Admit it or not, many of us are compulsive tea drinkers who love to start our day with a cup of piping hot cup. The humble tea has evolved to take on modern avatars — one of which is the very popular iced tea. Now, here comes a bottled tea that claims to be India’s first and only real-brewed bottled tea with 50-70 per cent lesser sugar content than most carbonated and juice-based drinks. It also doesn’t contain any preservatives, chemicals or artificial ingredients. Yes, Brewhouse Ice Teas, a brainchild of Siddharth Jain, offers these benefits.
Siddharth is an avid tea lover himself. The need for healthier and natural beverage products combined with his own passion for tea led him to develop India’s first real-brewed bottled ice tea. An alumnus of IIM-Calcutta and Delhi University and a banker who worked in Singapore for over six years, his love for tea had him coming back to India to launch his beverage venture.
“I have been passionate about tea since a young age and therefore the idea of building a business around tea got me really excited while I was in Singapore. I thought there were several gaps around the consumption choices available in the market, whether it’s for prepared tea or tea leaves. At the same time, evolving consumer habits were creating new opportunities for presenting tea in ways that hadn’t been done or weren’t possible before,” he states. Siddharth then did his research. “I looked at various options such as chai bars, tearooms and tea vending machines, but eventually settled on bottled iced tea because people are looking to move to healthier beverages. I believe that iced tea is one of the most natural and obvious options that people are beginning to accept in India as a cold beverage,” he explains.
There is a certain curiosity regarding the meaning of the word real brewed. Siddharth says, “Real-brewed means that we do not use tea powder, but use freshly brewed tea, which we brew in our bottling plant using whole-leaf, organic tea leaves. This gives you a natural, real taste of tea, which is refreshing and relaxing unlike artificial tea flavours and aromas used by traditional bottled tea brands.” The health aspect has not been overlooked and the real brewed tea has a lower sugar level than most bottled beverage brands, by approximately 40-70 per cent. “That’s also made possible by using natural, real-brewed tea as there are no off-notes to hide, but only great tasting tea to highlight. And there are no colours or chemical preservatives,” he emphasises.
While the tea business keeps him on his toes, he does find time to unwind. “Tea keeps me unwound at work,” he quips. “I have two young boys who are 6 and 4 who are the real work.”
The work-life balance is important to Siddharth, who occasionally works from home in the evenings and in the mornings so that he gets to spend more time with family in between work. “Saturday evenings and Sundays are usually free from work, so there’s a healthy balance,” he adds.
Holidays are also part of the balance. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken a few holidays in the hills in the North as they are a short distance from Delhi. So, it’s possible to make short trips with family. We’ve really come to be fond of the peace and tranquility the hills provide.” The family has also been to quite a few tea gardens in the hills. He recalls, “A memorable recent trip was to Bir Billing. I realised that I can learn paragliding and I really want to do it. If I can do that this year, it would be fantastic.”
So, what is his favourite tea? “A good whole-leaf Assam black,” he replies.