• Why is First Flush Tea so Tasty? Metabolites | Oversupply Threatens Kenya’s Harvest Windfall | World Tea Expo: An Infusion of Fresh Ideas Opens this Weekend

    Why is First Flush Tea so Tasty? Metabolites | Oversupply Threatens Kenya’s Harvest Windfall | World Tea Expo: An Infusion of Fresh Ideas Opens this Weekend | PLUS Tea Revolution founder Annabel Kalmar describes the DNA of a purpose-driven venture.

    Tea News for the week ending March 15, 2024

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    India Tea News
    India Tea News | Aravinda Anantharaman

    Annabel Kalmar, founder of Tea Rebellion, a small direct-trade single-farm tea retailer, describes the DNA of a purpose-driven tea venture and the challenge of changing how tea is traded, marketed, and consumed. She says the goal is to be a sustainable, transparent, award-winning tea brand. Tea Rebellion, founded in 2017, does not sell blended or flavored tea. Farms are co-branded, and marketing draws attention to the farm and identity of growers. “To affect change, we need to credit the maker of the product,” she says. “To drive impact, I choose to work with tea farmers with a clear goal of sustainability and impact in their communities. Several of these farmers are female-run or committed to the empowerment and well-being of women,” she says.

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    First Flush

    The 2024 First Flush is Underway

    By Dan Bolton

    The allure of first-flush teas has inspired poets for centuries, but what of the science?

    Scientists are rhapsodic, too.

    In spring, the buds of high-mountain teas burst with amino acids. Tea leaves contain significantly more carbohydrates, flavonols, and polyphenols in summer and autumn.

    According to a 2020 study published in Food Research International, flavonoids and flavonols (the good-tasting, good-for-you compounds), catechins, and amino acids abundant in spring leaves showed sharp seasonal differences. The researchers concluded that harvesting time was one of the most critical factors affecting metabolites most closely related to the quality of green tea.

    A team analyzing young translucent Anji Baicha leaves plucked on March 6 found their leaf chemistry significantly differed from leaves from the same plants plucked on May 10. The analysis, which combined liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS), was found to “assess tea quality objectively and reliably.”

    Since then, the research has been used to ascertain optimal harvest dates to take advantage of tea’s multiple health-promoting effects, primarily attributed to its secondary metabolites, including polyphenols, amino acids, caffeine, and other compounds.

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  • Indian Tea Association and Goodricke Group Each Name New Heads | Nilgiris’ INDCOServe Will Convert Kattabettu Factory into Tea Tourism Hub

    By Aravinda Anantharaman | Managing Editor

    India Tea News for the week ending 15 March 2024
    India Tea News | March 15, 2024
    KATTABETTU INDCO TEA FACTORY, KATTABETTU. Established in the year 1976
    Kattabettu INDCO Tea Factory, established in 1976, was recently refurbished.

    ITA & Goodricke Group Announce Appointments

    The Goodricke Group has appointed Arun Narain Singh as the Managing Director and CEO, effective March 6, 2024. This appointment follows the resignation of Atul Asthana last month. Mr Singh has held this position and most recently has been Founder Trustee of Tea Vision, an industry think tank building a common platform for multiple stakeholders in the tea industry and to be the industry’s voice.

    The National Committee of the Indian Tea Association (ITA), meeting on March 12, announced the appointment of Hemant Bangur of Shri Vasupradha Plantations as Chairman, Suneel Singh Sikand, CEO of Rossell Tea, as Vice Chairman, and Atul Rastogi, Director of Luxmi Tea, as Additional Vice Chairman of the Association. Founded in 1881, the Indian Tea Association, headquartered in Kolkata, is India’s oldest organization of tea producers.

    INDCO in the Nilgiris Gets a Tourism Boost

    Tea tourism comes into focus in the south as well. In the Nilgiris, INDCOServe tea cooperative is set to receive Rs 7.4 crore (approx USD 900,000) to convert its Kattabettu tea factory into a tea tourism hub under the Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiatives plan. The funds will be used to create a living tea museum that will house various tea plants and allow visitors to see how tea is made and taste different teas. Both tea and tourism are essential to the economy of the Nilgiris, and this move is seen as a boost to that. INDCOServe is the largest tea cooperative in the country, with 30,000 small farmer members and 16 factories in the Nilgiris.

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