GUWAHATI, June 8: Tea major Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL), which has 25 tea gardens in Assam and Bengal, recently joined hands with a Chinese tea buyer to sell unorthodox or CTC tea from Assam in the neighboring country. An APPL official told this correspondent that tea parlours in China are now selling CTC tea as milk tea among consumers. Milk tea is a tea-based drink and popular among Chinese consumers.
CTC tea is crush, tear, curl (sometimes cut, tear, curl) tea that involves a method of processing black tea in which the leaves are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of sharp teeth that crush, tear, and curl the tea into small, hard pellets. Such method replaces the final stage of orthodox tea manufacture, in which the leaves are rolled into strips.
Managing director of APPL Jagjeet Singh Kandal recently visited China to sign the agreement with a Chinese buyer to sell the CTC tea of the company. It has set up an office in Shanghai.
The APPL official said CTC tea is in huge demand in China and the neighbouring country is ready to import a large quantity. The Tea Board of India has already set a fresh annual export target of 15 million kg of black tea or CTC tea to China in the next couple of years.
A study by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said China is responsible for the accelerated growth of the global tea output, as production increased more than double from 1.17 million tonnes in 2007 to 2.44 million tonnes in 2016.
According to the study, the expansion in tea production is in response to unprecedented growth in domestic demand, underpinned by China’s economic growth at an average of 10 per cent over the last 30 years. The massive expansion is also a result of increased consumer health consciousness and rapid development of herbal tea beverages characterized by the tradition of drinking tea.
China accounted for 42.6 per cent of the world’s tea production in 2016.