Sunday, March 24, 2019

Steeping Around

Show Details HostWe’re taking back tea-time and kicking it up a notch while turning up the fun. No sitting around in a stuffy living room sipping from dainty china with pinkies in the air. We don’t mind a bit of dirt and we’re going to take you into the nitty-gritty. What is tea? Why should we drink the stuff? What do we do with it? Manish Shah will be delving deep into the world of tea: introducing you to the people who make it, the people who sell it and those who drink it. Brace yourself – you’ll soon know everything you never knew you wanted to know about tea. You’ll be Steeping Around with Manish Shah.



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Steeping Around – Charitea

Manish's birthday has got him thinking about the things he is thankful for, and among them, for the good that is done within the tea industry for the tea farmers themselves. There is perhaps no better example that Ajiri Tea, a company that we had the pleasure of interviewing at the World Tea Expo last June. Listen as Sara Holby describes the wonderful things that they are doing for employment and education in Kenya. And don't miss the final segment, where Manish and Tere reveal some upcoming changes for Steeping Around.

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Steeping Around with Manish Shah

Manish Shah has unwittingly become one of the joyous voices of the tea industry. His genuine humor and openness are evident his articles, seminars and podcasts. As the owner of Maya Tea, Manish is privileged to have access to many of the world’s finest teas and tea professionals. His 14 years in the business give him keen insight into both the leaf and life that is tea. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and frequently writes for the industry leading publication Fresh Cup magazine. He is a popular speaker at Coffee Fests which are the leading tradeshows for the trade. His newest creative outlet is his weekly radio podcast “Steeping Around” where Manish finally gets to warmly immerse and express himself in “all things tea”.

Manish Shah emigrated to the United States from his native India at the age of two. He spent his early years, as many immigrants did, learning to be an American from the fabulous mélange that is NYC. At the age of 9, his parents purchased a motel in Tucson, Arizona and moved him from the crowded sidewalks of the city to the open (and hot) expanses of the desert. Working in his parents’ motel, Manish got early lessons in the challenges of entrepreneurship. After attending the distinguished University High School in Tucson, he stayed local and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. One feature that was always constant in his life though was the copious consumption of masala chai which was the only thing he knew how to make in the kitchen.

Manish began his first business venture a year after college graduation by opening a marketing and advertising firm with two partners. After the partners went their separate ways, Manish continued to run the advertising firm but longed for something that he felt more deeply connected to. He wanted to create a version of his mother’s beloved chai recipe in tea bags. By 1996, Manish had his first product ready – My Chai teabags ready to be sold at the local farmers’ market. With his constant entrepreneurialism, times have certainly changed for Manish from those early days of a small 4 foot table and samples in hand. Today, Maya Tea, is comprised of a happy family of Manish and 6 employees. Their offering has expanded to over 200 varieties of loose leaf teas, over 50 blends of food service iced tea, 3 amazingly popular flavors of Maya Chai concentrate and 15 brand new blends of wellness focused herbal teas under their newest line Vanaspatea. Manish is blessed to have clients and fans who continue to push his tea knowledge and skills. Maya Tea has wholesale clients in 30 states ranging from coffee shops, coffee roasters, restaurants, hotels, spas and select retailers. Additionally, the company now runs the 3 successful farmers’ markets in the Tucson area. Manish has a passion for his community and its local food traditions. Thanks to the ever creative demand of his two young sons, he takes great pleasure at being much better in the kitchen as well.


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