The Starbucks of Tea (or may be Café coffee day)

Coffee drinking seems to be the in-thing today. Almost every other person out there can tell you the various flavors and the differences between each of them – latté, mocha, irish, cuban – the countries are endless. The old days of the road-side coffee-waala are gone. Either it is mom’s filter coffee, yeah, the old Green Label (there must be a healthy consumption of the filter coffee in most Indian households, or atleast the south-Indian households) or the coffee that the vending machines at work churn out endlessly. Its no secret that most people down the vending machine coffee out of sheer no choice. Even though I can’t call myself a coffee addict (I know people who are !), but I do enjoy a well made hot cuppa. The ill-effects of coffee, somehow are lost in the dinge of issues, deadlines, late night working, and pure simple – lets take a break yaar. Coffee, I think, has become a FMCG. It is branded, packaged and delivered in various forms to appeal the customer base. The customer base, I guess includes everyone in the age group of 16-60 (the others can’t have coffee for other reasons !). But, amongst this huge branding of coffee, I wonder, where has the venerable chai gone ? Is tea drinking passé now ? Why aren’t there any tea-shops (does it give you the same effect of mentioning a coffee-shop ?). The Indian north-east does produce a healthy amount of tea, but why is it that there isn’t the kind of push that coffee gets. It is of common knowledge that coffee was a predominantly south-indian drink. Most of the north-india prefered tea (I don’t know the reason for this split). Why is it that the existence of such a large consumer base never prompted anyone to start a tea-shop ?
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Digital camera review for INR 10k

I started thinking of getting a decent digital camera for myself. I am an unabashed beginner into the world of photography and digital photography in general. Most of my earlier stints with cameras have been with the traditional variety, and generally point and shoot digital cameras. That said, I think I have a decent eye to somehow capture the right moment with the right environ. This is not a self-styled compliment, but something that I have heard from others. I have a baseline of the features that I am looking for in the camera that I want to buy. Also, I am using DP Review as my reference point. Might help if I stick to one place and find the features and then find the review of the sifted cameras. Ok, onto the features I am looking for:

  • Point and shoot – I am a beginner, and auto modes will be helpful initially. Also, this might give me a good measure into how serious I want to get about shooting pictures
  • <350 USD. Price is an important factor, as I really don’t have deep pockets
  • >6.0 effective MegaPixels. I have seen the pictures from a 5MP camera, and I have decided that I want atleast a 7.0 MP camera. And yes, I do understand that the image size is not the entire thing in getting a rich image.
  • A model that was released in the last one year. This is to avoid any discontinuation problems, for atleast 1-2 years
  • Preferably from Sony/Canon/Minolta/Olympus. I personally like Canon, but I have seen good image quality from Sony too
  • International warranty – I might be getting the camera from outside India, so this will be very much a desired quality

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