Storm Tea – Preparing for our Travels to India« Back to all articles
It’s always interesting to read a trip report to understand in greater detail the stories behind our teas; where they come from, how they are grown and processed and news of any tea gems we may have unearthed along the way. In late July, we will share those details when Ric and I return from our travels in north India where we will be visiting tea gardens and estates in Assam and Darjeeling.
But we think it might be of equal interest for our customers to understand the importance of such trips so this blog sets out to share our trip objectives. Of course, neither of us can deny that like most trips, whether business or holiday, we can’t wait to indulge in the rich culture of such an exotic country as India. It will be nothing short of thrilling to meet the people, visit cities such as New Deli, Kolkata and Bagdogra, to eat the delicious spicy foods and tropical fruits and to breath in the views of Darjeeling in the foothills of the Himalayas. But despite these wonderful distractions the main focus will be tea.
On our packaging and within the pages of our website we talk about the things we really care about. In fact, these things have become the very ethos of our vision for Storm Tea. ‘At Storm we care:
· We care about our planet and know that our organic produce helps to protect the land and those that work it.
· We care about tea farmers so travel the world to meet the heroes of our trade.
· We care about great flavour so only select the very best organic ingredients.
· We care about our bodies so have chosen teas, flowers, herbs and spices that promote good health.
It is these areas of care and consideration that will shape our trip. We will visit organic estates and gardens starting with Jallinga in Assam where we will learn more about the impact organic practices are having on the land and local eco-systems. We want to understand the positive aspects but also get a feel for the challenges the farmers are facing because of farming without the use of harmful chemicals. Of course, we will spend time with the farmers and their staff where there will be focus on living and working conditions. I trained as a social auditor and have inspected social standards on many farms throughout the tropical world so it is important to have a good insight into daily life on the farms we work with. We will be cupping as much tea as we can to identify the best batches and to find new speciality teas to add to our Handcrafted range. Darjeeling produces some of the finest teas in the world. We have read about some of the oolongs the region produces and are desperate to cup some of these ‘Darjoolongs’. A tea drinking nation like India will have an endless depth of knowledge in tea brewing and tea recipes and we want to learn as much as we can – especially where there are any positive impacts upon health.
We hope to take our drone and shoot some film of the scenery to share with you. We want to bring back great stories, amazing teas, chai recipes and lots of anecdotes. This is the reason we work directly with farms wherever we can.
We’ve had our jabs, bought our flight tickets and made our plans – and on 15th July our trip will begin. Read all about it after we return or follow us on Instagram where we will post live updates.