‘The first half of my life was steeped in tea’, Ananda laughs, recalling his years spent on the family estates in India. He grew up thinking, drinking and living tea with a passion that sharpened during his stint at Caritt Moran, the world-renowned house of tea. But a transformation of traditional perspectives happened while he was pursuing his graduate studies at Cornell.
Cornell sat at the centre of a wine region fast riveting national attention. And it was a wine tasting course he took that made him start rethinking his tea. ‘I would sit for hours studying grapes, climate, terrain, wine history… and wonder why, with so many close parallels, we couldn’t define the exquisiteness of estate teas in the same way.’
After graduating, Ananda went into the investment business and became a CFA charter holder, before realizing that this was a world too far removed from his true calling. ‘People are now starting to become aware of tea, its rich traditions and the wealth of taste experiences and lifestyle benefits that it offers. The time seems right to reconnect with myself… and to pick up the tea trails of my earlier years.’