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Aroma of Assam tea wins over Australians

Rujani Tea director Raj Barooah with a visitor at The Australian International Tea Expo in Melbourne

Guwahati: Tea lovers from Down Under were pleasantly surprised by the delicate and sensory aroma of Assam tea.

Rujani Tea, which is the online brand of Aideobarie tea garden in Jorhat district of Assam, was the only participant from India at The Australian International Tea Expo from Monday to Wednesday.

There were 65 exhibitors from Australia, China, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The three-day event, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Monday, was one of the premier fine foods exhibitions in the world.

"People were so surprised about the quality of Assam teas and how beautiful the flavours are. They are usually used to strong Assam teas and so were surprised how delicate and sensory the actual aromas were," Sharyn Johnston, chief executive officer at Australian Tea Masters told The Telegraph.

Raj Barooah, the director of Rujani Tea, who made a presentation on Rujani tea at the expo, said, "The general perception of Assam tea is that it makes only CTC teas and is the origin of black orthodox teas. But everyone was extremely interested in the different flavour profiles of our teas and that Assam tea could be whole leaf specialties."

"There is a great potential for Assam teas and I would like to encourage all, especially the young Assam tea planters, to take up this road," he said, adding that Assam was home to tea outside China.

Rujani Tea showcased 21 varieties of speciality tea in all the categories - black, oolong, green and white.

"We find that that there is a great potential for premium Indian black teas in Australia and New Zealand. We are trying to explore this route and have held discussions with several tea companies - some of them who are already importing tea from India," said Barooah.

He said the main focus of the international tea expo was to connect tea lovers and businesses with both Australian and international tea suppliers, and to spread the knowledge and appreciation of quality teas available in the industry.

It also offered a range of tea education courses for attendees, as well as various entertainments over the three days.

The expo has partnered with Fine Food Australia to greatly expand the networking possibilities of the event.

Fine Food sees over 20,000 people attend each year who are looking to make new supplier connections and collaborations.

Fine Food Australia is internationally recognised as the premium Australian exporter of quality foods.

Sharyn said the were 36 specialty companies from around the world at the expo.

"Our event is really focused on the small farmers and supporting education on tea," she said.

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