Speciality teas on offer at Rujani, the online store. Telegraph picture
Guwahati, Sept. 18: Its liquor is like the sweetest dew from Heaven, says Lu Yu, "the Sage of Tea", who is best known for his monumental book The Classic of Tea (AD 760-780), the first definitive work on cultivating, making and drinking tea.
A thousand years later, Raj Barooah, a young tea planter from Assam, has developed two variants of green teas, inspired from China, which are now available in an online Assam speciality tea store www.rujanitea.com.
Rujani Tea, an online tea store of Aideobarie tea garden of Jorhat district, has launched three varieties each of its speciality teas in black, green and white categories.
Barooah, the director of Aideobari tea estate, told The Telegraph that the inspiration from China is from the fact that it is the home to all teas - especially green teas.
"In fact, I have been to his home and where he had written the book," he said, adding that he has an idol of Lu at his office. The two green teas which have been inspired from China are Longjing and Anji Bai Cha.
"The Exotica Whole Leaf draws inspiration from a very special Chinese variety of Chinese green tea called Longjing, also called Dragon Well. This particular green tea has been a classical green tea for centuries in China. Rujani pays tribute to this masterpiece through this tea. Similar to the original, Rujani's Exotica Flat is a pure whole-leaf tea with a flat appearance and without any breakage of the tender-most tea leaves, which have been picked with utmost care within a day of the delicate tea bud's unfurling," Barooah said.
He added that Assamica Bai Cha also tenders its artistry to another famous green tea called Anji Bai Cha. Holding the saga, Rujani presents its own "Bai Cha" (or whitish tea) from a very special Assam tea clone with similar processing techniques as the original thereby giving it the unique slim, pointed and long appearance.
Barooah said the exclusivity of Rujani Speciality Teas is that these teas are manufactured from some very special cultivars of the Camellia sinensis plant. However, the picking or plucking for Rujani's teas are only the young and tender shoots which are not beyond five days old.
"Contrary to CTC processing, minimal machine and drying is used for our teas whereby the picked shoot is not broken and thereby these gentle shoots remain whole and unbroken. Thereby all the tender shoots are left unbroken, leave alone crushed, as is the norm of crushing and tearing the rough tea leaves in the CTC variety," Barooah said.
"We are trying to create a market in the urban cities of the country by promoting the brand rujanitea.com by demonstrating the teas in expositions such as farmers' markets," he said, adding that the initial response from the market has been overwhelming. It has given our entire team immense confidence that speciality teas have a market."
Barooah said speciality teas from Assam can win the hearts of tea lovers the world over provided "we the tea farmers wish to change".