Tulsi, Rhododendron and Marigold- Caffeine Free, Shanti- Sencha Green Tea with Jasmine Blossoms, Istanbul - Green Tea with Apple and Berries, Maya, and Singalila.
Gulmarg is a jewel in a teacup. Premium emerald green tea is combined with toasted almond silvers, cardamom, cinnamon, and apricot bits creating a delightful blend that is a treat to drink. Travancore draws inspiration from the Malabar Coast. The coastal flavours come alive with this unique blend that combines a first flush highland tea with tender coconut, kokum, and candied cherry tomato creating a cup that bursts with aromas of cayenne and flavours of coastal India. Maya pays homage to the Aztecs; this tea celebrates chocolate using Assam and Niligiri teas as a base and Benares tea will transport you to the busy streets of Benares.
Apart from online stores, we have started extending our business. We have got placement of our product in different cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Vishakhapatnam. We are working with different star hotels across India. We offer different tea bags to their rooms and have also initiated tea menus.
Q. How do you assure that you are providing best quality teas?
A.We have our own tea factory in Kolkata. Also, we have tea blenders and tea tasters. Nothing is created from outside. For security and longevity, we have forged pyramid tea bags where we use Japanese nylon. Pyramid shaped bags allow space for the tea brew to infuse properly as well. . There are gift boxes with different themes. The themes include Meditation, Discover India, Travels in My Teacup that provide Longjin tea with oriental flora and fruit. A lot of R&D goes into coming out with one-of-a-kind flavoured tea.
Q. What challenges do you face?
A. The challenges right now are the awareness and education of tea. We are one of the largest tea producing countries in the world. We also make the most expensive tea. We do not have basic knowledge about tea, its benefits, and how to consume them. When people think about tea, it is only chai or CTC that comes to their mind. That is why we are working with hotels, websites, and blogs to spread awareness among people about new varieties of teas like oolong, white tea, green tea, blended tea, and herbal tea. These flavours are mostly accepted by the niche crowd. That is the reason we have started giving samples to various cities to let people know about these teas.
Q. How much profit are you making in a year?
A. The margin is between 10-15 %. Right now, we are focusing to increase our platform.