Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tea Consumption a changing paradigm

Globally tea consumption is a recent phenomenon. Well the brew was quite popular since ages in countries like China, some parts of India and rest of Asia. The habit started with consumption for health as a medicine in China.With the rising popularity it entered the domain of Chinese culture. Following greater consumption the beverage became a consumer product. 

This happened in India as well whence the British popularized it and spread its consumption all over their territory. In most of the Asian countries tea has become part of daily lifestyle. For masses it has become a daily habit and addiction. The beverage has become a ritualistic aspect of daily living an inseparable part of life.   

In spite of its popularity the brew faces tough competition from coffee as well as fancy cocktails that have recently flooded the market. Coffee rules the roost globally but tea consumption is rising as well. It is  making in roads into the adversaries domain. 

With maddening varieties reaching the average drinker thanks to trendy packaging, tea is slowly making in roads as a lifestyle product. The trendy packaging with infusion of technology and modern blending methods has changed the paradigm. From a regular house hold product to lifestyle product the change has been brought about by innovative approach of tea houses. The gastronomic intervention introduced new recipes on lines of fancy coffee being sold in the shops. 

The advent of tea lounge in the footstep of coffee houses has brought in instant popularity amongst the younger generation.Tea drinking has suddenly become an "In Thing". The modern lounges have revolutionized rest and recreation concept amongst the younger lot and office goers as well as the business class. The one stop joint for business meets, social gatherings, for hot tea beverages and yummy snacks with offerings of jet set ambiance...what more does one wish for. The drink that cheers now offers much more, not ignoring the health benefits that far surpass coffee. 

Major tea companies in India.

In India every household is a consumer of tea. Not only on daily basis, it is a part of everyone’s life because it is actually consumed more than one time during a day. Tea more than choice is a necessity for hundreds of people in India now. Even though we Indians as daily consumers of this hot beverage hardly have any idea about the way it came out of its shell and started playing a major role in our lives. Not only that, we hardly have any idea about its origin or its current processing methods in our country. Despite of all this one thing we have to be sure of is that since India is one of the largest consumers of tea in the world. The country has major tea processing industries located in the North East and South.

Tea was introduced to the Indian consumers during the advent of the British. It was then that our country men started converting the lands for tea cultivation and most probably it was in the 1950s that the plant was introduced and accepted as a recreational drink. Today India is one of the largest producers and processor of tea and more than 70% is consumed by the country itself. With these rates of production and consumption the country is bound to have the major tea processing companies and gardens.

Breaking the monopoly of the Chinese the first step in was taken by the British East India Company when they used Chinese seeds and started cultivating tea in India. With time and advancement of technology the leaf production increased and modern methods of production and processing came into being.
This is what makes India a proud country of major tea processing companies.

India is not only the largest consuming nation in the world but is also as mentioned earlier the largest tea producing nation too. There is even an expectation that the major producing companies will grow in the coming year. Most of the companies are located in the following state - Orissa, Bihar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Karnataka, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Manipur. Some of the big concerns in India are Wagh Bakri House based in Ahmadabad, Tata, Lipton, Duncan and Brook Bond.

As the expectation is high that the production will increase in the coming year and so will the consumption.  Forming a major part of India’s GNP the tea companies are the largest employers of semi skilled and skilled work force. They contribute towards the income that is generated via export as well.