Exotic tea now a click away

Small but exotic tea growers in Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri now have an e-commerce platform to sell their hand-crafted products to overseas tea connoisseurs.

By SUMIR KARMAKAR in Guwahati
  • Published 24.06.18
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Pan fried tea. Picture courtesy: Avetea, Bangalore

Guwahati: Small but exotic tea growers in Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri now have an e-commerce platform to sell their hand-crafted products to overseas tea connoisseurs.

Avetea, a Bangalore-based online tea-selling firm, has tied up with 34 small and organic tea growers, including 27 from Assam, to sell their products online in overseas markets. "This will give them better price as the middlemen will be removed and at the same time we will share 10 per cent of our profits with the small tea growers, who are often clueless about the market dynamics. We are selling their teas in at least 17 countries and the tea connoisseurs love their hand-crafted products because of its exotic quality and taste," said Abhishek Sircar, director of Avetea Exotics Pvt Limited.

The company is focussing on exotic and organic teas and have been working with farmers to enhance their production methods to meet the market preference.

Small tea business is growing fast in Assam against the challenges faced by more than 800 big gardens, which produce nearly 56 per cent of tea grown in the country. The handcrafted Assam green tea gives an elegant taste as the choicest tea leaves are hand-rolled which gives a strong flavour with hints of herbs. The smoky tea, which is tightly packed into bamboo pipes and smoked, is also popular.

"Our target is to connect with chosen small tea growers across India to help them understand the requirement for handcrafted tea. We are trying to present the creations of these artisans to tea lovers worldwide for a sustainable future," Sircar said.

Joydev Brahma and his son, who run two small gardens in Assam's Udalguri district along the Bhutan border, have tied up with Avetea. Organic tea is produced by using vermicompost, natural fertiliser and other stimulants at Brahma's gardens to meet the demand for organic teas.