Growing up in India, most of us grew up drinking chai- a robust black tea steeped with flavours of spices. The entry of several niche artisanal tea companies ( including Karma Kettle) between 2015-2020 introduced Indians to a whole new world of teas. Indians were educated, informed, well travelled and realized that tea isn’t just “chai” or “black tea” or “green tea” it is a veritable smorgasbord of whole tea leaves, blends, botanicals, fruits, spices and ingredients that is nothing less than exotic.
Today, we cannot imagine a day spent without savouring any of our specially-blended artisanal teas. Green tea blends help us get through our workouts, iced teas are a treat during summer, herbal teas are a pre-bedtime ritual, and evening chai is a toss-up between sulaimani, masala chai, chilli chai, or nolen gur. So many varieties to tease our taste buds and transform our mood in 10 minutes. This is why we love our tea time rituals and our tea time snacks. What makes these blends interesting us the ingredient present in the blend!
Here are 10 unusual ingredients from Karma Kettle’s artisanal range that have played an important role in elevating tea from regular to exquisite :
Korean red ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an overall wellness supplement for centuries. It’s been used to boost the immune system, improve heart health, treat diabetes, increase energy and decrease stress. At Karma Kettle we use it in our asian inspired blend named Imperial Treasure - which combines Taiwanese oolong tea, Korean ginseng, and blue cornflower.
You might know chrysanthemums, as a many-petalled flower found all over the world in garden beds and flower pots. Chrysanthemum blooms range from palest yellow to bright red, with a few varieties in green and purple. Chrysanthemum has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine to treat respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism. Fans of the flower also say it can reduce inflammation and calm your nerves. Karma Kettle’s Double Happiness - tea consists of green tea, jasmine, amaranth, and chrysanthemum flowers.
Kokum, a small cherry-like summer fruit, is red in color and deepens to purple when ripe. It is widely found in the Western Ghat region of India. This is one of the main reasons why they are mostly used in the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and coastal states of Southern India. The fruit is sour with a faintly sweet aroma and is used as a spice. Karma Kettle uses Kokum as a key ingredient to a Malabar inspired blend- Travancore - comprising of black tea with Kokum and Coconut.
Who would have thought that by roasting rice you’d create one of Japan’s most iconic tea blends, Genmaicha green tea! The roasted rice kernels contribute to its nutty and aromatic fragrance and complement the astringency of green tea. Coupled with a toasted rice aroma that is soothing and eases you into a state of relaxation. Karma Kettle uses roasted red and brown rice to it’s signature Japanese inspired blend, Mount Fuji Genmaicha Green tea. Since genmaicha is low in caffeine, it is a perfect tea to drink throughout the day with numerous impressive health benefits in every cup.
Blue pea flower:
Blue pea flower, refers to the flowers of the Clitoria ternatea plant. Common names of this medicinal shrub, indigenous to South East Asia, include butterfly pea, kordofan pea, blue pea, aparajitha and Asian pigeonwings. Blue tea is a popular food trend in recent times, owing to its numerous health benefits such as promoting weight loss, detoxifying the body, pacifying the mind, enriching skin texture and improving hair growth. Karma Kettle uses Blue butterfly pea flower in its signature white tea blend, Nightingale along with jasmine buds, and butterfly pea flower. The striking blue-violet coloured brew is layered with subtle sweet notes and a floral aroma.
Licorice root is a popular herbal remedy that is most commonly used to flavor and sweeten candies and sweet treats. The root is also an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine and has long been consumed as an herbal tea. Karma Kettle uses licorice as a key ingredient to it’s herbal tea Table Mountain, a blend of rooibos, licorice, sage, fennel and vanilla.
We have heard of chocolate milkshakes, chocolate pastries, chocolate sandwiches too, but, chocolate in tea? Yes. Karma Kettle’s Maya is a chocolatey fusion of black tea, chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, coffee beans, and cranberries. This tea can be brewed using one teaspoon with or without milk at 100 degrees Celsius.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has been a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times. Ancient Egyptians used stinging nettle to treat arthritis and lower back pain, while Roman troops rubbed it on themselves to help stay warm. Nettle leaf tea has long had a healthy reputation. It’s been an important part of traditional medicine in several cultures around the world. to improve several health aspects like heart issues, gut health, immunity development, allergy reduction and arthritis pain. Nettle leaf forms an integral part of our herbal tea blend Karakoram - that combines organic lavender flowers, sea buckthorn, and nettle leaf.
The powerful lotus plant has been used in East and Southeast Asian traditional medicine and cuisine for centuries. The lotus has the title of India’s national flower and is a symbol of strength and purity in Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Lotus is also a core ingredient in Moksha, an energizing, organic infusion of organic black tea, lotus petals, organic peppermint, and natural vanilla flavour. The tea tastes best when made using one teaspoon in water at 85 degrees Celsius.
A delicate herbal Green tea comprising green tea, tulsi, ashwagandha, gymnema, and moringa. Devi tastes incredible when brewed right using one teabag in water at 85 degrees Celsius.