Rangsaa Launches It’s Website Rangsaa.com on ITD 2016

On the 12th International Tea Day, 15th December 2016, we at Rangsaa are glad to launch our website www.rangsaa.com.

We at Rangsaa are huge fans of superior quality tea and herbs, but were jaded with the poor-grade and dusty flavors that found their way into infusions. Having realised a gap in the market for healthy, all-natural tea, we sought out to create delicious blends loaded with pure, unadulterated power. And so Rangsaa was born.

Climate change and modern lifestyle are messing our health and mental peace. Diseases like diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure are increasingly becoming common among people. In Delhi, the national capital of India, there are already serious concerns surrounding the dangerously high levels of toxicity in the air.

We feel it is the need of the hour for people to consider tea as the best option for their daily drinks. Market stats and global trend forecast prove that people are bored of artificial drinks and are looking for something that will improve them naturally.

After years of research and collaboration with experts, we created our unique Rangsaa recipes to rediscover the forgotten power of Indian herbs. Rangsaa’s tea blends and tisanes are the results of a precise and careful selection of evocative herbs with proven health benefits, designed for the modern tea drinker. We aim to create an exquisite tea drinking experience for tea lovers around the world. And we ensure our journey is beneficial for all by working directly with small growers and farmers.

A fitness and wellness movement, Rangsaa operates in a unique space. With all-natural ingredients curated to transform and energize, Rangsaa is all about complex and novel layers of flavors, undertones and aromas. Our blends are multi-versatile, finding their uses in cooking, nutritious drinks and healthy cocktails. We love design and bring to you a product that not just tastes amazing, but also looks absolutely amazing. Just how our tea makes you feel good inside-out, so will our packaging.

The concept of healthy, nutritious tea goes way beyond the popular green tea or flavored tea bags. While we do see the concept of premium tea as a health drink growing globally, it still remains to gain traction in India. Rangsaa is on a mission to change this and we need your support to that end.

We are brewing a modern culture for contemporary tea drinking experience, and we look forward to sharing this wonderful journey with you. Please check out our website, shop and show your support. Share it if you love it.

Small Tea Growers Demand For Their Rights On International Tea Day 2016

While 5000 tea workers assemble at Raja Bhat Tea Estate in Kalchini district of West Bengal today 15.12.2016 to observe the 11th International Tea Day, we at Rangsaa stand with all the Small Tea Growers (STG)  in India and Center for Education and Communication (CEC) to bring forward the problems and demands of small tea growers across India. This is our attempt to contribute to the well-being of the people behind our cups of tea and highlight their issues to all our readers and the world. Next cup of tea you take, think of tea plantation workers, their condition and their rights. Together we can make a difference.

The petition, which highlights the demands of small tea growers of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, is signed today and submitted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. Following is the memorandum submitted.

Small Grower Statement

We, the representatives of following Primary Producer Societies or collectives of small tea growers in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram are celebrating December 15, the international tea day with increased sense of self worth.

We are proud to be the producers of Tea, a health drink. India is the second largest producer of this health drink in the world. We, the small farmers, though having on an average less than 2 acres of land, are proud to contribute 33.85% in 2015-16 of tea produced in India. That this is a recent phenomenon could be gauged from the fact that in 1999 small growers’ contribution was only 1.16% of the total production. In 2015-16, of the total production of 1233.14 million kgs of tea, small sector contributed 417.42 million kgs based on an aggregation of tea manufactured by 568 bought leaf factories. Our contribution to the total tea production in India must be higher if our supply to estate factories are also considered.

Small farmer’s production is almost twice the quantity of tea exported by India. During the financial year 2015-16 India exported 232.92 million kgs valued at Rs. 4493.10 crore. We are feeling proud of the fact that we contribute not only to meet the growing domestic demand for tea in India but also to obtain valuable foreign exchange.

Small sector contributes to employment generation in the rural areas, uplifting hundreds of thousands of people from poverty and it prevents distress migration. Tea cultivation is respectful self-employment for thousands of young people, and in all tea growing areas; and it also absorbs as workers a large number of unemployed from the large tea estates.

For small growers, land is not a commodity, but a source of life and livelihood, integral to our existence. Overcoming compulsions from chemical and fertiliser companies, increasing number of farmers are following responsible agricultural practices, moving towards chemical free and organic agriculture.

We want Central and State governments to recognise our contribution to the nation, its economy, ecology and to the people of India and of the World.

  1. We strongly urge the Government of India to ensure that we get a fair price for our produce by
    a. strong and participatory enforcement of Price Sharing formula
    b. ensuring better price for better quality of leaf supplied
    c. making available certified organic manure and pesticides

  2. We urge the Government of India not to delay the declared subsidies to small growers including leaf collection shed, leaf weighing machine, leaf carrying bag, pruning machine, plucking machine, irrigation equipments and computer.

  3. We urge the Government of India to extend crop insurance scheme to all small growers without any delay.

  4.  We urge the Government of India to implement universal social security and health coverage for the workers working in our gardens.

  5. We urge the Government of India to encourage collectives of small growers having 100 acres of land, quality leaves, and compliance to Plant Protection Code to set up factories to manufacture chemical free / organic green specialty tea and facilitate their marketing ventures by
    a. easing steps to set up such units, especially, approvals for land, building and machinery
    b. easing steps to obtain other necessary permits and licences including electricity, pollution, sales tax etc
    c. ensuring easy access to credit from NABARD, SFAC and other public as well as private financial institutions
    d. extending financial assistance as is available for big factories

On the occasion of 11th International Tea Day, we stand united with self-respect for responsible, sustainable and remunerative tea cultivation and assure everyone quality tea.

Name of the Person Signing, Name of the PPS, Name of the District

The Rise of Premium Tea and What is Driving This Segment

tea-talk-3aThe demand for premium tea has seen considerable growth in the last few years, with the trend holding true not just for the Western part of the world but also for India. Guess who is fuelling this rise in demand for premium varieties of tea hitherto left largely unexplored?

The increasing demand largely comes from health-conscious ‘millennials’ (individuals born between 1980’s and 2004), who on their quest to lead the good life are increasingly taking to natural, organic and pure ingredients in their daily lives. With standards of living higher than the preceding generations, the millennials are the ones driving this spectacular growth in the ‘sharing economy’ trend; this generation is making the shift from ownership to renting and instead spending big on consumer products that ensure a healthy, disease-free life.

Naturally, the big premium tea brands are now targeting this micro-premium segment of buyers that is comfortable spending on high-end, organic products that promote healthy living. Indian brands have also jumped on to the bandwagon and are making concerted efforts to cater to this segment by importing superior varieties of tea and marketing these to the health-conscious millennials with cushy corporate jobs and solid cash flows.

However, we often see brands casually throwing the word ‘premium’ around. So what exactly does ‘premium’ tea mean and how can you ensure your tea is, indeed, premium?

Tea comes roughly in three varieties – Bulk, Brand and Premium.

Bulk tea is harvested in a mechanical fashion, because of which the leaves and sprigs get grinded together. This results in the leaves getting damaged, which might cause a bitter flavour. This type of tea is often described as ‘dust’. Tea plantations separate the high quality leaves from the dust and grit, pack them in tea bags and use these for bulk tea. The costs involved in its production are minimal.

Tea brands, such as Lipton and Twinings, sell through their huge marketing activities. These days, we see an increase in the number of brands entering this segment, distinguishing themselves through marketing, design and perception (biological, Ayurveda etc.). Mostly, branded tea are mixes or teas given their unique aroma and taste profile with synthetic flavoring. However, the quality of the leaves is low-grade. By the time tea reaches your cup, it is almost 2-3 years old. Again, the costs involved in this segment are low.

Premium tea is the segment offering high quality tea – popularly known as specialty or orthodox tea. This tea is carefully cultivated and usually handpicked, which results in superior quality. The best locations for cultivation are picked based on altitude, light, temperature, humidity and soil. Different terrains and soils result in different flavor profiles, much as it is with wine. This explains why teas grown in high altitudes are the most expensive and unique. The costs in this segment are high – similar to premium wine or an expensive bottle of single malt, which explains the bulk of demand coming from the segment with high disposable incomes.

What makes premium tea all that special? According to Euromonitor, in 2015, tea outperformed all other hot beverages in total volume terms. In developed markets, tea’s perceived health benefits and a growing crop of premium tea specialists are driving higher consumption. We also see this trend catching up in India where upcoming tea specialists have generated renewed interest in premium tea.

We at Love for Tea believe that the increasing demand for specialty tea is only the beginning of something of a revolution. With greater awareness and accessibility will come greater acceptance for this segment of tea. We hope tea lovers around the world make the right decision, drink right and nourish their love for special brews.

10 Tea Drinking Habits That Need To Die In 2016

Tea Habits

The tea scenario is changing fast. We believe tea is ripe for reinvention and rapid growth. So, are some traditional tea drinking habits. Here’s lovefortea’s recommended list :

1. Adding milk to tea – It is a matter of taste, but drinking CTC tea with over-cooked milky concoction has to change. It’s time to unlearn and rediscover.

2. Drinking tea bag tea -One cup. That’s all it takes to completely transform your perception of what a tea bag should be. Switch to whole leaf tea experience.

3. Drinking cheap artificial flavored teas –  Clean drinking is as important as clean eating. It should be important to you what you are putting in your body. Always check the ingredients list. Your natural tea may not be so natural.

4. Making tea in the microwave – Heating water or making your tea in the microwave will result in a lousy cup of tea. There’s lot of science behind it but in short the procedure kills the aroma, warmth, comfort and awesomeness of tea.

5. Compromising on quality – Invest in good tea leaves. It’s high time. Quality comes at a price but you need to drink to your health. Else, the purpose is lost.

6. Using same water temperature for all teas – There are different kinds of tea. Higher temperature can burn the tea leaves leaving a bitter taste. Here’s a quick cheat sheet – use 65-75 C for white tea, 75-85 C for green tea, 85-95 C for black tea and 100 C for tea blends and tisanes.

7. Not reusing your tea leaves – Using a series of short steeps is the best way to get the most out of your tea. So, don’t forget to re-steep your tea.

8. Using stale water – An awesome trick to make a pleasant cup of tea is to use fresh water. Every time you re-boil water, you condense the minerals that are in natural existence, resulting in a bad cup of tea.

9. Buying supermarket ice tea – Ice tea is the most underrated drink on the planet. Stop consuming so many chemicals. Homemade cold brews are more delicious and leave lot of room for play.

10. Drinking tea in coffee mugs – A good cup of tea cannot be appreciated in a coffee mug. A good bone china or a right tea ware can actually step up your tea drinking experience.

R.I.P Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali.jpg

This is our tribute to Muhammad Ali, the man who inspired many lives and made people believe that their vision can become a reality. The world has lost the greatest champion ever. Our heart reaches out to the family and fans world over.

Tea Journey Magazine

Tea lovers, prepare yourself for the launch of Tea Journey Magazine, a first of it’s kind publication that will change the way you look at tea.

Tea Journey is Dan Bolton’s tea adventure, which is a collaborative effort, self-financed by editors, writers, tea consultants, tea educators and tea experts globally. Dan Bolton is an incredible tea ambassador, beverage retail expert and famous veteran magazine editor who loves to educate and enlighten people on the vastness of tea. He says, “Tea Journey is like a digital caravan of story tellers who travel to origin and return with authoritative, elusive and exclusive articles, photos, and video that will help our readers discover their tea destiny.”

The magazine’s Kickstarter campaign, which ends on 1st of June, has already passed $100,000 mark to become the 4th most funded periodical in Kickstarter history. We encourage all our readers to check out the magazine’s Kickstarter page and support Dan’s brilliant initiative, that seeks to create a process of discovery with a beautiful magazine, website and mobile app about tea.

Dangers In Tea & What You Can Do About Them

Right-TeaTea has plethora of mental and physical health benefits and yes, I will say it time and again that tea is fantastic and everyone must drink it. But sadly, your cup of tea has a dark side too. Many tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs. Global research sheds light on serious risks that may come with sipping tea. Keep reading to find out how these toxins find their way into your cup.

1. Added Artificial/Natural Flavoring – Flavored teas like jasmine, lemon, mint and rose tea are made with artificial flavoring, often disguised as ‘natural flavoring’. Natural oils are very expensive and most companies use cheaper substitutes – customarily manipulations of chemicals such as crude oil and coal tar, which are a massive toxic overload on the human system. Many famous brands (including Teavana) have been tested positive for toxins. So, just think about your regular retailers in the market.

2. High Levels of Pesticides, Metals and Toxins – Tea can contain or absorb various toxic compounds depending on factors like soil, environment, harvesting, storage and even brewing methods. Many global investigations and case studies have reported high levels of pesticides and toxic chemicals in many tea brands (including Twinings), which can even cause serious health problems like kidney and liver damage. A 2015 study discovered that teas with added citric acid had elevated aluminium, cadmium and lead levels, and lemon tea bags had 10-70 times higher levels.

3. Excessive Fluoride Levels –  The tea plant accumulates fluoride as it grows, with mature leaves containing the most fluoride. When tea is harvested, the older leaves are used to produce lower quality, stronger teas such as economy teas. The bud and newer top leaves are used in the higher grade and speciality tea products. Excessive intake of fluoride can cause a variety of health problems including joint pain, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, brittle teeth, kidney problems and has even been linked to cancer.

4. Insects and Worms – Companies do not ensure quality and proper storage of tea. This leads to a lot of concerns – like contamination of tea with insects and worms. Recently, this video surfaced showing worms in Lipton’s Lemon flavored tea which created a major turmoil among consumers and tea bag drinkers. It’s hard to trust a product when you cannot see it. Why compromise on health?

Things are going out of control and definitely look scary. A modern tea drinker is confused, we understand. But some simple pointers, if kept in mind, can ensure that your cup of tea is healthy. Here’s LoveforTea’s four solutions for a Ninja Tea Drinker:

1.Trust Your Senses – The modern tea movement allows you to see, smell and taste your tea in it’s purest form. Tea that appeals to your senses in it’s purest glory. So, quit tea bags and switch to loose leaf tea experience.
2.Read the Ingredients List – Make sure you carefully examine and check the list of ingredients before you buy your tea. Try to skip products with artificial/natural flavoring.
3.Rinse your Tea before you Brew – A simple practice also followed by the ancient Chinese tea drinkers. A quick hot water rinse can provide the first line of defence.
4.Check for Certifications/Approvals – Information like certifications, approvals and nutritional chart of the tea should be very important to the consumer. Lot of companies bypass these procedures. Check them and connect the dots.

People should try to drink tea in it’s purest form. Your tea must not be tampered and manipulated. And yes, quality comes at a price. Mostly economy teas are reported to contain maximum number of pesticides, metals, toxins and artifical flavoring, which are harmful to health. So, choose wisely before you order your tea next time.

References – Medical Daily, Yahoo NewsHuffington Post