Atulit Chokhani

Founder, The Tea Shelf

The Tea Shelf is brought to you by Cha Bazaar- a subsidiary of the JM Group of Companies. The group has been a part of the tea industry for over 150 years now, and is only growing stronger! With a valuable experience in all areas concerning tea, four tea estates in Upper Assam, a tea engineering unit to manufacture tea machinery, to a state of the art blending and packaging unit in Kolkata, and bulk tea wholesaling for the domestic and export market, the organization has an all-around set up in tow.

The brand sources its teas directly from the tea estates of Kangra, Darjeeling, Dooars, Assam, Nilgiri and Munnar thus reducing all delays and hassles. It gives you the freshest of premium, Indian teas right at your doorsteps in no time.

How did the idea of Tea Shelf originate?

Belonging to a family with a 150-year-old history in the tea business that includes tea farming, tea engineering, and tea packaging and exports, I always had the hunch to explore more of the tea industry. With my love for good tea and a passion to share this love of fresh premium teas with co-tea drinkers worldwide, stepping into the digital space came as the next natural step. Ably supported and backed by my wife, Srinidhi Chokhani, an avid tea lover herself, the concept of an online tea store, The Tea Shelf, came to fruition in April 2015.

The Tea Shelf is any tea lovers’ paradise, How do you source the best flavours for them?

We source handpicked teas from across India (particularly Assam, Darjeeling, Kangra, and Nilgiris) in selected quantities to make sure only the freshest teas reach the consumer. Our exotic hand blended teas are a creative mix of natural infusions with quality teas. Only the freshest of ingredients, flowers, herbs, spices and whole leaf garden fresh teas go in making our blends. We do not use any artificial flavours or oils. We have tea experts and tea tasters in our team with vast experiences with tea and their participation is instrumental in bringing you the best!

Tell us more about “Beat The Heat” collection

Our “Beat The Heat” collection features a refreshing range of exotic blends like, Lemongrass Ginger Tea, Zesty lemon Tea, Hibiscus Cinnamon Tea, and English Breakfast High Grown Tea. Each of these tea has a taste, speciality and benefit of its own and has been curated keeping in mind the varying taste buds of tea lovers especially during the Indian summer. The collection of teas, all infused with the natural ingredients, flowers, herbs and spices will give you a reason to stay hydrated in the most delicious and healthy manner.

What are the marketing plans for summer and then monsoon?

As you would know tea is a seasonal produce and each season brings a special variety. We are introducing the most awaited Darjeeling First Flush Teas in the coming week. We will be running a promotional offer of 1Rs/1gm for Assam CTC tea to celebrate Assam’s second flush produce. We are also curating new flavoured blends every season. Our newest addition to the Beat the Heat collection, Mint Black Tea, will be available on our shelves from next week. During the monsoons we plan to have exciting offers on our chai blends to celebrate the bond between rain and a hot cup of chai.

As you obviously know tea quite well, what flavours would you recommend to unseasoned tea drinkers?

Well, there are no unseasoned tea drinkers really, but only tea drinkers with different tastes and preferences. For the good ol’ chai lovers we recommend our Fennel Turmeric Chai Tea and Chilli Chai. These blends pack the strength of Assam CTC with the wholesome goodness of spices. For the experimental drinkers, the Darjeeling Moonlight and Golden Twirl Oolong should definitely be the pick of the season.

And finally, which one is your favourite and why?

We love our all our teas so it is difficult to pick one, but we are partial towards our in-house Chamomile Green Tea blend. It is the hottest selling blend for a subtle green tea lover. The Virgin Green Tea and The Silver Needles White Tea are some of our other favourites.