Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 1 year ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - July 15, 2021


HEAR THE HEADLINES – Darjeeling is Experiencing a Severe Downturn | Researchers Discover Expanded Role for Microbes in Tea Making | Oxfam India Defines Living Wage for Assam Tea Workers

| GUESTS – Kate Elliot, Catherine Drummond-Herdman, Pinkie Methven, Veronica Murray-Poore, Tea Gardens of Scotland
| NEWSMAKER – Carmién Tea founder Mientjie Mouton

| FEATURES – Tea Biz this week travels to South Africa to discuss with Carmién Tea founder Mientjie Mouton the beneficial aspects of the EU’s decision to register rooibos as the first African food product to receive protected designation of origin. and then to Scotland where Dananjaya Silva discusses with nine local tea growers how the short summers and cold winters of a far northern terroir contribute to the unique flavor of Scottish tea.

Rooibos Revived

Rooibos is an herb that grows in a very narrow corridor north of Cape Town, South Africa in the fertile soil of the Cederberg mountains. Growers there produce about 14,000 metric tons annually as a healthful, refreshing, non-caffeinated beverage known locally as red bush tea. Tea Biz Podcast founder Dan Bolton talks with Mientjie Mouton, the founder of Carmién Tea a supplier of quality rooibos, both green and red.

Scottish Tea

Scots have a long history of growing Camelia sinensis in faraway lands ― from the jungles of Assam to the hills of Ceylon. A group of Scottish ladies have decided to follow in their ancestor’s footsteps. I’m Dananjaya Silva from PMD David Silva and Sons, and today I sit down with Kate Elliot, Catherine Drummond Herdman, Veronica Murray Poore, and Pinkie Methven to talk about green tea in Scotland.

The Tea Biz podcast delivers tea news that you need to know, a recap of the week's major headlines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Dan Bolton. It is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Think of us as a digital caravan of storytellers, bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lands. Hello everyone. Tear the headlines. Darghling is experiencing a severe downturn. Researchers discover expanded role from microbes in tea making. An Oxfam India defines the living wage for a psalm tea workers. More in a minute, but first this important message. What makes a Perfect Cup of Ceylon tea? The Perfect Cup is from the tea businesses that ensure the protection of all the children living within their tea estates. We Salute Kailani Valley, tell a Wacky Lee, Bogajan, Thalawa, Harana and Elyptia tea estates. Support Save the children. Sri Lanka, the westpeangled tea community that surrounds s Dar Shaling is experience variencing difficult times. Well, the forty five of the eighty seventeen gardens within the protected geographical region or routinely auctioning. Tea. Production has declined from sixteen million kilos fifteen years ago to fewer than seven million kilos in two thousand and twenty one tourists are few as covid nineteen infections decline elsewhere. The pandemic persists in the foothills of the Himalayas, forcing travel restrictions. There were fifteen hundred active cases last week, with eighty eight new infections on July eight, the number greater than Kolkatta recorded that same day. In June, the Telegraph of India reported more than ten percent of Darshenings tea gardens were up for sale, but saw no buyers. Absentee ISM, political turmoil and climate chains are often cited as reasons, but the main concern is a declining volume and production. Raja of energy the air to Machia Bari Tea State describe the situation with clarity and insight. Quote Darsy now faces a large scale decline, he writes. Commercially Darshling tea has been weathering a waning export market, explained by outdated management practices and exploited mittlemen. But there is a far more powerful factor at work now. The regions ecology was already facing deforestation, making the seismically sensitive area of vulnerable to top soil loss and landslidge, pushing the tea gardens closer to the edge. Now climate change is bearing down on tea yields, impacting the livelihoods of thousands in the industry. teaboard of India now shows that in two thousand and twenty darshlings production stood at six point seven million kilos. This year, the second flush, which makes up twenty percent of the annual production, the seeing a reported decline of two hundred to three hundred thousand kilos. April may twenty twenty one production stood at one point to two million kilos. Business Insight News of gardens being sold has been recurring from this region. In Two thousand and twenty the seing bully and later than nursing tea estates were sold. Oh Katie in June is the latest...

...estate to be acquired. One six hundred Acre high altitude of state operates a factory that dates to one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight. The new owners are local and offer a hopeful vision of Darshling, whose first concerns serving the domestic market. The estate was sold to Chai Chid, the unit of Siligary based Evergreen Groups Group, a firm that operates schirassa cafes and boutiques. Founder Raji baide envisions of World Class Tea Academy to draw students of tea culture and tourists to in a state that produces organic tea using orthodox processes as well as cut, terror, curl packet tea. The company process is fifteen million kilos of tea across the broad range of a hundred sixty five varieties, supplying premium and bolt tea in quantities that benefit from scale. Researchers discover an expanded role from microbes in tea making. The oxidation of tea leaves during Orthodox processing is essential, but not exclusively responsible for the flavor of tea. The finding that bacterial and fungal communities also drive tea processing suggest the microbiome of the leaves can be manipulated to create greater quantities of tasty compounds due to fermentation. A team of researchers at Anway Agricultural University in China cleverly demonstrated that Black Tea's withered, rolled and oxidized before drawing are less flavorful when sterilized their paper. Black tea quality is highly affected during processing by its leaf surface. Microbiome, which was published in the June issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, shows that microbial fermentation present and non sterilized control samples produce tea with lots of catchins and althenine and amino acid specific to tea. Team made from the oxidized but sterile leaves was less flavorful and lacking in many of the complex compounds that tasters identify in premium tea's. The experiments showed that caffeine and theenine were found in the same quantities in green tea, with or without leaf surface sterilization. Quote. However, the sterilization processed dramatically decrease the content of total catkins and theenine in black tea, indicating that microbes on the surface of tea leaves may be involved in maintaining the formation of these important metabolizes during black tea processing. And, quote, said Professor Ali and Yatt Milano business inside the UNWEI researchers are now busy determining which microbes are responsible for the fermentation, knowledge that will make it possible for tea processors to enhance the natural biome and introduce new types of microbes, resulting in novel flavors of Black Tea. Oxfam India, a Confederation of Twenty Independent Charitable Organizations, released a study last week that determined the minimum living wage for tea workers in a psalmb is eight hundred and eighty seven repeats per day out twelve dollars. US. Workers make far less per day and are working fewer days. Due to Covid nineteen restrictions, only thirty nine percent of workers can be considered as permanent. The remaining sixty one percent contract their services with fewer benefits. The study calculated a minimum of two hundred and eighty...

...five repeats per day for food for a family of four, and five hundred and ninety nine repeats for non food expenditures, viz inside. The study of five thousand tea workers in seven districts was conducted in October through December. Two Thousand and twenty Oxfam CEO Amateur Bihar, in appealing for improved wages, described quote a start gap between the current wages that tea workers receive, visa fee, the living wage that has been calculated and quote. Our vin dine and there amen in Bengaluru reports on India's tea auction prices. indeet he ties support the weekend in July. Ten Twenty one. This week the focus is on declining tea exports from India, which is a course of concern to the industry, the tea associations. If we sued a press release that the industry is bracing for a decline of thirty to forty million kilos this year compared to twenty twenty. The reasons cited are availability of low cost is in the global market, notably from Kenneya and Sri Lanka, lockdowns that limit the number of food service venues and operation and trade restrictions and countries that have been regular buyers. These have been compounded by economic downturns from covid the European Union, for example, anticipates four point five percent growth in twenty twenty one, but economists caution that the Delta variant may force a return to lockdowns this fall. Between January and March, India steak spots fell by thirteen point two three percent as compared with twenty twenty, and twenty nine point zero three percent is compared with twenty nineteen, which introduction volumes stand at forty five point eight six million kilos in two thousand and twenty one, as compared with fifty two point eight five million kilos in two thousand and twenty and sixty four point six two million kilos in two thousand and nineteen. North India has been more severely affected, and south India in prices say twenty seven. So good demand in Calcutta for well made Ho leaf grades of darge links. While there were many outlots, demand was mixed in among buyers. Middle East was active. In Ghati, prices have dropped from last week and are significantly lower than they were for corresponding week in twenty twenty, although they are better than twenty nineteen prices for the same period. Sales in the south remain and sluggish. And now a word from our sponsor. Q trade teas works with tea purveyors at every scale, from promising startups to the world's largest multinational beverage brands in the hot, iced and bottle tea segments. With us, based formulation blending and packaging services. Q trade can help you innovate, the scale up and grow your specialty tea brand. For more information, visit our website, que trade teascom teabiz this week travels to South Africa to discuss with Carmen tea founder minky mouton the beneficial aspects of the e used decision to register Roy bows as the first African food product to receive protected designation of origin. And then the Scotland Warn Don and High Silva Discusses with local growers how the Short Summers and cold winters of a far northern Tarah contribute to the unique flavor of Scottish tea. Roy Bows is an herb that grows in a very narrow corridor north of Cape Town in the fertile soil of the Cedar Bird Mountains. Growers there produced about fourteenzero metric tons annually as a healthful, refreshing, non calphnated beverage known locally is Red Bush tea. Today we have from South Africa. The founder of Carmen Tea was supplier of Quality Roybos, both green and red. Recently the European Union registered roubos as...

...a protected designation of origin, a coveted status extended for the first time to an African food product. Will you tell our listeners why that's good news and how you see the EU seal of authenticity advancing the overall consumption of roybos worldwide? We are very excited about this. It's a process that was started about ten years ago. Everyone now know that roybost is really something special, that they are some points of diffringiating the product from all the other herbal ties. Roybos certification it means that the product must be cultivated and produced in the specific region. Processing also have to take place in that specific region. Roubos is a very, very natural product, with a very cold winterest and the very, very hot summers to create that very special taste and flavor of Roybos. Tea with this very special Flav and taste and all the health benefits and properties can only be grown in this specific area. Fifteen different areas are situated in the Western type and the northern Kype of South Africa, and community is based within the Western Cape and we are buying tea from all the different areas the northern Kype, together with them more southwestern areas and lolocations. We can give you the guarantee that when buying a robosity from community, you will get the true and honest and peer roubosity from this specific lucations. About half of the roybos produced is consume locally. The rest is a portant to sixty countries, mainly in Europe, where Germany is the leading market. Japan consumes about twenty two percent of exports. Along drought curtailed market expansion following several years of strong growth. The rains have since returned and the bushes that perished have been replaced. Making you mentioned that shifting temperature and rainfall patterns of actually expanded growing areas. Drier conditions actually apply globally, but specifically in South Africa and specifically in the Western and northern type of South Africa. The production action area for Roibersity have as slightly moved more to with the south wastern pots, away from the northern parts. Our average rainfall is around three hundred millimeters play here and that has come down to below a hundred millimeters of rain during that very severe drought yees. Over the last two years that has nicely picked up, but it's still below average. So in general we can definitely see a train towards a drier condition and luckily for South Africa we do have areas which used to be too wet to grow roibosy which actually now has become perfect and suitable for growing good quality, the robust that we are all looking for. The geographical indication requires strict compliance with processing and prohibits third parties from using phrases like Roy bow style or Red Bush type tea or imitation Red Bush. This is actually a more strict Gi certification that now has been approved for roubosity. Processing of Roibosity is a oxidation prices, the prices or what we call what we call fermentation,...

...where the antioxidants in the in the tea or the natural pron phenolic activities in the tea give you this very specific characteristic smell and taste, which is is a more fruity, sweet flavor. That is one of the most identical properties of robosty. We do have robies. They have a slightly sweet, parameltized and flavor and it is not as a stringent as, for example, black tea or some of the other herbal teas. It has a very nice, smooth, full flavor and aroma, and that all has to do with this special oxide oxidation process where the temperature can actually go up to about above footy degrees Celsius, and that happens over night after the tea has been cut. Once we've gone through that process, which we call oxidation or fermentation, that then we have a product with which has a Nice Red Cup infusion and that we can call typically roubos tea in Afrikaans, is a is royal, the color rate in English. That is where the name comes from. When we do not go through that thross, we have a green tea which is then actually the unfermented variant of a robos tea, which is nowadays very, very popular. During the ongoing pandemic, there's many significant increase in consumption and interest in the health qualities of verbal infusions. Will you describe some of the health advantages of roybals? provosty is totally caffeine free. That is one of their health biggest health benefits of robosty. Every tea badge that we do we have graded it for for their internal quality of that Specific Cup. We need comes to your specific antioxidant values. That definitely help to benefit and to support your image system and help you to be hydrated, which we all know that is the baseline of keeping healthy and what we've seen is that minerals like sink zinc and magnesium and calcium are those things that actually have become very, very important in times like these. It is about a well balanced, healthy body that you have to keep, to maintain in order to prevent the virus, to actually to get contracted, to keep a healthy body and to keep a healthy lifestyle, you need at least to drink, we like to say, think cups of robosty. We would bring it down to see the six cups of Robosty, but made maybe you can survive with two cups. As we are so young, didn't care. Did think your robosity daily in order to keep health. Scots have a long history of growing camellia sinensis in far away lands, from the jungles of Assam to the hills of Salon. A group of Scottish ladies have decided to follow in the ancestors footsteps. I'm done undersilver from P M David Silver and sons, and today I sit down with Kate Elliott, Catherine Drummond, Herdman Veronica Murrow poor and pinky methven to talk about growing tea in Scotland. As temperatures rise globally, greater quantities of tea will be cultivated above and below traditional attitudes. Talk about how changes in climate have...

...affected the growing of tea, the cultivars that are available and some of the challenges that you have faced when rearing tea bushes. As far as climate change goes, quite frankly, in Scotland we could do with yet more heat because it's a really marginal crop. When we all started this we had some consultancy help and we were told it's going to be a very, very marginal prop if anybody wants to grow organically without protection it would be nigh on impossible. So it has been an absolute, should we say, learning experience for us. As far as the weather is concerned, it's not so much the cold calls because I think that tea is quite cold tolerant. It seems to be a combination of other factors that getting the we seedling going to a decent sort of Taft Bush that can cope with with whatever is thrown at it. And it just seems to be very temperamental, very delicate. We've got the problem here. That and whether it's climate change or not, I don't know. Is that our springs are getting dryer and Dryer. They're also getting seems to be getting colder, so it takes a really long time for the plant to get going and get growing. Plants outside are only just now beginning to grow and break formancy, which is just makes things a little bit harder. And at the same time winters just seems to be getting Western windy and not so much cold but just really windy. So the weather is a challenge here. You're all producing teas and different areas of Scotland. Describe the terror of Scotland. What makes these teas distinctive and what are the regional differences in taste that each of your growing areas produce? Well, it's very, very new. Do you have to come with us to fall the masons and have a try? There hasn't been very much Scottish team made yet. It's all very experimental and we've had some fantastic results with some green tea which has not yet been for sale. The Black Tea, a really great tea that the n nine gardens all contributed. Nine ladies dancing was the name of the tea. I mean that was great, but that was the first commercial tea that we've collectively had out of our gardens, which was just a fun thing to be involved in. But I think, you know, we're getting to the stage where, you know, watch the space and the next few years when we can, you know, start sort of bringing our experiments to fruition and actually bringing out some different ties, yet to be named. Perth show one coming out, which is a green tea, which is really exciting and and just totally different. Is Whole Journey has been. Is really new to us and you know, we've all learned so much about tea. It seems to be well received. We've had, we know, had tasters from all over the world have tasted the tea and the feedback's been phenomenal. There's a lot of tea on forward contract and you know, all sort of like crossing our fingers and hope and we'll be able to fulfill those hopefully it will just get easier as a volumes increase and maybe become a bit more predictable. Avery tourism is something that a lot of traditional tea states are establishing. What are yourselves doing in terms of agry tourism and what would you like to do more of going forward. The amount of tea plants is not quite the same as when I started. I thought this is not viable for the actual leaf at the moment. So we already do various tools. Were Orchard and other things going on. So I've been doing tours, a tea tour, so people will come around, we look at the tea, see how it's growing, look at the different varieties and show people what a tea plant is. So it's basically education and but, you know, done in an easy way and then they come back into the castle and have tea in the castle. There's a variety of things. We I did a but blend with beverly at the Scottish Tea Factory. We made a blend as my ancestor would have had a blend for afternoon tea and that was that was really interesting and just being able to explain all this with the tools. It's all about educating people, about educating people to understand what tea is, how it comes from and how it's made, and...

...then finishing up with a you know, there's something more to teeth and it's not just tea. It's you know, you can sit around, you have a conversation and you can. You know, it's just all about talking and actually reconnecting with with each other, with people and actually with the earth. And what I started out we did some tools mindfulness tours with people that weren't currently undergoing treatment for cancer. I made them understand by seeing the bushes and thinking about who plucks the tea. The idea is if you're sitting in a hospital on your own and you're going through some ghastly treatment, you can sit there, you can have your cup of tea, which is, you know, strong, good, you know it sort of dark colored, hot liquid. You can have a sip of that and reconnect yourself with the earth through the tea leaves that have made it, the pickers, who are usually women, and so this is why it was the female side of cancer. You can reconnect with that and you can think about all those people and and then you can go back into the earth and like the roots on the tea and you can gain strength and you can get that all from if you just close your eyes in a hospital ward and you can just one sip of t and that's what I was aiming for. Intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of Tbiz journalists and t experts? Contact them directly through subtext, private message based platform. Avoid the chaos of social media and start a conversation that matters. Sub Text Message based platform let's you privately ask meaningful questions of the t experts, academics and t Biz journalists reporting from the tea. Lets you see their responses via SMS text, which are sent to wreck to your phone. visit our website and subscribe to subtext to instantly connect with the most connected people and tea. Remember the visit the t Biz website for more comprehensive coverage. That's wwwtz biccom. Thanks for listening. Farewell. Till next week.

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