Thursday, May 21, 2015

Global Tea Comsumption

Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge Mumbai

Iced Mint Tea

Iced Tea
Though tea consumption is rising fast globally yet it rates as poor second whence compared to coffee. Coffee is still the preferred mode of drink but in countries like India, China, Sri Lanka which are major producing countries per capita consumption is very high.  

There are more than 120 countries where the hot beverage is consumed. The taste for the hot brew is rising fast keeping in the the appealing flavors as well as the health benefits.  In India consumption became a lifestyle after massive campaigns during the British Rule. In order to compete with the Chinese cultivation seeds and technology were both introduced from China.

Besides the countries mentioned a lot of tea is consumed in Britain. The brew also finds patrons in Europe and North America. With innovations in packing as well as development of iced and bottled tea  the trend in coffee drinking countries is changing fast. More and more people are attracted to these products. Similarly  the rising popularity of green leaf is also contributing to the growth.

Some of the main buying markets are Russia, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Iran and UK. In countries like USA the maximum consumption is that of iced tea now sold in bottles and vending machines.

Per Capita consumption patterns of tea drinking countries.

Turkey 6 + Kg 

Morocco 4 + Kg 

Ireland  3 + Kg

Mauritania 3 + Kg

United Kingdom 2 + Kg

Though green tea consumption is increasingly attracting coffee drinkers it is the black tea that finds phenomenally large number of tea lovers.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Jewel in The Crown - Tea

Throughout the centuries the wonderland India was the target of many civilizations. The invaders and plunderers were the first to arrive and arrive they did relentlessly. The Greeks, Mongols, Arabs were the invaders who did not stay put but wrecked havoc on a populace that had long ago forgone militancy. The campaigns were brutal besides imposing ideological alterations vehemently as proselytizers. 

The land of rivers, forests and riches was a cynosure of many global entities. A branch of Moghuls settled permanently and rejoiced in conquest that was both enriching and at times brutal. The conquest was both overpowering and imposing. They brought about an enrichment by admixture of foreign culture in terms of lifestyle and architecture and religious pursuits but not more. 

The British set about a paradigm change as rulers wherever they went including in the Jewel in Crown. The junta paid a price through voracious economic exploitation, famine and subvert domination. But the then superior civilization in terms of technology and innovations did the populace a lot of good as well. They brought in infrastructure, organized and systemic management techniques - politically and administratively - and reforms all of these  still persist in contemporary era. 

The masters had caught on to tea by 1700 as a beverage. This was until then a  medicine in the cabinet. The popularity of the beverage brought into the fore play the dynamics of economics. To counter highly priced leaf from China efforts were made to cultivate the leaf in India.      

About 1800 Governor General William Bentinjck appointed a committee to cultivate the leaf in India. But in the absence of closely guarded Chinese cultivation technique the initial foray was a failure. Experimentation were than carried out in Assam with the result the Indian State is one of the leading producer.  

Subsequently the Nation became a quality tea producer and the black leaf  became popular in England and Australia.    

Thomas Lipton a Scot by Birth began purchasing the leaf in bulk in order to market it at a cheaper rate the the Chinese leaf. Today Lipton is a global brand. Though the production saga was phenomenal the locals were still far away for this wonder beverage and that is what the preceding two blog entries are about.

are all about.

The Tea Campaigns

The tea campaign by the Association continued in India unabated. The campaign was yet to enter Indian homes especially the housewife.  To make the beverage popular in households women were the key but they could be tempted by the stall large and big keeping the conservative attitudes in mind.

The strategy to entice this elite clientele used was simple. Visit Indian homes and train the better halves to make the brew.  Street by street the brew was popularized in the homes. Towns big and small were all targeted with effective fervor. The  success was earmarked by invitations that the campaigners received from homes for demonstrations. But the campaign in the villages was most successful in the first half of the 1900.      
The Indian army too was targeted apart from villages and the tea consciousness came about rapidly.  Such was the success of these campaigns that the consumption became not only a household phenomenon it also became institutionalized.  

This must have the first ever marketing campaign in such mass scale that initiated a habit so strong that it has become a phenomenon.

Chai! How it began in India

The English popularized tea as a hot beverage but it was the Indians who accorded it a mass following.  In fact they embraced it with so much fervor and zeal that its consumption in the country surpasses its production. A large quantity of leaf is imported from countries like Sri Lanka, Kenya and so in.

Its relation building and bonding mechanism out does the drink mates in the bar. Many a deals are sealed over a cup of tea hot steaming one at that. In India it is customary to serve chai to official visitors of fellow business men. 

In earlier times this beverage was considered as a medicine in the subcontinent. But as the popularity increased the leaf turned into a beverage unsurpassed by any.   I remember elders telling me of popularity of milk and jelebies as customary offerings in stalls in India. At that time tea was not in the reckoning at all. 

It was the British who made the brew popular in the country. Themselves fond of this hot beverage they promoted its cultivation in India and developed a vast market as well. Indian Tea Association owned by the  British succeeded in conversion of masses into avid tea drinkers during the nineteen hundred. 

But the real boost for tea consumption came about during the  World War I. The  Tea Campaign  initiated stalls at factories, coal mines, and  mills. This was eventually followed by the tea canteens.
Railways was another booster the Tea Association equipped small contractors with kettles and cups and packets of tea. In the beginning these vendors worked in Punjab, Northwest Provinces and Bengal railway stations. 

The vendors in spite of careful guidance the masters paid no heed and made the hot beverage their own way. This is how chai came into being added with lot of milk and sugar and sometimes jaggery.   Till this day the loud call of the vendors Chai!Garam Chai can be heard at each and every railway station.  

The next step was to set up stalls in large towns which was resisted by small vendors who brought about a new innovation. They added flavors and spices in order to out bid the larger stalls.

It was at Kanpur that spice tea came into being with the add mixture consisting of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves etc. This tool place in a Kanpur Mill canteen. Much popular all over the World this was later called the masala chai.