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entrepreneur  |  MAY 05, 2017  |  By: Entreprenur India

35 UNDER 35 SPECIAL - THE GAME CHANGERS OF 2017

Siliguri is a laid-back town and e-commerce and start-ups are not a regular feature, that’s where Kaushal Dugar made the dent. Teabox is delivering freshness by reducing production to consumer time, which is typically three...

Siliguri is a laid-back town and e-commerce and start-ups are not a regular feature, that’s where Kaushal Dugar made the dent. Teabox is delivering freshness by reducing production to consumer time, which is typically three to -six months to a week or even lesser. In the past four years, it has shipped over 40 million cups worth of teas to customers in over 100 countries. Teabox went on to raise over seven million from investors like JAFCO Asia, Accel Partners, Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group, Ratan Tata, Cameron Jones. Kaushal proudly shares, “We are highly profitable on units economy basis.”

 

beverage daily  |  MAY 05, 2017  |  By: Rachel Arthur

FROM TEA BAG TECHNOLOGY TO SPEEDY SHIPPING: START-UP’S MISSION TO PROVIDE THE BEST FRESH TEA

Teabox – an Indian premium tea e-commerce start-up – has made it its mission to deliver ‘the freshest cup of tea’ to consumers worldwide. From the technology behind the tea bags to the speediest shipping...

Teabox – an Indian premium tea e-commerce start-up – has made it its mission to deliver ‘the freshest cup of tea’ to consumers worldwide. From the technology behind the tea bags to the speediest shipping methods, the company says it can now get its products from tea plantation to teapot within a week. https://www.beveragedaily.com/Markets/Teabox-on-delivering-premium-fresh-tea-to-the-world.

times of india  |  MAY 05, 2017  |  By:

Aparna Desikan & Anand J

IN FIRST FLUSH, TEA STARTUPS AIM FOR PERFECT BREW

BENGALURU/CHENNAI: Bala Sarda grew up around tea — not just because it's the beverage of choice for most Indians, but he was raised in the estates of Darjeeling. where his family has been in the...

BENGALURU/CHENNAI: Bala Sarda grew up around tea — not just because it's the beverage of choice for most Indians, but he was raised in the estates of Darjeeling. where his family has been in the business for eight decades. A few years ago, Sarda realised that tea was only exported in bulk, and there were no home grown.

"India grew some of the best teas but the industry was dependent on foreign brands to sell their product. I wanted to crack that and create an indigenous brand and take it to the world," says Sarda, 25, who started Vahdam Teas in April 2015. He delivers garden-fresh teas to over 10,000 customers in 76 countries, with the US being the top market. India contributes close to 10% of the total business. While giants such as Tata and Hindustan Unilever sell tea to the majority, startups are trying to create a market, both in India and abroad, for home-grown brands from estates in Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris. These are mostly loose leaf teas, preferred by connoisseurs, and are a premium segment compared to the CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea that a majority of Indian tea drinkers prefer. What sets his 100% online business apart, says Sarda, is the guarantee of delivery in four days. "If you order tea today, it's most likely what we send you was harvested less than a week ago," says Sarda. "By eliminating middlemen, we are not only able to make available garden fresh high quality teas at lower prices, but are also able to retain all earnings in the region where these teas are grown." Vahdam Teas has raised Rs 4.4 crore ($650,000) from early-stage investment firm Fireside Ventures' Kanwaljit Singh, Mumbai Angels and Singapore Angel Network. Serial entrepreneur K Ganesh says the opportunity to create Indian brands is huge and the space is wide open. "These are regularly consumed products and create a brand loyalty that will stay for years," says Ganesh, who has invested in food-delivery startup Freshmenu through his firm GrowthStory and made a personal angel investment in beverage startup DropKaffe. "There is a dearth of Indian brands in the food and beverage segment." He's quick to point out that these are not food-tech startups, but startups enabled by technology. "Ultimately, technology will not help them serve good food and beverages," he says. Nitin Saluja, co-founder of Delhi-based Chaayos, says technology is the backbone of the company but they can't be labelled food-tech. "We look at serving the customer and how we can make them give us repeat orders," he says. Saluja explains that technology helps them personalise offerings, reduce wastage and predict demand cycles. "Our core business is chai." More than 80% of its customers are walk-ins and the rest order online. Chaayos, he says, it is making operational profits and is not looking to raise further funding. The company, which was founded in 2012 and has 33 outlets, is expanding its retail network in Mumbai. It raised $5 million from New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global, has seen sales triple in the last four years. What's interesting about this segment is that most of the startups seem quite cautious, unlike their counterparts in other sectors. Most seem to restrict themselves to a few cities and are focussing on growing and establishing a strong identity and footprint in every city they enter. Chai Point, which is also operationally profitable, has about 100 stores in eight cities and offers varieties of hot and cold chai with snacks. "We have a same store growth of 20% and our total growth is 100%,"says Amuleek Singh, co-founder, Chai Point, which also has an app to take delivery orders. About 60% of the company's revenue comes from retail stores, 30% from corporate service and 10% from the delivery business. Singh, who graduated from Harvard Business School, set up Chai Point in 2010 sensing potential in the huge number of tea drinkers in the country. The company has launched BoxC, an internet-enabled tea dispensing machine that uses natural tea leaves. "The end-consumer gets access to our brand of tea in all ways possible," says Singh. Recently, the startup raised $ 10 million from Eight Roads Ventures, DSG Partners and existing partner Saama Capital. For Suresh Radhakrishnan of Chai King, the business of tea is a numbers game. He's adopted a hybrid model with retail outlets, corporate clients and mobile kiosks. "With corporates, we see high volumes but thin margins. With retail, it is vice versa. This business is different because it cannot be driven by technology. Customer acquisition still involves traditional methods," he says. Ratan Tata-backed Teabox, which sells branded premium tea and accessories to the growing population of connoisseurs, uses customised software to map customers' tastes and habits. "Based on the answers to a set of questions, we send a sample of three teas to the customer, and then ship the one he or she chooses," says Kaushal Dugar, founder, Teabox. The startup has shipped close to 40 million cups of tea to 110 countries. Investor and entrepreneur Ganesh says beverage startups aren't the usual kind that attract venture capitalists. "They won't give you hockey stick growth because there is city sensitivity," he says, explaining that the coffee consumed in Karnataka is different from the way Tamil Nadu drinks it, just as Kochi enjoys its tea differently from New Delhi. "You need a strategy for each city and cannot go to 10 cities with a $100 million cheque.".

 |  APRIL 26, 2017  |  By: Angangla Aier | Kohima Nagaland

Fast delivery good product

Fast delivery good product

Fast delivery good product
 |  APRIL 26, 2017  |  By: Manish Sardiwal | Howrah, Kolkata West Bengal

Best packaging

Best packaging ever seen . Best taste . I will order more often. Sure and i will recommend to my friends for sure ..

Best packaging ever seen . Best taste . I will order more often. Sure and i will recommend to my friends for sure ..
 |  APRIL 21, 2017  |  By: Prachi Saini | Hyderabad Telangana, India

I would love to order every time

I would love to order every time

I would love to order every time
 |  APRIL 21, 2017  |  By: Inder Bharj | Ludhiana Punjab, India

Eye chose 10 rank because teabox products r better t hanavailable tea products

Eye chose 10 rank because teabox products r better t hanavailable tea products

Eye chose 10 rank because teabox products r better t hanavailable tea products
 |  APRIL 21, 2017  |  By: Ajay Deo | BANGALORE Karnataka, India

Great Tea. Super Delivery.

Great Tea. Super Delivery. BTW I ordered for Margret Hope Summer chinary Black tea. Excellent choices of loose Darjeeling tea in your kitty. wide price range.

Great Tea. Super Delivery. BTW I ordered for Margret Hope Summer chinary Black tea. Excellent choices of loose Darjeeling tea in your kitty. wide price range.
 |  APRIL 21, 2017  |  By: Kumud Teresa Sawansi | New Delhi, India

excellent and careful package

excellent and careful package and delivery, guiding details with every sample tea pack. excellent job

excellent and careful package and delivery, guiding details with every sample tea pack. excellent job
 |  APRIL 14, 2017  |  By: Adithya Prakash | Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Fresh Tea

Amazing packaging and very fresh tea!

Amazing packaging and very fresh tea!
 |  APRIL 07, 2017  |  By: Farida Rehana | New Delhi, India

The quality of tea is excellent.

The quality of tea is excellent. And loved the fresh taste and exceptional taste. Very fast delivery also

The quality of tea is excellent. And loved the fresh taste and exceptional taste. Very fast delivery also
 |  APRIL 07, 2017  |  By: Sudha Singh | Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Prompt delivery Beautiful product

Prompt delivery Beautiful product Careful packing

Prompt delivery Beautiful product Careful packing
 |  APRIL 04, 2017  |  By:

The Secrets of Tea-Tasting

Many tea-lovers find tea-tasting inaccessible and its jargon off-putting.  They recognize its utility but only faintly understand the details. In a career that spans three decades, I have been asked numerous times “What am I...

Many tea-lovers find tea-tasting inaccessible and its jargon off-putting.  They recognize its utility but only faintly understand the details. In a career that spans three decades, I have been asked numerous times “What am I supposed to look for when I taste a tea?  I feel like I’m missing something!

 Perhaps it would help if I would explain the process and try to get at its meaning and significance.   

When we hear the word taste we think “mouth.”  The sensitivity of taste buds on the tongue and on oral tissues, however, is limited. They can distinguish only five “pure” tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory (umami). They cannot sense complex flavor:  They know “sweet,” but not cherry pie, “bitter-sweet,” but not chocolate.  

For that level of discrimination we need the nose – actually, the unattractively-named olfactory bulb, at the terminus of the nasal passage. The conglomeration of sensory cells in the bulb collects information from molecules of aspirated tea sucked into the mouth and drawn into the throat.        

For all its centrality, the human “smeller” is relatively under-endowed. A poodle has 3,000% more olfactory tissues then its master and can rapidly and exquisitely sense odors she will miss. But, Gigi does not have the capacity to interpret and verbalize, so poodles will be employed as drug sniffers, but not as tea-tasters!  

Taste sense organs telegraph packets of sensory information to the brain which decodes it. This leads from “ah!” to recognition. Formless sensations become words, phrases and thoughts which can be communicated to others. We can say tea-tasting changes from a solitary activity into a social one!   

All of us are capable of gathering sensations, but labeling them requires prior experience tasting teas, the power of memory and a taster’s vocabulary.    

Nothing is as memorable as the taste or smell of food, especially from childhood. We humans store the sensory impressions of foods we taste – those we like and those we abhor – in our food memory bank. We recall and identify a food when we reencounter it. American Chef James Beard said food recall is the key to being a good cook. Without it one is forever limited to slavishly following recipes.  

Robert Luis Stevenson wrote (rather clumsily), “Wine is bottled poetry.”  The ability to verbalize is critical for tasting; one must have a well-honed taster’s vocabulary.  

The German philosopher, Edmund Husserl, wrote trenchantly in Logical Investigations about tasting coffee; I quote him here substituting “tea,” with due apologies to Herr Doctor.  

“What is a cup of [tea]? I might define it in terms of…chemistry and…botany, add a summary of how it’s…grown and exported….”

Or [I] might say what the cup on the table actually is….” This cup of [tea] is…aroma…earthy and perfumed; it is the lazy movement of… steam rising from its surface. …it is a placidly shifting liquid… intense…flavor on my tongue…a slightly austere jolt…relaxing into comforting warmth, which spreads from…cup to…body, bringing the promise of…alertness and refreshment. The promise, the anticipated sensations, the smell, the colour and…flavor are all part of the [tea] as [a] phenomenon. [It exists] by being experienced.

Husserl has it right: tea-tasting is subjective, but unsentimental; it is informed, but spontaneous.       

Tasting tea is different from eating a meal to satisfy hunger. A tea-taster is not taking tea out of thirst, but to taste and evaluate it.  For that he must go from a distracted, diffuse state of consciousness into one of concentration and awareness.  

The role of a tea-taster is to make comparative judgments that will guide professionals – tea-traders, blenders and retailers in downstream transactions. The taster is the first individual to taste a tea after it leaves the garden and it is the taster employed in a tea brokerage house who helps determine value and set price.  A rave review by a respected tea taster at a respected house can make or break a tea.

Further down the supply chain, hundreds of individuals will taste teas on offer to determine if they have the required quality and value in a variety of commercial contexts, in retail shops or teahouses, web stores, hotels or tea-bagging operations. For the bottom line, there is no perfection, no absolute good, only utility and price.    

It is easy to imagine why the world of commerce needs tea-tasters, but why would consumers wish to hone their tea-tasting skills? There are three common reasons: to learn a useful skill, to acquire knowledge and understanding and to gain insights into the fascinating, complex world of tea. The uncommon reason: to master tea-tasting form – the mechanics – to gain access to a new world where the mundane (sensory phenomena) gives way to a silent and still land.   

To paraphrase Okakura Kazuo in The Book of Tea: to experience a work of art is to enter into a relationship with the artist. When we read a novel we enter into a relationship with the author. When we take tea we are at one with tea-farmer and tea-maker, in a purely human space. 

In my book, we first master the technicalities; later we can access the larger space tea occupies. So, tasting begins with the observation of the phenomenological aspects of the tea:  the dry leaf, the leaf drained of tea immediately after infusion, and the decanted liquor. 

 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Swastika Padmapati | Guwahati, Assam, India

the best heart and brain spa one can have in a cup!

The delivery was on time....moreover the product details are awesome, specially the directions - whether to use milk or not! The flavour and taste directly feed the soul- the best heart and brain spa one...

The delivery was on time....moreover the product details are awesome, specially the directions - whether to use milk or not! The flavour and taste directly feed the soul- the best heart and brain spa one can have in a cup!
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Saurabh Agrawal | Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

The tea reached me on time, nicely and safely packed

The tea reached me on time, nicely and safely packed. Talking about the tea... The tea was exactly the thing, as it was mentioned in the description. It tasted good and the tea pack literally...

The tea reached me on time, nicely and safely packed. Talking about the tea... The tea was exactly the thing, as it was mentioned in the description. It tasted good and the tea pack literally locks the aroma which is awesome.
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Sunil Shaw | New Delhi, India

Very few are selling white tea in online

Very few are selling white tea in online, the quality (taste n aroma) and the price is extremely good and I am also very happy for your complimentary gift.

Very few are selling white tea in online, the quality (taste n aroma) and the price is extremely good and I am also very happy for your complimentary gift.
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Govarthanan | Bangalore, Karnataka, India

The teas were really great. Thanks.

The teas were really great. Thanks.

The teas were really great. Thanks.
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Sahil Joshi | Surat, Gujarat, India

Shipping was fast

Shipping was fast, the tea was quite aromatic and fresh with great taste of individual spices that stimulate the taste buds. Really appreciate the complimentary tea sachets to try.

Shipping was fast, the tea was quite aromatic and fresh with great taste of individual spices that stimulate the taste buds. Really appreciate the complimentary tea sachets to try.
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Jitesh Kumar | New Delhi, India

Thank you I got my order!

Thank you I got my order! I loved the packaging it is professionally done it's like receiving a gift.I am immensely pleased and happy with the whole experience and definitely would like to try all...

Thank you I got my order! I loved the packaging it is professionally done it's like receiving a gift.I am immensely pleased and happy with the whole experience and definitely would like to try all types of tea that Teabox has to offer.I already have recommended you to my friends. some of them already placed an order :) . Hope you continue to give the same service!
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Prasenjit Paul | Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Great website, fast delivery

Great website, fast delivery

Great website, fast delivery
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Subramanian Jayaraman | Chennai Tamil Nadu, India

Extremely aesthetically pleasing website

Extremely aesthetically pleasing website. Easy item selection. Easy purchase experience.

Extremely aesthetically pleasing website. Easy item selection. Easy purchase experience.
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: AJAY MALIK | Jind Haryana, India

Quality of packing was perfect.

Quality of packing was perfect. Delivery was fast. I have been drinking darjeeling tea from last many years and this was first time I was ordering from teabox and I must say that quality of...

Quality of packing was perfect. Delivery was fast. I have been drinking darjeeling tea from last many years and this was first time I was ordering from teabox and I must say that quality of tea was perfect. Asked 3-4 friends to order from teabox. All the best
 |  MARCH 30, 2017  |  By: Maheswaran S | Bangalore Karnataka, India

The quality of tea was excellent.

The quality of tea was excellent.

The quality of tea was excellent.
ink talks  |  MARCH 16, 2017  |  By: INK team

FELLOWS CORNER:KAUSHAL DUGAR

1. What has it meant to you to be an INK Fellow? For me, INK has offered a great community to be a part of. I find inspiration, ideas, feedback and much more from this...

1. What has it meant to you to be an INK Fellow? For me, INK has offered a great community to be a part of. I find inspiration, ideas, feedback and much more from this community. But what has also been significant is that I find myself among others who have had similar journeys and who have experienced success despite failures. 2. Your company Teabox has been described as “a startup that is disrupting the $40 bn global tea industry”. What has Teabox been doing that is considered as being disruptive? We just took the 200-year old tea industry in India and decided to shake it’s very roots. By upending the way things were done by introducing technology to benefit the end consumer, we changed the way the system was perceived. Some of the incredible innovations include the world’s first natural nitrogen flush teabags, the world’s first machine-learning based tea subscription and establishing India’s first cold storage for tea and others. 3. You get order requests from all over the world for your tea products! Tell us some interesting experiences you’ve had with overseas customers. One of our British customers, Peter, was posted in Iraq and wrote to tell us about it. He loved his Assam and Darjeeling black tea. And he wanted them in Kalar in the Kurdistan province. There was a lot of political unrest so it was a complicated undertaking. But we managed to get the requisite government clearances and paperwork and finally sent the order. Peter wasn’t expecting his tea to reach him, but it did and he was very happy. Some of our orders have been mini-geography lessons for us – Kiribati and islands like Micronesia, Moldova or Malta are small so finding a courier service and ensuring minimal roadblocks is no easy task. Interesting, but not easy! 4. What or who was your inspiration to start this brand? I have grown up in Darjeeling and have always enjoyed tea as it should be – fresh! Having traveled all over, and having also seen that gap between what the consumer deserves and what is offered as tea, I was keen to bridge this gap. It meant a huge change in how things had been done for too long, but as a consequence, we have been able to democratize the system and make great tea accessible to a global market. 5. Going ahead, is there anything exciting planned for ‘Teabox’? We began at Siliguri, at the foothills of Darjeeling. Assam, Kangra, boutique estates in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, estates in the Nilgiris were all added. Tea from Nepal too has become part of our portfolio. This year, we are expanding within the South Asian region and are looking at Sri Lanka.

 

 |  MARCH 15, 2017  |  By: Ibtisam Binti Yusoff | Davangere, Karnataka, India

Tea is bliss.

When I found this website and learned more about teabox, I just fell in love. Took that first sip of fresh nilgiris white tea and voila! (Couldn't find a better word to describe my feeling)....

When I found this website and learned more about teabox, I just fell in love. Took that first sip of fresh nilgiris white tea and voila! (Couldn't find a better word to describe my feeling). Tea is bliss.
 |  MARCH 15, 2017  |  By: Kailash Tuli | New Delhi, India

Perfect product and delivery

Perfect product and delivery.

Perfect product and delivery.
 |  MARCH 15, 2017  |  By: Dr. Swati Ray | New Delhi, India

Everything reaches safely to me.

The teas delivered to me were wonderful in flavor. But the best part was hassle free quick delivery with excellent packing. Everything reaches safely to me.

The teas delivered to me were wonderful in flavor. But the best part was hassle free quick delivery with excellent packing. Everything reaches safely to me.
 |  MARCH 15, 2017  |  By: Raymond Raj | Coimbatore Tamil Nadu, India

Excellent service!

Still cannot get over the ease in ordering and excellent packing with prompt delivery of my favourite Darjeeling teas! Teabox has also opened my eyes to savour some excellent Assam teas; and get quality accessories...

Still cannot get over the ease in ordering and excellent packing with prompt delivery of my favourite Darjeeling teas! Teabox has also opened my eyes to savour some excellent Assam teas; and get quality accessories (tea pots, mugs, caddies) for my daily "Tea ceremonies" !!
 |  MARCH 09, 2017  |  By: Aparajita Jamwal | Jammu Tawi, Jammu And Kashmir, India

Cleanest and the classiest feel to it!

Thank you I got my order! And how surprising to find a set of complimentary teas along with it! More than anything I loved the packaging it had the cleanest and the classiest feel to...

Thank you I got my order! And how surprising to find a set of complimentary teas along with it! More than anything I loved the packaging it had the cleanest and the classiest feel to it! And the bubble wrap was just perfect to burst :) I feel better already
vogue  |  MARCH 03, 2017  |  By: Sonal Ved

5 WEBSITES YOU CAN BUY ARTISANAL REGIONAL INDIAN EDIBLES FROM

Featuring products that range from pickles from Panipat to chips from Ernakulum, Place of Origin aims at bringing together the best from each corner of India to your doorstep. Placeoforigin.in Pickles and masalas Indian cuisine...

Featuring products that range from pickles from Panipat to chips from Ernakulum, Place of Origin aims at bringing together the best from each corner of India to your doorstep. Placeoforigin.in Pickles and masalas Indian cuisine is incomplete without the mention of pickles and masalas. If you’re running short on a particular regional variety, try Goosebumps Pickles. Imagine the dedication and control your mom has on your food, now multiply that by three, since this venture is run by three mommies who champion all things homemade. The products are artisanal and preservative-free. Our picks: Vintage Gol Keri, Ker Sangri and Katki. They also sell mulghai pudi, sambhar and rasam masalas. Goosebumpspickles.com. Sherbets Make summer better with artisanal Indian thirst quenchers that come in flavours such as bael, falsa, aam panha, buransh, paan and more. The Delhi-based website also sells sattu, a traditional drink made out of barley or whole wheat grains, sweetened with raw jaggery powder that cools, replenishes energy levels, boosts immunity, aids digestion and makes the skin glow. Homeburps.com

Teas Teabox sells teas that are handpicked from gardens of Darjeeling to estates of Assam. The website sells leaves from cities and states across India and some from Nepal as well. We love the Wah Classic Spring black tea, a fresh spring tea from the Kangra valley and North East India’s Gold Summer black tea, which is a smooth and strong tea that pairs impeccably with a rich breakfast spread. They also do a range of limited edition packs during festive season. Teabox.com Spices It’s no secret that you can’t make good Indian food without good Indian spices. From kebab chini, black stone flower or kalpasi, mace to peeli sarson, traditional and hyper regional spices that are difficult to procure in urban grocery stores, can be found on this website. Spice Market also sells vegetable, flower and tree seeds and offers free shipping on bulk orders. Thespicemarket.in.

tasting table  |  FEBRUARY 22, 2017  |  By: Alison Spigel

TAKE IT OR LEAF IT

Not only are these tea hubs the place to hang out, but as people become increasingly health-conscious, the tea industry continues to bring tea-curious drinkers ever more choices. Here are nine trends that have us...

Not only are these tea hubs the place to hang out, but as people become increasingly health-conscious, the tea industry continues to bring tea-curious drinkers ever more choices. Here are nine trends that have us leaving the coffee beans at the door as we enter the new age of tea. ”? U.S.-Grown Tea ”Almost all of the world's tea is grown in Asia, Africa and South America, but a small number of farms in the U.S. have started growing the shrub Camellia sinensis, whose leaves produce green, black and white teas. And cutting-edge restaurants, like San Francisco's Lazy Bear, are taking note. They've been sourcing tea from Golden Feather Tea farm for almost two years. ”"The demand for domestically grown tea is just beginning, lagging behind demand for locally grown produce, fruit, and other foods and beverages," says Cassie Woolhiser, head of marketing at Minto Island Tea Company, a tea farm in western Oregon. "The tea tastes fresh. It's not as deep or complex as teas coming from Sri Lanka, China or Japan that are rich in tea history and culture, but it has a taste all its own, and that's pretty wonderful." ”? Cold-Brew Tea ”"Influenced heavily by the coffee world, cold-brewing is a sort of fail-proof steeping method that creates an amazing undiluted iced tea," Chen says. Tea People sells cold-brew tea, because it's a great way to extract flavor. "This is because the tea has a longer time to brew and allows for different tasting notes to be extracted. It's a really easy way to brew tea, and it eliminates any bitterness that you sometimes get from using too hot of water." ”? Bottled Matcha ”When Graham Fortgang opened one of the country's first matcha cafés in 2014, he wanted to share what he calls "a better energy" with the world through drinks that actually taste good. Enter the now-ubiquitous matcha latte. In the last year, MatchaBar, which uses its own proprietary blend of matcha, started selling bottled matcha in flavors like apple ginger matcha, which you can buy online or at Whole Foods in NYC or L.A. ”"When we launched, it was the first bottled matcha on the market with a full serving of ceremonial-grade matcha," Fortgang says, which means there's two grams per serving and about as much caffeine as a shot of espresso. And now brands like Nature's Blueprint are following suit. Fortgang's opinion is the more matcha on the market the better. We couldn't agree more. ”? A Modern Approach to High Tea ”Forget scones with clotted cream and make way for the new Brooklynized version of traditional British tea that involves the likes of sweet potato doughnuts and canelés made with fresh-milled flour, which you'll find at the just-opened Williamsburg Hotel. Serving a whole new kind of high tea, the hotel offers "teas from India, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan sourced directly from the farmers," explain James Stuart, managing director of the hotel, and Stefen Ramirez, founder of Tea Dealers and the hotel's tea sommelier. Yes, tea sommeliers are part of the package. ”? Tea Pairings ”Fine dining restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Atera have been doing tea pairings with their tasting menus for a few years, and newcomer Olmsted is joining in. At Eleven Madison Park, tea expert Sarah Van Doren sees tea as just as important as wine, cocktails or coffee. The restaurant does tableside presentations and sources from a range of countries with the help of In Pursuit of Tea. You'll find everything from "handpicked green tea from Japan to aged pu-erh tea from China to numerous oolongs from Taiwan," Van Doren says. "Fine dining has the ability to be both extremely complex and also incredibly simple. Just like with wine, the tea you choose can complement and add to your experience." ”? Expanding Palates ”Pushing boundaries isn't reserved just for the world of fine dining either, explorer, mountaineer, writer and tea expert Jeff Fuchs, points out. Take pu-erh sheng, non-fermented green tea that has "long been regarded as vegetal brute in the tea world," Fuchs says. Where tea drinkers once favored ripe or cooked pu-erh shou instead, the bitter pu-erh sheng is now gaining traction. ”"The attitude is changing as palates begin to understand that astringency and tangs of bitterness are not negatives, and that the way a tea finishes says as much as how it hits the mouth initially. Sheng pu-erhs’ ability to age and develop in complexities is beginning to be more understood." ”Joachim Hansen from Lazy Bear agrees. "Overall, I've seen people's tea palates expand a great deal in the last few years," he says. "Our tea importer, Haymen Da Luz, introduced me to a milk oolong tea this year. That was a style I was completely unfamiliar with: tangy, lactic acidity and rich, natural sweetness—incredible [when] paired with desserts. I expect we'll see more aged pu-erhs and unique oolongs and black teas coming up." ”? Highly Curated Lists ”To help narrow down the ever-expanding options, tea shops, like Portland's burgeoning Tea Bar, aren't offering the encyclopedic lists of yore, but instead presenting a limited menu of highly curated picks. In addition to selling all-natural bubble tea, Tea Bar serves an always-changing short list of loose leaf. "Our menu is curated surrounding the notion of less is more, quality over quantity," Erica Indira Swanson, CEO and founder of Tea Bar, says. ”? Personalized Subscription Boxes ”Taking it one step further, companies like Teabox are offering subscription boxes, which deliver a variety of fresh teas straight to your door. When Teabox launched in 2015, it was the world's first personalized tea-subscription service, and now others have followed. What sets Teabox apart, however, is its breadth—it has the largest selection of single-estate teas online—but also the machine learning that informs subscriptions. Customers take a quiz whereby Teabox identifies preferences, and over time, as customers share their feedback, the suggestions become even more tailored to the individual. ”"This eliminates the chances of preconceived notions clouding the choice of judgments when it comes to selecting the teas," Kaushal Dugar, Teabox's founder and CEO, explains. ”? Nitro Tea on Tap

”And just when you thought you had seen it all, the coffee trend that had you bouncing off the walls all summer has now found its way into the tea world, too. But this time, you can forget the fidgeting, because nitro tea makes for a much calmer caffeine high than its coffee counterpart. Alfred Tea Room in L.A. is experimenting with nitro tea, as is Chicago-based The Cafe at LeFlour. .

business world 2017  |  FEBRUARY 22, 2017  |  By: Kushal Dugar

THE TEABOX STORY: TEA ESTATE TO BECOMING A CONNOISSEUR

Developing a palate to recognize the finesse of the Darjeeling teas doesn’t happen overnight. Growing up in a Marwari family with a father whose business was in tea machinery, I went to the estates often...

Developing a palate to recognize the finesse of the Darjeeling teas doesn’t happen overnight. Growing up in a Marwari family with a father whose business was in tea machinery, I went to the estates often enough. And that didn’t make me an expert. Sure, it gave me an insight into the workings of the gardens, and I heard and saw a lot. But it was only as an adult, when I chose to work in the tea industry, that I actually turned to look closely at the Darjeeling tea. The Indian tea industry is the world's second largest producer and the fourth largest exporter of tea. And despite having been around for such a long time, the industry continues to follow the practices set up in the times of the Raj (British Raj). The entire value chain consists of scores of middle men, including brokers, importers, wholesalers, distributors, etc. And due to the large value chain, it takes an inordinately large amount of time for teas, once produced to reach the end consumer. It takes anywhere between 3-6 months for teas, once produced to hit the shelves of retail stores. By then, they would have lost their aroma, flavor and taste and the cost has increased x times. You see, it is the freshness of the tea that really determines the quality of the tea. We at Teabox are enabling tea drinkers around the world to experience the taste and quality of fresh teas. This is fundamental to our approach and everything we do revolves around this. We work with over 150 tea estates across India & Nepal to source fresh teas, within hours after production. Our tea tasters who have over 100 years of collective experience in tea tasting help us select the finest varieties. And after an intensive quality checking and cleaning process, we vacuum package them and ship them to customers across the world within a week's’ time. This is our business model, but what we are doing is much more than that.

Mindset and location were the major challenges which we faced apart from other startup challenges such as lack of cash, being a single founder, etc. The tea industry is steeped in tradition; literally, the ways of doing things have not changed much in the last 150 years. Most of the decision makers don't believe that tea is a product that can be sold online. Getting producers to even give us access to some of the best teas was a challenge in the initial days. The second aspect was the location - starting up in Siliguri which is best known for being 15 kms away from Naxalbari (the birthplace of Naxalism in India which is deemed the biggest security threat by the Indian government). And in a place like Siliguri, there is hardly any talent and a crippling infrastructure. In spite of that, we were able to run a global eCommerce company and went on to raise successful funds from major venture capitalists (the first in the Indian tea industry). The initial investment was made by me. Later, Teabox received seed funding by Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures (Singapore-based early stage fund) participating in this investment round of $1million. Prashant Prakash, from Accel joined the board as an advisor. The company later raised $6 million in Series A round of funding led by JAFCO Asia, with participation from Accel Partners, Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group. Robert M. Bass, President of Keystone, who is a customer turned investor in Teabox. We also raised an undisclosed funding from Mr. Ratan Tata. In 2016, another customer Mr. Cameron Jones, invested in Teabox. Last year, when we moved into our new office, one of the first things that came up on the wall was a large map of the world. Little pins starting going up on it to mark the countries we were shipping to. And we set ourselves the 100-country milestone. The United States, India, the UK, Russia, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong… the usual suspects were all there. Neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka were quickly added. The old Soviet countries, known for their love of smoky black teas, were also added. The Middle East too became part of the Teabox network of countries, no surprise given that Dubai is a major center for tea. It became a ritual of sorts – every time we added a new country, we stopped to celebrate by marking it on the map. And sometimes, it was truly deserving of a celebration. Like the time we got an email from Peter, a regular customer from the UK. He was writing to say he’d now moved to Iraq and wanted to order his usual Assam and Darjeeling blacks. Could we ship to Kalar in the Kurdistan province, he asked. There was so much political unrest in Iraq and it looked like a fairly complicated undertaking. First, we said we’d leave nothing to chance and got the requisite government clearances and paperwork before shipping the order. Peter had probably not expected his tea to arrive – or arrive quickly and without hassle – and when it did, he was thrilled. And so were we. Some brought a lesson in Geography. Like Kiribati. The pin went up on a dot in the middle of the Pacific. How would we ship to Kiribati, we wondered. Fedex initially refused to take one small package all the way from India to Kiribati but we managed to convince them otherwise. The challenge is not merely in shipping to a far-flung country, but in getting it done in the shortest possible time. Quite like Santa and his logistical nightmare of taking a toy to kids all over the world in one night, if you ask me. The Teabox brand promises the world’s freshest tea. We get our teas from gardens within 72 hours of production, often sooner. So the logistics of maintaining this freshness is critical for us. Shipping to Russia by Airmail takes 25-30 days. Today, our teas reach Moscow and St Petersburg in six. At the heart of this logistical efficiency is a nimble and proactive team that is regularly working with shipping partners and customs departments to remove roadblocks at every step. So, when Spain and Italy began returning tea and coffee because they were conduits for drugs, we worked on getting our clearances in order. When orders come from small island countries like Malta, Moldova, or Micronesia we attach a self-use declaration form so that our customers are spared of extra duty fees. And so, we’ve learnt to make this experience pain free for the customer, no matter where in the world they live. The pins on the map have been fast adding up. Europe is looking very crowded with a pin on nearly every country there, both the western and eastern sides. Asia too has a mass of pins. South America was a pleasant addition and we’ve shipped to Columbia (where you have to hire a broker to collect your parcel from Customs), Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru there. Africa too has a few pins, as do a handful of islands in the Indian Ocean. Recently, we hit our first milestone – 100 countries. As it turns out, we’d been too busy to count, but at the end of last year, when we decided to stop and check, there were 109 pins on the map! There seems to be a renewed interest in the tea category. But having said that, most of the new tea brands seem to be just putting a new spin on the last mile delivery. When we started up, we decided to take the difficult road of turning things on its head – by setting up our presence at the source, by creating a genuine set of benefits for our consumers, by choosing to use technology to reach more consumers as opposed to a traditional brick and mortar set up. This meant owning and operating the entire value chain ground-up, starting from farm to cup. This approach, we believe gives us the advantage of greater control over consumer experience, and hence will be very beneficial in the long run. On a tangible level, we at Teabox map our success by the pace of our growth, which we have achieved. However, I think, Teabox will be truly successful after it would have established itself as the only premium brand of tea from India that is recognized globally. .

 |  FEBRUARY 16, 2017  |  By: Varsha Pandey | Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Nice stuff and good delivery!

Nice stuff and good delivery.

Nice stuff and good delivery.
 |  FEBRUARY 16, 2017  |  By: Sushavan Sinha | Siliguri, West Bengal, India

CXKKG is a very nice and balanced tea!

CXKKG is a very nice and balanced tea. Me and my family really enjoyed aroma and flavor of the saffron and toasted almond.

CXKKG is a very nice and balanced tea. Me and my family really enjoyed aroma and flavor of the saffron and toasted almond.
 |  FEBRUARY 16, 2017  |  By: Pradeep Mukhedkar | Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Really excellent!

The product sent to me was extremely well packed, the parcel arrived in record time. The Tea ( Margaret's Hope ) is really excellent.

The product sent to me was extremely well packed, the parcel arrived in record time. The Tea ( Margaret's Hope ) is really excellent.
 |  FEBRUARY 16, 2017  |  By: Shivika Anand | Jammu , Jammu And Kashmir, India

Flavorful and authentic aromatic tea!

Flavorful and authentic aromatic tea..!

Flavorful and authentic aromatic tea..!
 |  FEBRUARY 16, 2017  |  By: Rohit Seth | Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Like everything !

Like the Tea collection, good packaging and professional approach.

Like the Tea collection, good packaging and professional approach.
 |  FEBRUARY 11, 2017  |  By: Tula Ghosh | Kolkata, India

Thank you Teabox !

This was for my Mom. She is a regular Darjeeling Tea drinker so wanted to share my experience of the amazing experience and quality of Teabox. She was immensely pleased and happy with the whole...

This was for my Mom. She is a regular Darjeeling Tea drinker so wanted to share my experience of the amazing experience and quality of Teabox. She was immensely pleased and happy with the whole experience and definitely would like to try all types of Darjeeling tea that Teabox has to offer. She has made a special request to order Silver tips. Thank you Teabox for the wonderful experience time and time again!
 |  FEBRUARY 11, 2017  |  By: Shantanu Singh | Dhanbad, India

Excellent product & delivery !

Excellent product. Excellent delivery.

Excellent product. Excellent delivery.
 |  FEBRUARY 11, 2017  |  By: Poulomi Ghosh | Hyderabad, India

Excellent Experience!

Shopping with Teabox is an experience in itself. The smile never leaves from the time I place an order online till the time I receive the order and make myself a cup of tea.

Shopping with Teabox is an experience in itself. The smile never leaves from the time I place an order online till the time I receive the order and make myself a cup of tea.
 |  FEBRUARY 11, 2017  |  By: Sujit Mishra | Gurgaon, India

Loved the packing !

Loved the packing (minimalistic approach), flavour of tea I ordered.

Loved the packing (minimalistic approach), flavour of tea I ordered.
 |  FEBRUARY 11, 2017  |  By: Atanu Banerjee | Kolkata, India

Excellent !

Excellent packaging & thaught

Excellent packaging & thaught
the hindu businessline  |  JANUARY 27, 2017  |  By: Purvitha Chatarjee

INDIAN TEA START-UPS TASTING SUCCESS IN OVERSEAS MARKETS

The funds raised would be used for opening warehouses in the US, its largest market so far. For Vahdam Teas, which has been in the online retail space for three years now, the bulk of...

The funds raised would be used for opening warehouses in the US, its largest market so far. For Vahdam Teas, which has been in the online retail space for three years now, the bulk of revenues continue to come from the 76 overseas markets, instead of India. Ratan Tata-funded Teabox also looks at the US as its largest market having raised $8 million ( Rs. 50 crore) so far and believes it has made history in the tea industry by reaching out its loose premium teas to 100 countries. When it comes to loose premium teas, the young start-ups would rather place their bets on the overseas markets to make money instead of relying on the ‘chai’-drinking domestic market. At the same time stalwarts like Starbucks-owned Teavana and a host of international tea brands are making a beeline into the country in the hope of converting Indian CTC drinkers and trading to superior loose teas. “The premium loose tea category is still not matured in India while the US is an open market for us. India is largely a CTC market but there are players like Teavana who are exploring new markets today. For us, India will always contribute about 10 per cent of our revenues,’’ says Sarda.

While Seattle-based Teavana enters India through the Starbucks stores and hopes to double its tea sales, Indian tea start-ups are wary of tasting success in the domestic market anytime soon. “Today, almost 85 per cent of our revenues come from the overseas market and we do not see this ratio changing in the foreseeable future. Despite India being a tea-drinking nation, it can never be as big as the US market for loose premium teas. In fact we have even managed to convert some of the Teavana drinkers to Teabox in the US,’’ says Kaushal Dugar, Founder and CEO, Teabox. At the same time, these start-ups are willing to give a leg up to the mass Indian brands that want to dabble in the premium loose tea segment. “We expect mass brands from HUL and Tata Global Beverages to become our strategic partners in future if they wanted to enter the premium tea segment and we have held some discussions with some of them,’’ added Sarda. With Ratan Tata as an investor in Teabox, it may be a matter of time before Teabox gives inputs to Tata Global Beverages to upgrade its portfolio into the super premium end of the loose tea market. “Ratan Tata is already the owner of the largest tea company in India and we would be keen to have some of the corporates approach us as we make quality single estate tea blends and are even more premium than Teavana in the US,’’ added Dugar. .

the telegraph  |  JANUARY 12, 2017  |  By: Roopak Goswami

TEABOX TROTS HALF THE GLOBE

The company has delivered tea to 109 countries in the world, including countries like Kiribati, Isle of Man and Siberia, to name a few. There are 233 countries in the world. "We have delivered tea...

The company has delivered tea to 109 countries in the world, including countries like Kiribati, Isle of Man and Siberia, to name a few. There are 233 countries in the world. "We have delivered tea to practically half the countries in the world and plan to reach the rest in the next two years. Our aim is to make Indian teas available to people across the globe. In the history of the tea industry, Teabox is the only company to have reached more than 100 countries in four years." Kaushal Dugar, the founder and CEO of Teabox, told The Telegraph. He said the next destinations are Africa and Latin America. #Within four years of its existence, Teabox has delivered over 40 million cups of tea to customers in over 100 countries. The company, now rated as one of the hottest start-ups in the food-tech category, sources tea directly from plantations in Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris and vacuum packs the leaves within 48 hours of sourcing. It delivers tea to various destinations within three to five days.

Dugar said they have also delivered tea to a country like Kiribati. Pronounced Kiribas, it is an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, located in the central Pacific Ocean, about 4,000km southwest of Hawaii. "We had to search Google for Kiribati after a customer ordered for tea from our company. We then found out how to deliver tea directly to the country and did it successfully. The tea was delivered in 8-9 days," he said. The customer, Shantwanea King, had ordered a subscription box comprising Darjeeling black teas and green teas. The subscription programme empowers tea drinkers to choose the kind of tea they would enjoy. Some of the other teas which were despatched ranged from Earl Grey tea to Siberia, iced tea and blended tea to Peru, Assam black teas to Latvia and Kahwa to a customer in the Isle of Man. Kahwa is a traditional green tea prepared with exotic spices. Earl Grey tea is a tea blend flavoured with oil of bergamot. Dugar said the company was started with a vision that every cup of tea sold would be the freshest cup . "That vision has now become a reality thanks to our customers, who, like us, seized the opportunity to enjoy the world's freshest teas. We look forward to delighting customers all around the globe with more innovation," he said. Teabox reached this feat through word of mouth, and digital and social marketing, the company said in a release issued here, adds PTI. "I am very proud to have added this milestone to our list of achievements. We continue to innovate and recently introduced the world's first natural nitrogen flush tea bag so that every cup is fresh," Dugar added. .

business world 2017  |  JANUARY 11, 2017  |  By: BW online bureau

TEABOX IS THE FIRST INDIAN GLOBAL BRAND TO BRING TO 100 COUNTRIES THE WORLD’S FRESHEST TEA

Teabox is currently creating a market for Indian tea across the globe, including countries such as USA, Russia, Kiribati, Siberia, Federated states of Micronesia, Chile, Argentina, Fiji and Ural Mountains (Siberia). Commenting on the same...

Teabox is currently creating a market for Indian tea across the globe, including countries such as USA, Russia, Kiribati, Siberia, Federated states of Micronesia, Chile, Argentina, Fiji and Ural Mountains (Siberia). Commenting on the same Kaushal Dugar, Founder and CEO, said "My team and I are very proud to have added this milestone to our list of achievements. I started Teabox with a vision that every cup of tea sold, will be the freshest cup of tea out there. That vision has come to life, thanks to our customers, who, like us, seized the opportunity to enjoy the world’s freshest teas from Teabox. We continue to bring innovation and recently introduced the world’s first natural nitrogen flush tea bag so that every cup is fresh. We look forward to always delighting customers all around the globe with more innovation, so they may enjoy the most delicious fresh teas from India."

Teabox has always been obsessively focussed on being able to deliver an un-matchable experience to our consumers. In fact, one of the investors, Robert Bass of Keystone Group LP, first discovered Teabox as a tea drinker. He is a devout tea drinker and he loved the product so much that he went on to participate in the first round of investment. Another Teabox customer Cameron Jones, a Singapore-based Angel Investor and Tea Connoisseur was impressed by the freshness of the tea sold by Teabox and went ahead also invested into the company last year. There could not have been a bigger testament to the quality of Teabox’s products. Teabox is disrupting the $40 billion tea industry with its innovations in technology and the supply chain. Rated as one of the hottest start-ups in the food-tech category, it sources teas directly from plantations in Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris and vacuum packs the leaves often within 48 hours of sourcing. By shipping directly from the processing warehouses to customers in over 100 countries within three to five days it ensures every customer has the freshest tea possible. .

business world  |  JANUARY 11, 2017  |  By: BW online bureau

TEABOX IS THE FIRST INDIAN GLOBAL BRAND TO BRING TO 100 COUNTRIES THE WORLD’S FRESHEST TEA

Teabox is currently creating a market for Indian tea across the globe, including countries such as USA, Russia, Kiribati, Siberia, Federated states of Micronesia, Chile, Argentina, Fiji and Ural Mountains (Siberia). Commenting on the same...

Teabox is currently creating a market for Indian tea across the globe, including countries such as USA, Russia, Kiribati, Siberia, Federated states of Micronesia, Chile, Argentina, Fiji and Ural Mountains (Siberia). Commenting on the same Kaushal Dugar, Founder and CEO, said "My team and I are very proud to have added this milestone to our list of achievements. I started Teabox with a vision that every cup of tea sold, will be the freshest cup of tea out there. That vision has come to life, thanks to our customers, who, like us, seized the opportunity to enjoy the world’s freshest teas from Teabox. We continue to bring innovation and recently introduced the world’s first natural nitrogen flush tea bag so that every cup is fresh. We look forward to always delighting customers all around the globe with more innovation, so they may enjoy the most delicious fresh teas from India."

Teabox has always been obsessively focussed on being able to deliver an un-matchable experience to our consumers. In fact, one of the investors, Robert Bass of Keystone Group LP, first discovered Teabox as a tea drinker. He is a devout tea drinker and he loved the product so much that he went on to participate in the first round of investment. Another Teabox customer Cameron Jones, a Singapore-based Angel Investor and Tea Connoisseur was impressed by the freshness of the tea sold by Teabox and went ahead also invested into the company last year. There could not have been a bigger testament to the quality of Teabox’s products. Teabox is disrupting the $40 billion tea industry with its innovations in technology and the supply chain. Rated as one of the hottest start-ups in the food-tech category, it sources teas directly from plantations in Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris and vacuum packs the leaves often within 48 hours of sourcing. By shipping directly from the processing warehouses to customers in over 100 countries within three to five days it ensures every customer has the freshest tea possible. .

the economic times  |  JANUARY 02, 2017  |  By: Masoom Gupta

WHEN TEABOX FOUNDER KAUSHAL DUGAR GOT AN ORDER FROM KIRIBATI

The startup ships to over 105 countries globally and sometimes even places that the team hasn’t heard of. "Have you heard of this country called Kiribati? We had to Google it and find out. It’s...

The startup ships to over 105 countries globally and sometimes even places that the team hasn’t heard of. "Have you heard of this country called Kiribati? We had to Google it and find out. It’s just this dot in the middle of the Pacific. Apparently, due to global warming, the country may not even exist in an another 10-15 years," Dugar shared.

Then there was the Federated States of Micronesia. "These two have been the most incredible countries that we’ve shipped to," Dugar added. Though India based, the local market remains at number three for the startup. US and Russia occupy the first two positions respectively. .

tf1  |  DECEMBER 26, 2016  |  By: Andrey Crespe-Mara

FROST, A BLACK TEA OF EXCELLENCE, PICKED IN WINTER

In the Nilgri Mountains, it is harvested by hand after the winter frosts. Like wine, it has its own terroir, its own identity. The result is a subtle sweet and flowery aroma. Rare and delicate,...

In the Nilgri Mountains, it is harvested by hand after the winter frosts. Like wine, it has its own terroir, its own identity. The result is a subtle sweet and flowery aroma. Rare and delicate, it is one of the most expensive teas in the world.

 

entrepreneur  |  DECEMBER 12, 2016  |  By: Sanchari Gupta

#5 MONEY MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Many small business owners are careless in their personal finances and end up paying a heavy price in terms of interest charges when they take a business loan. Often business owners are unaware that their...

Many small business owners are careless in their personal finances and end up paying a heavy price in terms of interest charges when they take a business loan. Often business owners are unaware that their personal credit rating could be a factor when banks review their application for a business loan. Although you are taking out a small business loan, your personal credit record is a reflection of how you will run your business. Lenders will look at your credit score and credit report and would like to see demonstrated repayment discipline in your personal finances as well. A poor personal credit record might result in high interest rates and expensive repayment terms on your business loan.

Spend Less On Capex - Tina Garg, Founder & CEO, Pink Lemonade Most entrepreneurs today spend heavily on Capex; investing in things such as fancy offices at the time of starting out and that is a big no-no. For example, instead of looking for a space in the heart of the city, rent spaces in slightly peripheral areas of the city. Secondly, instead of spending heavily on office furniture and interiors, use something that more plug-n-play -- free desks and chairs, and lighter pieces that you can move around and reposition. Use your design sensibility to make the place look funkier with cost-effective wallarts, installations, or maybe even a bright colored wall. Be A Cautious Spender - Manish Sinha, Founder, Skrilo Spending is easy. Spending on quality growth is not. Ask any start-up and I am confident that the foremost challenge in building a business is the balancing act of nurturing the growth wave and managing the cash burn. The pitfalls are all waiting to trip you over. Keep The Budget Small Initially - Kaushal Dugar, Founder and CEO, Teabox It is very usual for small business owners to waste a lot of their capital, in the starting of their venture. Every new strategy and idea that dwells in the respective market, attracts them and hence wasting of money can happen across. Some of the common issues that float first are - Office space, Marketing, staff, advertising, developing numerous business plans, unnecessary infrastructure and so on. Over the years, every business owner goes through the same and learns through each stage of his growth. Managing Working Capital - Satyam Kumar, CEO and Co-founder, Loantap In my opinion small business owners are not able to factor in efforts of collection (from debtors) and assign a cost to it. This also leads to under-pricing of interest cost (trade interest / discount). Thirdly, managing working capital is crucial. They very often mix personal finance, capital requirement and working capital. This leads to strain on working capital and results into costly purchases or higher delivery. .

the hindu business line  |  DECEMBER 05, 2016  |  By: Metroplus

FOR THE TEATOTALLER

Which is the champagne of teas? Do you know your tea’s terroir...it is almost like wine. Would you like winter-frost white tea? Or tea laced with marigold flowers? Would you rather sip on a summer...

Which is the champagne of teas? Do you know your tea’s terroir...it is almost like wine. Would you like winter-frost white tea? Or tea laced with marigold flowers? Would you rather sip on a summer oolong or an autumn oolong? Or would you rather curl up and breathe in aromas of a jasmine-infused black tea laced with rose petals, cornflower and cardamom? Teabox, a four-year-old startup, has been selling fresh tea — single estate teas, blends, loose leaf teas — about 250 varieties of them from 150 estates in India and Nepal, to over 95 countries. India ranks third among its customers, after the U.S.A. and Russia. “Indians don’t realise that like the fruits and vegetables they buy and eat, even tea has to be fresh! After all, it’s an agricultural product,” is the argument Teabox founder and CEO Kaushal Dugar puts forward. It is also the selling point for Teabox teas. “It takes between six to eight months for teas, once produced, to reach the consumer going through the chain of auctions, wholesaler, retailer. Our tea reaches you in a week from plucking; it is packed within 48 hours,” says Dugar, who divides his time between Siliguri (West Bengal) where their operations are based, and Bengaluru.

He says India figures third on his consumer list because “Our teas require a conversion of palette. Indians, at the end of the day, are chai people. It is only in the last few years that the health factor, and global exposure from travel has pushed Indians to explore other ‘pure’ teas.” He himself drinks chai - milky tea - every morning that he is habituated to, and then a cup of black; but on average he tastes about 20 cups a day at work, and in peak production time, about 200 a day. Having grown up on tea estates because his entire extended family was in the business, Kaushal later studied and worked in Singapore as a corporate finance analyst and strategy consultant at KPMG. But when he wanted to do something different, he found himself returning to what he knew best. “The tea industry in India hasn’t changed much in the last 150 years. There is not a single brand from India that has made it big abroad.” On board their panel are fifth generation tea planters with experience, food technologists from CFTRI, and blending experts. Teabox is one of the few places where you’ll be able to shop by type, region, flavour, collection, flush and season. Teas are sourced from Darjeeling, Assam, Nepal, Nilgiris, Kangra, and the north-eastern states of India. “My family has been in the tea business for 70 years. Their site offers the largest collection of single-estate teas in the world — around 190 — claims Dugar. “On our site we share the name of the estate the tea came from, the date it was plucked, the lot number, certifications, tasting notes, ideal steeping time...” He says estates would rather sell to them than export because they offer a better price and give estates brand visibility. “Some of these estates are over 200 years old and we tell you their stories too.” Nepal is just next to Darjeeling, with the same altitude and weather. It is just that Darjeeling is more famous,” is how he explains why Nepal teas find a prominent place in their collections. “Our consumers are largely tea connoisseurs who’ve been drinking their Assams and Darjeelings for over 40 years, and much like wine connoisseurs, they know what they want,” he says. And for those who don’t, Teabox is now hosting tea appreciation sessions; Bengaluru has seen three such happen. They’ve opened a small retail counter at Cinnamon in Bengaluru. Some of their teas are organic, some are Fairtrade certified as well. These speciality and gourmet teas are now becoming mainstream, he concedes. “We don’t use any artificial flavours. Even the flowers and spices we use in the teas are all natural.” They’ve also been able to identify flavour preferences the world over — lighter fruity and flowery blends work well in Japan, but not in Russia, he points out. Almost 50 per cent of Indians are now hung up on green tea or full-bodied Darjeeling teas. We, predictably, like our tea strong. Of the total tea consumption in the world, almost 90 per cent is in the form of teabags, he says. And this is a region they have innovated in, by creating the TeaPac. “Air is the number one enemy of tea, specially moisture in air. Vacuum sealing teabags would crush the delicate tea leaves so we figured we could nitrogen flush pack it to retain the tea’s freshness.” So each teabag is individually puff-packed like your chips. The teabags themselves are large airy pyramid shaped and made from biodegradable nylon allowing for the leaves room to fully unfurl and give out flavour. Loose teas are priced between Rs. 6,000 a kilo up to Rs. 1.2 lakh. The TeaPacs are sold in boxes of 16 teabags for Rs. 240. Did you know? *All teas come from the same tea plant -- whether it’s black, green, white or oolong tea. The way the leaves are processed is what gives them their character *Most tea plants are referred to as “Chinary” teas because they were initially smuggled into India from China. *Research has ensured that many hybrid varieties have entered the tea space, and these are referred to as “clonal” teas. *The Nilgiris region is famous for its winter teas, Assam for summer teas (summer teas are more astringent), Darjeeling for spring and summer teas (spring teas are more fruity and lighter), and the whole of north-east India offers spring and summer teas. The perfect cuppa... You don’t grab tea. You look forward to it, for a couple of hours at least, says Kaushal Dugar. And here are some tea brewing tips from him -- simple infusion works well for all teas. You can control the temperature and steeping time, so the tea will be of the strength you desire. Step 1: Heat water to desired temperature. Ensure the water isn’t boiling as very high temperatures can easily destroy the delicate notes in the tea. Place the tea leaves in a infuser. Step 2: Pour the hot water over the tea leaves until they are submerged. Step 3: Let it steep for the recommended time. Take care not to over-steep. Step 4: Remove the tea leaves. Pour into a cup and enjoy. You can at this point sweeten your tea with sugar, cream or honey. Or add a dash of lemon juice or mint for that extra flavour. “Try it plain once; you'll be surprised how many layers are there to a cup of tea,” adds Dugar. .