Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Tea India Notes

Posted on | April 2, 2013 | Comments

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Plucking tea leaves in India

Plucking tea leaves in India

Tea from India

Did you know that the biggest buyer of tea from India is Russia? And the second largest buy of tea from India is Kazakhstan? Kazakhstan has a market size of 24 million kilograms per annum, and India meets almost half of this demand. During a visit by the Tea Board of India, major Indian tea exporters and importers will put up an exhibition and hold a tea-tasting session for the general public during the visit.

The exhibition and tea tasting program at Almaty, the country’s largest city, is christened “Day of India Tea in Kazakhstan” and it is coinciding with the Nowruz Festival there, marking the beginning of the Persian New Year.

From India, major exporters such as Premier Tea, JV Gokal, McLeod Russel, B K Birla Group and Harrison Malaylam will be part of the delegation.

Tea Tasting in Kenya

For someone who is accustomed to rows of tasting cups, backward aspiration, slurping sounds and slop bowls, it is somewhat disconcerting to learn there is a tea tasting machine with an electronic tongue.  That’s right! According to Dominic Wandati,

All this is now changing. The Kenya Tea Development Authority, KTDA, has sought the services of Surajit Ghose, a renowned international scientist on tea matters with the Tea Board of India, who has catapulted Indian tea to the global market in record time thanks to technology in tea leaf sampling.

According to Ghose, tea quality varies as crop grows new leafs and that change had not been controlled or anticipated, since those manning processing plants relied exclusively on one system of tea testing. The use of technology has been embraced by global tea producing countries keen on embracing quality and precision. For example when Chinese researchers used an electronic tongue to test five different types of green tea, they found that it could “discriminate all of the samples very well”.

Moreover, the situation becomes complicated because the composition and character of a leaf shoot varies widely from the tip of the bud to the toe of the shoot, which necessitates the need for precise sampling technology.

And in partnership with KTDA, Ghose has now introduced a tea-sampling instrument in Kericho. The equipment, which features an electronic tongue filled with sensors, analyses the flavor compounds present in tea by specifically measuring the concentration of a class of compounds in tea called theaflavins, which contribute to the astringency and brightness of tea.

I wonder if they add milk first or milk last?


About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.