Photo Courtesy of Shalini Agarwal

This week I’m happy to current my interview with Shalini Agarwal, who leads the wholesale operations for the Glenburn Tea Estate because the president of Glenburn Tea Direct. Learn about what it is wish to develop up surrounded by tea, the challenges of promoting Indian tea within the US, and discover out in regards to the seminars she’s taking part in for subsequent week’s upcoming World Tea Expo, beneath.

Glenburn Tea Estate-Photo Courtesy of Shalini Agarwal



You have been raised in a tea rising household, surrounded by tea. How has this formed your relationship with tea?
Tea was the livelihood and underlying subject of dialog in our residence and lots of family members and folks we knew had a tea connection. As a toddler, I might play within the tea manufacturing facility with my siblings and pals, contact the withering tea leaves and inhale the great perfume of tea being processed…however took all this as with no consideration. Didn’t understand dwelling in a tea farm with the approach to life of planters in Assam and Darjeeling was one thing very distinctive. For me, tea has all the time been a manner of life, permeating all facets.

What are some of the challenges of bringing Glenburn and Khongea teas to the US?
Speciality teas from India are nonetheless comparatively new for US tea shoppers, they’re much extra acquainted with teas from locations like China and Japan. To familiarize and persuade tea store homeowners to taste teas from Darjeeling and Assam has been difficult, they usually in flip have to teach their prospects. They are sometimes shocked to be taught that we’ve Oolong and Green teas from Darjeeling and that the flavour profiles are fairly totally different from different locations. With time individuals are tasting and appreciating teas from India.

Working within the tea enterprise, what does a typical day appear like for you?
When working from my residence workplace in California, most of the time can be spent within the logistics of enterprise comparable to followup emails and calls to prospects, invoicing, organizing orders and sourcing and packaging the teas. I additionally journey to the tea farms in India 2-Three occasions within the yr and immerse myself in tea manufacturing and manufacture. We take part in varied Tea Festivals and commerce exhibits which take up quite a bit of preparation and journey. Leading teams from US for Tea Tours in Northeast India is my newest endeavor and problem. What I like in regards to the enterprise is…there is no such thing as a typical day!

Photo Courtesy of Shalini Agarwal



You’ve just lately introduced and carried out tea tastings at World Tea Expo and different varied tea festivals. What do you hope to show tea drinkers?
I discover that many individuals who come to the Expo or for Tea Festivals are unfamiliar with teas from India. Some might have heard of Darjeeling or Assam however by no means tasted teas from these well-known tea rising areas, usually I’ve to level out the areas on a map. I’m hoping to show folks to understand and be taught in regards to the many flavors and speciality teas from India.

One of your dialogue matters is how the totally different rising seasons impression the flavour and high quality of tea. Do you have got a selected seasonal tea that you just desire, and might you clarify why or why not?
For instance tea from Darjeeling has 4 distinct seasonal flavors: First Flush or spring tea, Second Flush or summer time, Monsoon (wet season) and the Autumn Flush. Each is exclusive as a result of of the seasonal temperatures, rainfall, sunshine and of course the standard of the tea leaf which adjustments all year long. I don’t have a favourite however have a tendency to love the lighter, floral First Flush as a morning wake-up tea and a stronger Second or Autumn within the afternoon. Tea is like wine, there are a whole bunch of varieties and one can spend a lifetime studying about these drinks and by no means know sufficient, it’s a captivating world.

On the Glenburn web site I learn in regards to the Glenburn Workers’ Welfare belief, set as much as enhance instructional and medical companies on the property and in the local people. Can you inform us just a little bit extra about this essential program?
We presently have 64 kids on our personal scholarship program, and proceed to assist the native authorities run major faculties with infrastructure, additional lecturers, and final yr we put in electrical energy in a single of the colleges.

More particulars on the web site: https://glenburnfinetea.com/welfare:

The Glenburn Workers’ Welfare Trust was set as much as enhance instructional and medical companies on the property in addition to to advertise cultural actions amongst the local people.

Our Education Programme primarily funds a workforce instructing volunteers who assist out in native major faculties within the morning, and run Reading Libraries within the villages within the afternoon. Our focus is to enhance the usual of the three government-run faculties on the Estate, and contributions from our resort friends have already given one of the colleges a brand new roof with skylights, home windows, followers, electrical energy, and a Nursery and Kindergarten part, which isn’t half of the conventional government-school curriculum. We have additionally constructed a model new major college on the Shikaridura village.

The pupil energy of the Bhalukop Primary School has tripled since we began supporting it, and the mother and father now present crisp inexperienced and white uniforms for the youngsters, whereas we complement the studying and writing supplies. We assist the place we are able to, but additionally want to empower the households of these kids with a way of duty for their very own training.

Photo Courtesy of Shalini Agarwal



Can you share one of your favourite tea recollections?
I really like waking up early morning in Glenburn, Darjeeling to see the dawn on the Kanchenjunga Mountain vary and luxuriate in a contemporary cup of just lately manufactured tea on the verandah.

Do you have got any private tea rituals?
First factor I love to do within the morning is yoga and respiratory workouts adopted by making my first cup of tea which is often a Darjeeling First Flush. I just like the floral lighter flavors to softly begin the day.

If you’re attending World Tea Expo, Meet Shalini in Las Vegas and be taught in regards to the 12 day Tea Tour in India this September. More than simply tea, the tour covers the historical past of Kolkata, North Indian culture, and the incredible wildlife of Assam and the Himalayas. Attendees to the Origins Tasting Tour (June 11, 2019) on the World Tea Expo could have an opportunity to win a free journey for 2. Also, throughout the Expo, Shalini can be internet hosting the India Tea Planter’s Perspective panel. This seminar will give an inside take a look at the realities of rising and processing tea in India.Thank you Shalini for taking the time for this interview! I look ahead to assembly you at World Tea Expo subsequent week!

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