Elizabeth Yambem quit a posh financial job in London to create incredible tea blends at Mani-Edexlive

Child, every time Elizabeth yambem had the curious case of sniffles, all she had to do was pluck a handful of Nong-mang-kha leaves growing in abundance around her hometown Imphal and deliver them to her mother. Darling mum would continue to boil said leaves in water for full steam inhalation therapy. Then there was the cryptically lemony sumac berry, known locally as Hei-mang, a bunch of which rested delicately in the palm of his hand before being soaked overnight to extract the flavor. In the morning, the infused water would become the perfect antidote for indigestion or even serve as a simple detox serving.

Elizabeth yambem

Even as a financial analyst in London, these memories drew her home, night and day. In 2016, Eli, as she is affectionately known, gave in and returned home to begin the long process of creating her own start-up – Living, which makes thoughtful tea blends with local treasures.

The team

Mix it up like Liz
Several orders, three coffees and many beautiful blends later, Eli starts again. Letting her tasty childhood memories guide her to the best tea combinations ever. Bearing in mind the need to boost immunity, last month the 31-year-old launched ginger and turmeric tea with star anise (that star-like spice that typically features in the biryani). India is no stranger to the advantages of this winning trifecta. Eli lists for us: “Turmeric and ginger grow here in abundance. They are packed with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Since turmeric has a very strong taste, we deviated from the usual way of processing it so that it tastes different. atmosphere while retaining its aromatic and slightly spicy essence. It’s a great early morning sip. “

Turmeric treatment

It’s cold here
Two of Dweller’s limited edition teas are also back from last year: Hog Plum with King Chilli and Raw mango Mint. How exotic does that sound? If the names are so charming, imagine how delicious the mixes themselves can be. Pork plum is mildly tangy, astringent even, but when combined with a pinch of royal chili, Manipur’s famous ghost pepper, plus a hint of wild turmeric and you get a drink that is both hot and heady. We also like the sound of raw mango and mint tea. Seems like the lockdown has been an iterative period for Eli. “Indeed, we had a lot of time for R&D, which is why last year, we launched limited edition teas. This year, we are launching the same flavors but with an improved taste”, explains the youngster who has pursued her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. from the University of Warwick, UK.

Harvesting of local products

This intimate feeling
Intrinsically and somewhat mysteriously, Eli always knew that she would one day come home and use the strength of all that is local in Jewel Land, as people call Manipur, and start her own business. “Being a big tea lover, I knew I couldn’t make the same black or green tea. I had to do something hyper local. The stories of using local herbs and native fruits have always stuck with me and I started working to bring them out, ”Eli says.

Fruity Roselle olive tea

Eli stayed in Guwahati for over a year to savor and make sense of different teas. She worked hard with the food processing experts from the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, conducted various experiments and it was not until June 2017 that Dweller was launched. Refreshing sumac berry tea and fruity Roselle olive tea were among the first unique teas she came up with, which required an acquired taste, along with the more popular citronella and her own variety of green tea. , called sweet green tea. “Usually green tea is bitter and harsh and I wanted to understand why. I found that tea that grows in high ranges usually matures slowly and the flavors are much more delicate. I believe that green tea is very good quality is supposed to be soft, ”she explains.

Work through the worst
Dweller employs 23 people in its manufacturing unit, which currently only allows five at a time due to COVID standards. Some of them have been with Eli from the start and are like his family. And with a growing clientele serving as extended family, it seems they all savor whatever comes out of the locals together.

To learn more about them, see dwellerteas.com

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