Amy Dubin is in India representing Indian tea as a guest of the Trade Promotion Council of India because of her passion for Indian tea; specifically, her ability to create culture and teach vocabulary around tea. She will run the Indian Tea lounge, a first of its kind during Indusfood to provide samples & educate global buyers attending the show from around 80 countries on the exquisite flavors of Indian tea.
It was a warm day in Mumbai in 1999 when Amy Dubin had her first cup of Masala Chai. This was not just a cup of tea (it never is), this was revelatory! It started her on a course of developing a curiosity for Indian tea, which is now her professional life's work. Raised on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio without tea as a part of her culture, little did she knew that one day she would emerge as one of North America's strongest advocates for Indian tea. In her early college years, she took a wine course and learned important vocabulary around how to talk about flavor. She went to The Ohio State University and earned a B.A. in Photography and Cinema, imagining she'd like to be a Director one day, but didn't make the connection between food and drink and environmental aesthetics until much later. She moved to New York City in 1996 to work as a Video Editor in an advertising agency, where she learned about mass marketing, family brands, regional cultures and production.
By the time she arrived in India for the first time and more subsequent trips, her curiosity for different teas, flavors and gardens was at a fever pitch. She started doing research online, following tea-related message boards, learned about seasons of tea, geography and ways that people enjoy tea. She dwelled in gardens and factories for months before she realized how she could start bringing Indian tea to American audiences.
So in 2005, Amy opened Janam Tea Shop in downtown Jersey City, selling pure, single-origin, unblended Indian teas. The tea shop was a lively place where one could have three different experiences: a brewed cup of tea to stay, a brewed cup of tea to go and packaged tea to brew at home. In 2016, she partnered with a gorgeous vintage speakeasy called Garfunkel's in New York City's Lower East Side and opened a new version of Janam Tea, which is an Afternoon Tea room and not a shop. Guests are treated to a British-inspired tea service, with sandwiches, scones and sweets with pots of premium, single-estate Indian teas from all across India.
Amy is garden-agnostic, meaning she doesn't represent any garden or brand other than Janam Tea, so she sources what she likes and what she thinks her audience will enjoy.