Kamini Patel, Kitchen Therapy, #fromthecornertable, #kitchentherapy

Finding Therapy in Pots and Pans

I was all of 18 when I marked the first international trip of my life. It was with the elder sister Raka, and we flew to Bangkok where she was pursuing a Masters’ degree. We stayed in her boarding room, part of a two-room unit with a shared bathroom and kitchenette. My first memory of that trip – other than…

Capturing Food in Art Frames

One of my biggest concerns, when the blog was taking off five months ago, was photographs. I could manage the touristy/birthday photos with my little camera. But I needed better. While I was struggling with these issues and hoping I could get the blog rolling on time, someone told me that an “awesome” photographer was about to conduct a food styling…

Tea time tête-à-tête

This is the tale of a young princess, a little packet, a treasure chest and a childhood dream of unravelling tales stored in a trunk.

This is the tale of the princess who turned her passion and love for the little packet into a lucrative business.

This is the tale of Snigdha Manchanda, corporate slave-turned-tea sommelier and teapreneur, who is among the handful of people working to guide a nation of chai lovers towards understanding their teas better.

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while might remember my post ‘Tale of three teas’ when I had attempted three tea recipes. I’ve come a long way since. While my love for coffee remains unparalleled, I am now learning to appreciate tea. More after a visit to a tea estate in Munnar, Kerala, and a fun meet-and-greet session with Snigdha in Ahmedabad.

Snigdha’s is not a rags-to-riches story nor is it a saga of a battle-against-evils. Her story is more of a journey that started when her father gifted the young Snigdha his old trunk and a packet of tea that she stored in her precious trunk. This tea packet was joined by several others from across the globe – at one point she owned 100 types of tea – fanning her love for tea. A sabbatical from work, an interest in tea translating into training at a school in Sri Lanka led to Snigdha becoming India’s youngest tea sommelier in 2012.

Since then, through her passion and persistence, the now 33-year-old has shattered the ‘rules’ of the tea industry where, unlike her male counterparts, she has had to prove her ability and efficiency time and again. After all, one does not become a trendsetter with a company like Tea Trunk that curates ‘the finest teas of India and craft them into unique blends with all-natural ingredients without shooting down the odds.

Excerpts from a chat over chai with Snigdha Manchanda, tea sommelier and owner of Tea Trunk

Bansari Pandey | Copyright Image | From The Corner Table

Painting Stories in a New Language

One of my resolutions for 2018 is to get a better grip on my mother tongue, Bengali. While I can converse in the language, I cannot read or write in it and that creates a feeling of disconnect. There is also a lot of literature in Bengali that I am missing out on and the bookworm in me bemoans that.…

The Inspiration next door #fromthecornertable

The Inspiration Next Door

At the New Year party 10 days ago, a bunch of us decided to warm up with a game titled “Looking Back”. Emotions ran high, albeit in a good way, and the room echoed with laughter and good-natured ribbing as we answered fun questions like: “Best song of the year”“Hardest you laughed last year”“Worst video of the year”“Most embarrassing moment”…

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