30 July, 2021

Tea Leaves Backwards

A peek into the world’s most rare collection of tea artefacts

2012 Elephant teapot
Courtesy: Newbyteas Chitra Collection
Tea Leaves Backwards

The British love a cuppa, the Ind­ians love their nukkad chai and the Chinese are credited for having brewed the beverage for the first time ever. Encapsulating the centuries-old culture of tea is a collection created by NRI businessman Nirmal Sethia. The Chitra Collection, as it is called, is the world’s largest collection of tea artefacts.

Germany C.1750 This ornate teapot is made of  bloodstone decorated in gold


This ornate teapot is made of  bloodstone decorated in gold

It was a personal tragedy that sparked the idea. Nirmal’s wife, Chitra, passed away in 2010, leaving him heart-broken. And from there was born what is now a $100-150 million-worth collection. “It is an expression of gratitude to my late wife, who strongly believed that I’m the one who will be able to constructively contribute to the culture and history of tea, which is fast dying at the hands of commercialised...

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