Meet our New Project: Tea Studio
For 20 years, our passionate team has been touring Asia in search of the finest teas and objects to offer. Our curiosity and know-how in the field has brought us to open our stores, write various books, build a tea school and open the first bar in Quebec. It is with the same passion that we have worked on a secret project for over two years, a brand new experiment in the industry: Tea Studio.
We are up and running after an epic journey that has taken us from Indi's original vision, through a sea of red tape and bureaucratic obstacles. Mountains of paperwork and swamps of unexpected delay. Our chant throughout has been 'Slowly, slowly catch the monkey! Our patience and resolve seem to have paid off and the Tea Studio is a gleaming example of a new artisanal approach to premium tea manufacture. It draws on many innovative elements of design, technology, environmental and social responsibility. And the tea tastes great!!
What is the Tea Studio?
The Tea Studio Project brings together tea experts from 3 continents. This experimental micro-unit is equipped for a progressive approach to tea manufacture. Designed to cater to the rapidly expanding market for ‘boutique’ style tea with a wide diversity of ‘tailor made’, whole-leaf teas.
Where is it located?
he Nilgiri region is a great source of both clonal and classic seed-grown tea of both Camellia sinensis var.sinensis and Camellia sinensis var.assamica varieties. Plans to grow cultivars from other regions are already on the drawing board.
What makes it unique?
With Chinese tea culture spanning almost 5000 years the Chinese are unquestionably the masters of manually transformed, ‘hand-made’ teas. In recent years the struggle to continue these artisanal practices and the increasing volumes of production make it difficult and expensive to ‘hand roll’ tea. In reaction to this situation a whole range of small, very specialized machines has been developed to mimic the manipulation, rolling, pressing etc. of different styles of finished tea.
The Tea Studio team has selected 28 of these cutting edge Chinese machines for the Tea Studio set-up. This line of machines yields 5 styles of finished leaf. When we add to 5 leaf styles to all the varied levels of oxidation the possibilities are vast. With the guidance of our team of experienced tea planters and tasters it all makes for a very exciting playing field.
The workforce on the shop-floor is a group of women that grew up in tea from the nearby villages:
Our tea maker and supervisor is Vaideghi Kannan, 33 years old and a high school graduate, mother of two. Her family have a couple of small tea holdings nearby and supply the Tea Studio with leaf on a regular basis. She lives in the village.
Chitra is 28 years old. Mother of a 4 year old son. Her family also have small tea holdings nearby and her husband works as the night watchman for the Tea Studio. She also lives in a nearby village.
Pavitra is 21 years old, and recently finished her teachers training course. She still lives with her parents who have a small tea holding. She also lives in a nearby village.
Kalpana is 22 years old, has a B.A. and lives with her parents. Her family have a small tea holding also in the next village.
Discover our first arrivals :
- Tea Studio - Nilgiri Coonoor 01
- Tea Studio - Nilgiri Mao Feng 01
- Tea Studio - Nilgiri Yin Zhen 01
- Tea Studio - Nilgiri BMD 01
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