A team of researcher-entrepreneurs has developed the world’s first sachet-free whole leaf tea dip.
It took over a century for tea in Assam to shake off its “orthodoxy” and take on a granular form. A team of researcher-entrepreneurs has now made it take the true shape of the leaf in a cup of tea.
Childhood friends Upamanyu Borkakoty and Anshuman Bharali created The Tea Leaf Theory (TTLT) in 2015, a tea research platform for small organic tea producers.
Their experiments for nearly two years have resulted in Truedips, a patent-pending technology that helps freshly picked leaves compress and tie into a bunch to unfold to their true shape in boiling water.
In August, they applied for a patent for their technology that took off from where another experiment to remove bitterness from Indian green tea ended. They launched the product a few days ago through Woolah Tea, TTLT’s post-pandemic retail wing.
Woolah is the Anglicized version of “ulah”, an Assamese word which means happiness.
“The specialty tea market has premium and luxury brands. We wanted to create a happy, fun, quirky, and contemporary brand in the organic tea world, and the first step was to ditch conventional tea bags, most of which release harmful micro-plastic particles when soaked. “Said Mr. Borkakoty The Hindu.
Making a bag of homemade whole leaves is simple, he says.
“Just pour boiling water over the leaves in a cup and let them take their true shape after 4-5 minutes of soaking. The same diet can be used for a few more cups by adding boiling water, ”he says.
The TTLT team had been working on an ancient Chinese technique of producing compressed tea cakes. But he invariably didn’t leave the leaves untouched like Orthodox Assam tea – leaves rolled into an irregular, elongated shape.
“The idea was to allow consumers to see what they were sipping, the best quality of two leaves and a bud (unopened leaf at the end of a branch) in their intact state, without being locked in. potentially harmful tea bags, ”Borkakoty said.
With experimental stations across Assam, Darjeeling and Arunachal Pradesh, TTLT sources its tea from a network of small tea farms that it has helped to assess the quality of production.
According to Mr. Bharali, the objective of organizing these tea producers was to reorganize the image of Assam tea which “seemed to have lost its glory with time”.
Before the whole leaf technique, TTLT had applied for a patent for a one-second tea that required a large investment.
“We hope to generate the resources of whole leaf tea so that we can invest in beer in no time at all,” Borkakoty said.
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