The maharajas and maharanis of India are admired for their unparalleled opulence and sophistication. As erstwhile rulers, they played an imperative role in shaping the ethos of Indian art and living, of which tea was an inseparable part. Evening tea was a daily fixture in the royal courts: kings and queens settled into aaram-kursis each evening, tables were decorated with heirloom silverware, and accompanied by an array of saffron-dipped sweets. Light reflects off the palatial walls as the sun disappeared over Lake Pichola. Loyal attendants poured Darjeeling’s first flush. In an hour’s tête-à-tête, an ethereal fragrance filled the air. Discussions of art and politics began to flow, and so did refills of tea. Though the British were the first to introduce tea to India, the royal courts stood witness to its rapid cultivation and the patronage of tea culture.
Indian tea culture has drastically transformed with the demands of modern lifestyle. Just a few generations ago, locals prided themselves on moments of chai unmarred by the busyness of today. In the age of looming responsibilities, one of the most quintessential Indian pastimes is losing its luster marking our descent into the mire of convenience. The simplest and most significant explanation for this: tea, as we know it, has a dated image and lives on only amongst the graying. It’s time for a contemporary perspective on an age-old tradition.
Discard any thoughts of yet another tea house serving an imitative and conventional afternoon fare in the name of India’s terroirs. Rather, Ashmit uses his experiences and travels throughout the country to reinvent the way we understand and appreciate tea through a cross-pollination of Indian flare with Western technique. As a patron of modernization, much like the maharajas of India, our tea aficionado feeds a longing to see the traditional as twisted. Each tea is carefully handcrafted using time-honoured flavours, ingredients, and concepts of heritage with an air of refinement. Together with ceramic proposals that show a mastery in material and form, Ahista Tea serves you as a modern institution in the world of fine tea.