“Tea is the second most consumed drink in India after water!” Realising this and born into a 150 year old history in the tea business-from tea plantations, to tea engineering, to tea packaging and exports, ” Atulit and Srinidhi Chokhani decided to share their expertise and love for tea with the world and thus introduced The Tea Shelf – an online tea shop.
“There’s tea, and then there is good tea! So making good tea available to all is what keeps us going. To share our tea experience with the world!,” says Atulit.
The Tea Shelf handpicks teas of different quality tea-producing estates across India (Assam, Darjeeling, Kangra, Nilgiri) and stores them in dehumidified environment before packing them in consumer vacuum packs and delivering them at the client’s doorstep. They are assisted by J Thomas Co (P) Ltd, who have helped even the Indian government to showcase Indian teas worldwide, and are the largest and oldest tea auctioneer of the world. Other than Srinidhi, Atulit and J Thomas Co , The Tea Shelf is also assisted by Om Prakash Chokhani who is a Tea Planter and Tea Expert.
Having launched their online tea store in Jan 31st, 2015, The Tea Shelf believes in supplying only good quality tea to their customers, hence focus on supplying tea only from Premium Tea Growing Gardens of India. India being the largest tea consumer, a recent survey shows that USA and Germany are turning into tea drinking nations, while UK, Russia, Australia and Canada are also large importers of Indian tea. The addressable market could be valued anywhere between 6,000 to 12,000 crs, their target being 1% of the High Grown Market Segment by 2020 (appx a 60 Cr Market).
The Tea Shelf is an idea to make premium loose leaf Indian teas available to all tea drinkers, worldwide; to create an awareness of the taste & quality of tea; to uplift tea from a regular beverage to a coveted drink; to witness a shift from cooking tea to brewing tea.
“There are many companies who sell tea, but very few who sell Fresh Tea, Single Estate (non blended) tea, Loose leaf , Premium Indian Tea. You go to a supermarket to buy some good Indian tea – a White Nilgiri tea or a Black Orthodox Assam, or a Darjeeling First Flush, and it’s not available!And that’s the gap we, at The Tea Shelf, want to fill.” says Srinidhi Chokhani, co-founder of The Tea Shelf.
“The major challenge has been in delivering fresh tea to the consumers. It was essential that all teas sourced are packaged and handled carefully for a customer to drink a cup of fresh tea.This challenge was overcome by storing teas in correct dehumidified environment, having trained staff to know how to handle tea. All the teas are vacuum packed to keep it fresh and fragrant. The next challenge that we face is pricing. But we would like the quality of tea to speak for itself.” adds Srinidhi.
Since their foundation, they are able to reach about 200 customers. In the coming months, the Tea Shelf aims to become the one stop shop for all good things Tea! They have not received any funding yet, but are open to the idea.