India is the world's second largest producer of tea, after China. In India, the production of black tea stood at 1.26 million tonnes in 2017. Total export rose by 12.71% to reach 0.26 million tonnes in 2017-18. Black tea production in India is projected to rise to 1.61 million tonnes in 2027. India set an export target of 300 million kilograms for 2020
- Definition / Scope
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- Industry Challenges
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Definition / Scope
Tea is one of the most popular but low-cost non-alcoholic beverage almost consumed by more than 60% of the Indian population from youth to old age group of people. It falls in the Ready To Drink (RTD) category of beverages and cost starting at USD 0.15 per cup.
Tea plantation is labor-intensive work and is planted in the hilly regions. Major tea growing regions in India are Assam, Darjeeling, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu and tea produced in each region has got its unique Geographical Indication (GI).
Based on the production type, tea is divided into three types: CTC, Orthodox, and Green. Orthodox tea comes in the form of the whole leaf produced using the traditional process. CTC tea is made by the process involving crushing, tearing, and curling steps run in cylindrical rollers to process black tea.
Green tea is similar to orthodox tea but tea leaves are not fermented while making green tea. Each type of tea signifies its own physical attributes and social symbol in India.
- Elevation: Teas are grown at elevations ranging from 600 to 2000 meters above sea level.
- Annual Rainfall: The average annual rainfall in Darjeeling ranges around the 309cm mark.
Darjeeling Tea cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. Just as Champagne is indigenous to the Champagne district of France, so is Darjeeling Tea to Darjeeling.
True Darjeeling Tea possesses a flavor and quality, which sets it apart from other teas. As a result, it has won the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers worldwide for more than a century. Darjeeling Tea that is worthy of its name cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world.
Geographical Indication: To assist the Tea Board in its role of authenticating the regional origin of Darjeeling Tea, it has developed a unique logo, known as the Darjeeling logo as a geographical indication.
At a legal level, Tea Board is the owner of all intellectual property rights in the Darjeeling word and logo both in common law and under the provisions of the following statutes in India:
- The Trade Marks Act 1999
- The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
- The Copyright Act, 1957
Use of the Darjeeling word and logo are protected as Geographical Indications in India and as Certification Trade Marks in UK, USA, Australia, Taiwan, and India.
The certification scheme put in place by the Tea Board covers all stages from the production level to the export stage and meets the dual objective of ensuring that (1) tea sold as Darjeeling Tea in India and worldwide is genuine Darjeeling Tea produced in the defined regions of the District of Darjeeling and meets the criteria laid down by the Tea Board and (2) all sellers of genuine Darjeeling Tea are duly licensed.
This licensing program affords the Tea Board the necessary information and control over the Darjeeling Tea industry to ensure that tea sold under the certification marks adheres to the standards for DARJEELING Tea as set forth by the Tea Board.
Thus, only 100% Darjeeling Tea is entitled to carry the DARJEELING logo. While purchasing Darjeeling Tea, you need to look for Tea Board’s certification and license number, or else you will not get the taste and character that you should expect from Darjeeling Tea.
- Elevation: Teas are grown at elevations ranging from 45 to 60 meters above sea level.
- Annual Rainfall: 250 to 380cm.
Assam means ‘one without equal’ and that is really true about its teas. The strong tea, grown on the rolling plains by the Brahmaputra river that weaves her way through vales and hills, is famous for its smooth malty flavor.
A taste crafted by the region’s rich loamy soil, unique climate, and liberal rainfall. Assam is not just the largest contiguous tea-growing area in the world. All to make sure that the tea bushes yield high-quality tea.
Geographical Indication: Both Orthodox and CTC (Crush/Tear/Curl) varieties of tea are manufactured here. Assam Orthodox Tea is a registered Geographical Indication (GI).
- Elevation: Teas are grown at elevations ranging from 1000 to 2500 meters above sea level.
- Annual Rainfall: 150 to 230cm.
The beautiful Nilgiri Hills, sprawling through the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, is home to the pastoral Toda tribe and tea gardens that create the fragrant cup of tea. Nilgiri tea has a slightly fruity, minty flavor, probably because trees like the Blue Gum and Eucalyptus dot the region.
And perhaps the spices produced in close proximity to the tea gardens lend the light brew its briskness. The balanced blend of flavor and body makes Nilgiri tea a ‘blender’s dream’. The Nilgiri Hills aka the ‘Blue Mountains’ come under the influence of both south-west and north-east monsoons.
Geographical Indication: Nilgiri Orthodox tea is a registered Geographical Indication (GI). Both Orthodox and CTC varieties of tea are manufactured in this region.
Tea Attributes: A deliciously fragrant and exquisitely aromatic tea, with high tones of delicate floral notes and a golden yellow liquor. Crisply brisk and bright. Lingering notes of dusk flowers with an undercurrent of briskness. Creamy mouthfeel. A truly flavored tea for a stressful day.
- Elevation: Teas are grown at elevations ranging from 900 to 1400 meters above sea level.
- Annual Rainfall: 270 to 350cm.
The climate, the characteristic terrain and soil conditions, and the coolness of the snow-clad mountains in Himachal’s famous Kangra region; all play a role in crafting a delightfully distinct cup of quality tea.
The history of Kangra tea dates back to 1849 when Dr. Jameson, then superintendent of the Botanical Tea Gardens, pronounced the region ideal for tea cultivation. Being one of India’s smallest tea regions makes Kangra green and black tea all the more exclusive.
While the black tea has a sweet lingering after taste, the green tea has a delicate woody aroma. The demand for Kangra tea has been increasing steadily and much of it is bought by natives and exported to Kabul and Central Asia via Peshawar.
Geographical Indication: Kangra tea is a registered Geographical Indication (GI).
Tea Attributes: The first flush of Kangra tea is known for quality, unique aroma and tinge of fruity flavor. A little milder than Darjeeling tea in terms of flavor, Kangra tea has more body and liquor.