Last year, two Atlanta doctors, wife and husband Poorvi and Abe Chordia, founded Herbs & Kettles because they want tea drinkers to know this basic truth:
Indian tea is good.
They are right.
Poorvi, who is also an ITMA (International Tea Masters Association) certified tea sommelier, invited us to get “tea drunk” at an Herbs & Kettles tea tasting, Gongfu style. Compared to Western brewing methods, Gongfu tea ceremonies use a gaiwan (pictured above, the cup with lid) to steep larger amounts of tea leaves for less than one minute, in a smaller amount of water, and multiple infusions are encouraged. In Gongfu style, the tea, which Poorvi says should be whole leaves, unfurls a bit more with each steeping, producing a slightly different flavor in every cup. Poorvi also taught us a new way to taste teas to fully discover their flavors (see our reel below).
5 Reasons We Love This Tea Brand
The way Herbs & Kettles approaches the tea business is influenced by Poorvi and Abe’s medical training, support of holistic health practices, love of Indian culture and desire to help Indian tea farmers secure their livelihood.
- Shopping in Herbs & Kettles’ online shop is the perfect way to find your favorite teas. For every tea, you’ll learn all about where it’s grown, when and how it was harvested and made, what it tastes like and how to steep it properly in either Western or Gongu style.
- Only real ingredients — spices and botanicals — are used to flavor their teas.
- They’ll tell you which teas pair with your dominant mind-body type. Herbs & Kettles’ quick Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz will tell you which tea is best for you based on your particular combination of five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) which make up the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).
- This company has heart, and a premium product. Poorvi says, “we don’t treat tea as a commodity,” and views their business practices as an investment in the future of Indian farmers, and delicious specialty Indian teas. They travel to India to personally select teas that are single-origin (all the tea is from one farm) and single-batch (all the tea is from the same season, same date).
- Wildlife conservation is part of their tea business. Every Herbs & Kettles tea is paired with a Chaiwala animal who lives where your tea is grown. In India, a tea seller is called chaiwala. Herbs & Kettles Chaiwala animals tell you about the land, the tea growers, wildlife endangerment issues and tea tips for the tea they represent, and one percent of revenues goes towards conservation of wildlife and their natural habitat in India.
Some of Our New Favorite Teas
Because tea originated in China, many sought-after varieties are produced there to this day, but tea production in India is now centuries old as well. Herbs & Kettles familiarizes you with various tea regions in India, describing what is special about the growing conditions and processing methods of each tea, so you can begin to learn which Indian teas you love best.
We are still exploring the Herbs & Kettles catalogue, but here are some that had us at first sip:
- Nilgiri Green Twirl (Whole Leaf Green Tea)
- Meghalaya Silver Needle (Whole Leaf White Tea)
- Geranium White (Whole Leaf White Tea, Geranium Leaves)
- Assam Smoked Melody (Whole Leaf Black Tea)
- Rose Cardamom Chai (Black Assam, Ginger, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Rose Petals, Black Pepper)
- Naga Khalep Tea (Smoked Wild Tea Aged in Bamboo, an ancient art of tea making by the Naga tribe)
You can find these and more on Herbs & Kettles online. Comment below to let us know if you discover a new favorite!
[Note: This is a sponsored blog post.]