Flavoured brew soon

The Tea Research Association (TRA) is trying to develop different kinds of the beverage in a bid to augment its consumption.

Mridul Hazarika, director of the TRA, said the association was carrying out research on the diversification of the produce.

Talking to The Telegraph over phone from Jorhat in Assam, Hazarika said the attempt was to attract the younger generation to the brew and ultimately, increase consumption.

“Unlike other kinds of tea, to which flavours are added, we are planning to develop tealeaves containing flavours of spearmint, peppermint, ginger and pepper,” said a researcher.

The TRA, as a part of its diversification plans, has so far succeeded in making tea-based items like biscuits, tablets and even wine.

“The research on mixing tea with other products that are preferred and largely consumed by the new generation will continue,” said Hazarika. “We need to be innovative to create products that are compatible with its taste.”

Although he refused to be more specific, sources said potato chips and other snacks could be the next products the TRA would bring out.

In another development, the TRA researchers in north Bengal have started working on improving the quality of the beverage produced in the region. The project is being funded by the National Tea Research Foundation.

“We have identified six tea gardens, two each in the Terai, Dooars and Darjeeling. Our team will compare the quality of tea produced in these gardens and try to ascertain the factors that are making the difference in quality,” Pradip Ghosh, the chief advisory officer of the TRA sub-station in Nagrakata, said.

“A comprehensive research would be conducted by checking the plantations, clones of tea bushes, fertilisers used, the manufacturing process and other relevant factors that determine the quality of tea produced in an estate,” Ghosh added.