Snigdha Manchanda is India’s First Certified Tea Sommelier. She perceives tea as a lifestyle product and not a commodity. She trained under Japanese Tea Master, Nao Numekawa, and founded Tea Trunk in 2013. Tea Trunk curates finest teas directly from farmers and crafts them into unique tea blends with all natural ingredients. Snigdha is an em-panelled author and spokesperson for Tea Board of India. She is also an INK Fellow 2013. In this candid interview, she shares with us her travel experiences, her favourite books, teas and more!
Tell us about your most memorable holiday.
It was at a tea garden in Darjeeling. When someone asks me which is my favourite tea, I say the ones that I have sitting in a tea estate. It was a quiet time in the hills learning more about tea and enjoying every cup.
What’s your most favorite comfort food?
Sushi or Asian curries and noodles.
Do you cook? What do you like cooking?
I can make a mean Thai curry. In fact, that’s the only cooking I love to flaunt.
Tell us about the most inspiring books that you have read. What makes them so special?
I am a huge fan of Ruskin Bond. His book Friends in Small Places is very special to me. His writing has an old world charm and talks about idyllic places that I would love to visit.
Which is your favorite tea flavor?
My favorite tea changes with every season. Currently, I am in love with our Tea Trunk Lavender White Tea. It is great to cook with it too – infuse it in cakes or cookies or just make Lavender Lemonade.
Would you describe teas as a romantic drink? What makes them so?
Tea is a leisurely drink. While coffee has conversations, tea has tales. I would say that tea is best enjoyed with good company and a moist cake.
Tell us about your time at the tea school in Sri Lanka. What was the most memorable about your experience there?
I think tasting a 100 different kinds of teas every day and building my palate as a tea taster was the most important learning experience for me. It has built everything I know about tea today.
Share with us a secret about tea that we might not already know!
Tea is native to India. Many people think Britishers brought tea to India. However, tea was always growing wild near the Assam border, but we just didn’t know it was called tea! Singpho tribes living there chewed on the tealeaves as tobacco and in fact continue to do that even today.
Is there customer story that touched your heart? Tell us about it!
Many of our tea blends are inspired by the people who drink it. Many people drink tea for health reasons so I wanted to craft a tea blend that helps in burning fat and improving the drinker’s skin quality. While researching Chinese medicines for this, I found that the combination of rose and oolong is known as the tea of beauty. I am overwhelmed by the response we received for this tea. Many people have written to us that our Rose Oolong Tea has helped them with their acne and has helped them in managing their weight too. Though we do not promote our teas as tonic, it is the quality of ingredients and the right recipes that make the difference. I am truly happy to know how our product delivers true value to our customers.
Tea Trunk curates the finest teas of India and crafts them into unique blends with all natural ingredients. Their teas are whole leaf, flavorful and healthy. No artificial colors. No additives. No tea dust. So you can enjoy tea like it should be!