Tea World

Lesson 30

Another Milestone of Assam Economy-Organic Green Tea

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The small growers in Assam who are making handmade organic teas have found a market to suit their size. Innovative marketing and niche products, such as hand-crafted and limited editions of specialty teas, have shown an edge in the market. There are about 200 small tea growers who are producing organic tea covering about 130 ha of land .The present generation of the Singphos of Assam have succeeded in popularizing the original method of tea preparation to some extent. They make tea coins of organic tea (a mixture of oolong and green tea) which has some similarity with pu’erh tea of China. Singpho producers are selling such teas and coins made of ‘Phalap’ (the traditional Singpho tea), even to the buyers in export market. Similarly some other small growers are producing organic teas (both green and orthodox) and getting Organic certification and marketing locally and also exporting at individual basis. 

The handmade (handcrafted) teas produced in this way are all organic. But many of the small growers producing them prefer to call them ‘natural tea’.  As most of them do not possess organic tea certification, they do not use the ‘organic’ label.  Even without organic label, high quality organic production is the hallmark of these teas. These teas are mostly of black orthodox and green teas. The manufacturers prefer to call the teas ‘handcrafted tea’. The teas are mostly hand rolled or at best processed by some local indigenous tools. Out of one hundred thousand small tea growers of Assam, only a handful had taken up both manufacturing and marketing of such handmade teas. These teas have huge marketing potential.


Steaming for hand made green tea


Dipping in Hot water


Cooling leaves after dipping on bamoo mat

Hand Rolling

Leaf distortion  for hand made black tea

 

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