Assam; A group of young entrepreneurs has arrived up with the ‘world’s first’ whole leaf tea dip without a bag.
Tea in Assam carried more than a century to free its ‘orthodoxy’ and take a fine form. A team of researcher-entrepreneurs has now transformed it takes the true shape of the leaf in a teacup.
Childhood pals Upamanyu Borkakoty and Anshuman Bharali had in 2015 created The Tea Leaf Theory, a research-formed tea sourcing venue for small organic tea farmers. Their experimentations for nearly two years have produced Truedips, a license-pending technology that enables freshly-plucked leaves to be crammed and bound in a bunch for an opening to their true form in boiling water.
They applied for a license for their technology in August, which had carried off from where another experiment to bring the bitterness out of Indian green tea had completed. They established the product a few days ago through Woolah Tea, TTLT’s post-pandemic retail branch. Woolah is the anglicized interpretation of ‘ulah’, an Assamese word denoting happiness.“The specialty tea market has premium and luxury brands. We wanted to build a happy, fun, quirky and contemporary brand in the world of organic teas, and the first step was to ditch the conventional tea bags, most of which release harmful micro-plastic particles when dipped,” Mr. Borkakoty told.
“Brewing a sachet of handcrafted whole leaves is simple, one just needs to pour boiling water over the leaves in a cup and let them take their true shape after 4-5 minutes of dipping. The same bunch can be used for a few cups more by adding boiling water,” he said. The TTLT team had worked on an ancient Chinese method of creating compressed tea cakes. But it consistently did not leave the leaves intact like Assam’s traditional tea leaves rolled into an irregular, extended shape.
“The idea was to let consumers see what they sip, the finest quality of two leaves and a bud (unopened leaf at the tip of a branch) in their pristine state, without being encased in potentially harmful tea bags,” Mr. Borkakoty said. With experimental places across Assam, Darjeeling, and Arunachal Pradesh, TTLT sources its teas from a system of small tea plantations that it helped with the convention of production quality.
According to Mr. Bharali, the emphasis of systematizing such tea farmers was on rebuilding the vision of Assam tea that “seemed to have lost its glory over time”.Before the whole leaf technique, TTLT had applied for a license for a one-second tea that needs an abrupt investment.“We hope to generate the resources from the whole leaf tea to be able to invest in the brew-in-a-jiffy,” Mr. Borkakoty said.