Innovation in Indian Tea

TT Tea Studio exterior

Today on Talking Tea we welcome back Kevin Gascoyne of Montreal’s Camellia Sinensis Tea House. If you’ve heard any of our earlier episodes with Kevin, you’ll know that Kevin is a specialist, and one of the world’s leading authorities, on Indian tea. Kevin returns to the show today to chat with us about some of the challenges currently facing Indian tea production, and how an innovative new project in south India called the Tea Studio is attempting to address these challenges .

Before we dive into the Tea Studio, Kevin gives us an update on the state of affairs in Darjeeling and tea production there following a lengthy labor strike in 2017. We also sample a black tea from the Indian state of Sikkim and talk a bit about Sikkim tea.

Kevin tells us about significant issues facing Indian tea production today, ranging from climate change to labor shortages, and how the Tea Studio Project was born in an attempt to address some of these problems. We discuss the origins of labor shortage issues in the Indian tea industry, why Kevin feels that the Indian tea industry is not keeping up with the growing demand worldwide for high quality teas, and how the Tea Studio is combining carefully designed mechanization with hands-on skill to produce small-batch artisanal teas in India’s Nilgiri region.  

For more info on the Tea Studio Project, visit its website at teastudio.info, and for more on Camellia Sinensis, including its online store, locations and now the first teas from the Tea Studio, go to camellia-sinensis.com.   

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.   

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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.

This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

Photo of the Tea Studio courtesy of Camellia Sinensis.

Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

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