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One booth at Gift Fair was dispensing cups of a Himalayan tea. Chicago-based Ineeka Inc., owned by Shashank Goel and his wife Sumita. Ineeka makes Trelleela Tea which uses an innovative tea bag pouch designed by Shashank.

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As Goel explains, “I’d been wanting to do a retail brand for a long time, but I didn’t want to do loose tea—I knew Americans were still convenience focused. I didn’t want to do a tea bag, because a tea bag—you only put junk tea in there.” Serious drinkers shun tea bags, which are filled with broken leaves and tea dust. In the year before he started Ineeka, Goel worked on what he calls the Brew Taché: a large bag that opens and stretches over the sides of a cup, giving the leaves inside almost as much room to expand as in a teapot. “Good tea is like a good wine,” he says, pointing to the bag in the cup he’s just poured hot water into. “You need it to unfurl completely. In a closed tea bag you can never put that huge leaf in there, so you don’t get the top notes.” In teaspeak, that’s the initial taste or foreground.

Chicago Reader, July 2006

(more to read & one more photo after the jump)


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The design for the intriguing tin packaging is by co-owner Sumita Goel, a graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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