Ineeka has created a magnificent fusion of loose tea in a disposable “infuser bag.” Photo of tea cup by Pakize Öztürk
Updated February 2007
Ineeka Teas: Exotic Tea Blends
Organic Tea Blends from the Mountaintops of India
OVERVIEW: Whole-leaf organic teas from family estates in northeast India, Ineeka’s delicate blends are innovatively packaged in infusers. Since the line’s initial debut in 2005, Ineeka continues to add interesting tea flavors. Spearmint Lavender, an herbal tea, won Best Beverage at the 2006 Fancy Food Show.
Nurtured by fresh mountain air and mineral-rich spring water, Ineeka teas are grown high in the pristine Himalayas of northeast India, in Darjeeling and Assam, on 12,000 acres of prime growing land—the best tea growing region in the world. Here the Goel family has been producing tea since 1861, on these particular farms for 50 years. Their high-quality teas have long been sold to luxury companies like Harrods and Mariage Frères, who put market them under their own labels.
The Goel family is now selling their 100% organic, biodynamic and Fair Trade-certified whole-leaf teas directly, packaged in their innovative Brew-Taché™ infusion system—perhaps the best advance in tea-brewing since the invention of the tea bag.
A relevant point of digression: the original tea bags were created by a New York tea merchant in 1906 as a less expensive alternative to tins, which were then used to send loose tea samples to clients. He had tea samples stitched into silk bags, and when they arrived in buyers’ offices they were an instant hit—people loved making their tea with the “tea bags.” While bags conveniently eliminated the mess of loose wet tea leaves, they also enabled lesser manufacturers to easily package “dust” and “fannings,” broken bits and pieces of leaves which release more bitter tannins. This led to many decades of the tea bag’s reputation as a repository of inferior tea. More recently, the increased growth of the gourmet tea market coupled with consumer demand for convenience have led to a renaissance of the “gourmet” tea bag.
Brew-Taché™, shown in the photo above left, is a disposable tea infuser that arrives looking like a jumbo flat tea bag with handles. Inside is the pouch is the finest large-leaf tea—the same tea you’d find in a tin of premium loose tea, except that it’s neatly sealed. You tear off a perforated strip at the top of the pouch, rest a paper handle on each side of the cup, and pour the water over the leaves. Infuse and remove: it’s that simple.
So, what makes Brew-Taché™ better than buying a premium “closed” tea bag from one of several gourmet tea suppliers?
- First, this is top quality tea, artisanally-produced by a family who signs their name to it. Ineeka is the only gourmet tea company that owns its own tea estates. Most tea is produced anonymously, sold at auction or bought by distributors who purchase scores or hundreds of of teas from different producers in different countries. Here, the Goel family is selling you its teas directly—no middlemen, no auction houses, no co-packers, no distributors.
- The premium whole-leaf tea in the Brew-Taché™ is pre-measured, so you don’t use too much or too little.
- Tea lovers still have the “loose tea experience” of watching their leaves unfurl completely and enjoying the beauty of the leaves—with no need for a teapot, strainer, or messy clean-up.
- Ineeka is 100% organic tea. Foods produced organically, without pesticides and other chemicals, are increasingly important to many people.
- Ineeka is Fair Trade-certified. Fair-Trade certification means that workers have a better standard of living: higher than average wages, better housing, electricity, and schooling for their children. The wage level is high enough so that children are not required to work instead of going to school. (The Ineeka plantations support 25,000 people.) Beyond meeting Fair Trade standards, Ineeka offers bonuses and medical facilities. Even if you don’t spend your time thinking about where your food comes from, its nice to know when it does come form a socially responsible producer.
- Ineeka also practices biodynamic agriculture, which means they are environmentally responsible as well.
The Brew-Taché™ infusers are packaged 14 to a canister; the canisters are handsome matte silvery rectangles with rounded corners that are 3-1/2" wide by 2-7/8" deep by 4" high—and were a package design finalist at the 2006 NASFT awards. They can be re-purposed to hold loose teas, tea bags, and to organize any number of items in any room of the house.
The tea selection includes black tea, green tea, white tea and herbal tea. The black and green teas use only the tender first two leaves of the plant and the young bud—the most flavorful, aromatic and nutrient-rich parts of the tea plant. These teas have no bitterness or astringency.
|Ineeka teas in Himalayan Green, Himalayan Black, Green Osmanthus, and Ma-Chai.
|Darjeeling, Mint, and Chamomile tea.
- Chamomile Balance: For millennia, mankind has turned to the calming and relaxing chamomile flower to soothe body and soul. Beautiful to look at, these gentle whole flowers brew a cup of tea that is both restful and renewing, and 100% caffeine-free.
- Darjeeling~Elevation: A black tea often described as having a muscatel flavor, this Darjeeling has a silky roundness with a naturally fruity overtone. This blend has added organic calendula petals for beauty, and to provide a hint of added sweetness. Fair Trade Certified.
- Green Limon~Ingenuity: Green tea scented with lemongrass: exotic, different and very special.
- Green Osmanthus: Green tea subtly scented with the sweet aroma of Osmanthus blossoms—a Chinese flower used in some of the world’s most famous fragrances. Osmanthus lends tangy fruity-peachy undertones.
- Hibiscus Ginger Orange~Captivation: A red-toned herbal infusion of hibiscus accented with sweet orange and spicy ginger.
- Himalayan Green~Artistry: A rich, pure green producing a honey-like sweetness on the palate and finish. Fair Trade Certified.
- Himalayan Black~Intensity: Lively, brisk, bright and fresh. Fair Trade Certified.
- Ma-Chai~Insight: A black tea blend of Assam tea and organic warming spices—ginger, cardamom, clove, black pepper, and saffron, with organic rose petals that create a beautiful composition. This recipe has been carried down through generations of the Goel family, and is a chai lover’s delight. Fair Trade Certified.
- Mint: Organic herbal peppermint tea that is 100% caffeine-free, the mint leaves are a natural digestive. Even in its hot brewed form, the tea is cool and refreshing (hot mint tea is the beverage of choice in the desert climates of Africa and the Middle East).
- Spearmint Lavender~Charm: The award-winning herbal combination of mint and lavender blossoms.
- White Limon~Flourish: Ineeka’s first white tea is delicately accented with lemongrass
Because Ineeka packages and sells its teas directly—not through middlemen—the price is amazingly low: in the $10 range for what would sell at two or three times the price if it were traded through the regular tea distribution channels. It is a meaningful gift for the tea lover. One box is a nice stocking stuffer or host and hostess gift; and the full set of seven is a generous gift of tea and tranquility.
Ineeka’s tag line is “cultivating consciousness.” Get to know these teas, and you’ll become conscious of what a full line of premium teas tastes like. No milk or sugar need ever be added to these! But add the social conscious component to it, and you will truly enjoy your tranquil cup of exquisite Ineeka tea.
Shipping additional. Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.