Tea is the one thing that you can start your day with and without which your day is already ruined. From a stable partner of newspapers to a perfect start to a new and fresh morning, tea has become an inseparable part of our lifestyle. Meet Vedika Badlani, a Tea and Travel Blogger who has wholeheartedly taken up the labor to educate others on the various stories, science and traditions surrounding tea. As her Instagram handle aptly describes, she is a “Chai Musafir”, bringing us exceptional tales from all over the country. Her insight and knowledge about all-things tea make us wonder about the origins, the journey and the future of our favorite beverage. We at Storiyaan decided to chit-chat with Vedika over some tea. Find out!
Questions and answers
The idea of tea vlogging is unique. What triggered your interest to work on something so different?
My YouTube journey began with travel and music. But post lockdown I began with makeup as travelling wasn’t an option but the field already had heavy competition and it was too stressful. So, I thought what is it that I would like to share, & that’s when I came across the topic of tea. This area was new and I began my journey with tea vlogging which is a route that isn’t as explored in India.
As you have explored the different tastes of tea, both domestic and international, what are the significant differences you spotted between Indian and International tea that marks the variation?
The important thing to know is that all tea comes from the same plant called Camellia Sinensis. It has two varietals – Camellia Sinensis Sinensis the Chinese variety and Camellia Sinensis Assamica which is the Indian (Assam) varietal. Indian tea leaves are more robust, brisk, and strong flavoured whereas the Chinese varietal has a very smooth and light flavour. Another tea from India is Darjeeling tea which is a part of the Chinese variety, but it still has some differences in essence because of the climate and other processing conditions.
Being a Travel vlogger, what would be your suggestions to those planning to start their travel vlogging channel? What are the rookie mistakes that should be avoided?
Although I am not an established travel blogger, in my journey, I learned that your main focus should not be buying expensive camera or equipment. You should focus more on storytelling, identifying your niche & creating a unique brand to stand out from other travel vloggers. Initially, it might feel weird to shoot in front of people but you’ll get the hang of it with time.
Reduction of tea-bagging is a great goal. What are your ideas about this?
For the sake of our environment, I encourage people to use plastic-free tea bags and whole-leaf tea because the quality is better with essential oils & more flavor. Some people like using tea bags or might be uncomfortable with whole leaf tea. For them, there is an option to use 100% biodegradable tea bags like those sold by the brand Tea Trunk. They can also use stainless steel infusers or reusable unbleached cloth tea bags. Another option is to use teas that instantly dissolve in water.
Can you elaborate a gripping tea story with us that you have got to know from the tea community and that has enthralled you?
Leh & Ladakh is a region famous for butter tea, also known as Gur-Gur chai. I visited a famous monastery which is known for its butter tea. I joined the monks for the morning prayers and for enjoying the goodness of butter tea. It was utterly delicious. Subsequently, we had the pleasure to explore the kitchen and the monks were kind enough to show us the process of making butter tea traditionally.
Paragliding in Pamukkale, Turkey, has been one of the best experiences of your life. What would be some of your advice to those planning to para-glidefor the first time?
One of my best experiences was paragliding when I visited Turkey. My advice would be to trust your pilot and just let go of your fears because he/she would be there with you and follow the instructions. Enjoy and be grateful as not everybody gets to experience and live in this moment.