Taking tea as a divine gift of life, not just a drink, billionaire Nirmal Sethia, would never have it with milk or sugar and strongly recommends you to follow his track.
Growing up in a well-known business family, he was a rebel child. At the age of 13, he told his father he wanted “to experience poverty” and dropped out of school. That was the beginning of his own path in the world of tea, where he entered as an assistant in a British tea plantation. Later, in 2000 he started out “Newby Tea” in London, that has been growing rapidly to become an international company with offices around Europe, Asia and Middle East, and on the menus of best hotels and restaurants around the world.
With its 5000-year-old culture, tea is much more than just a business for Nirmal Sethia. If you follow the history of tea, it has been always made for the aristocracy and the kings. Inspired by his late wife Chitra, Nirmal Sethia started the collection of tea pots and tea accessories revealing the drinking habits of the original owners. It is valuated at US$200 million and includes pieces dating to 10th century BC, pieces from the Chinese Ming dynasty and the Russian Romanov dynasty. It also shows what powered the hero of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson to victory. There is a small silver teapot, with a wooden handle, ivory finial and long tapering spout, engraved with an ‘N’.
Nirmal Sethia compares tea with a beautiful woman: never to be judged by her appearance, but by her character. All teas look the same, and first you wouldn’t guess whether it’s cheap or $15 million a kilo for. The real value can be discerned only by people who understand the character. To understand the character of a tea, you have to use all of your concentration. The philosophy of Newby is about belief that loose-leaf tea is the key to the fine tea experience. Among about 40 varieties of Newby there are some infusions, or tisanes, which use natural, fresh ingredients to create flavoursome sensation. Tea is a meditation, and as Nirmal Sethia said, “If you can’t afford a good tea, you can’t have a good tea. There is no charity in tea”.
Dubai FashionTV likes to start a morning with a cup of Newby Tea.