Finally – Good Tea In India?

04Jun07

Tea Gardens in the Dooars

I’ve lamented the fact that it’s remarkably difficult to find high quality teas on the Indian market since the bulk of the good stuff ends up being exported. Aside from a handful of specialty tea shops, high quality teas are just not as ubiquitous as coffee (in India’s urban centers). There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that — it’s a big foreign exchange earner after all — to the tune of some Rs. 1,857 crores (what’s a crore?) or $380M annually). Our company probably contributes some 0.0000000000001% to that total, but we’ll catch up eventually!

But anyhow, there was a point to this post.

I read with some interest this afternoon about McLeod Russel’s (BOM:532654) plans to start offering Indian consumers better tea.

Really? And by better you mean….what exactly?

While super premium Indian teas are in demand in several developed countries like Germany, Khaitan said the proposed brand would only cater to the domestic market.

Hopefully these “super premium teas”, will be on par with the so-called “export-quality” teas.

When they eventually launch (and things are very much in the preliminary stages right now) I wonder if India’s urban middle class (assuming that is the market they are trying to penetrate) will drink a little less Starbucks and a little more tea. But I have my doubts.

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