Want to challenge your taste buds? Try Assam’s Bhut Jolokia tea
Do you still feel sleepy after leaving bed in the morning? Now you can change that and by replacing your normal morning cup of tea with something which will make you wide awake.
On Tuesday, a Guwahati-based tea company launched a new brand of tea, which is mixed with Bhut Jolokia, one of the hottest chillies in the world, a first such experiment anywhere.
Aromica Fiery Tea from Tender Buds Teas and Crafts comprises of Bhut Jolokia, also known as ghost pepper. It will be blended with organic black tea made using a ‘dheki’, a wooden threshing tool, and dehydrated lemon and ginger powder.
“Assam is known all over for tea as well as Bhut Jolokia. Therefore we decided to bring both things together and pose a challenge to tea lovers to try it out,” said Ranjit Baruah, director of the company.
A tea-planter who worked with private companies for two decades before starting his own last year, Baruah thought of trying this new variety after witnessing people in some pockets of South East Asia and Africa having their regular tea with chillies.
Bhut jolokia (Capsicum chinense) was named by Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest chilly in the world in 2007. It has since lost its position to an US variety called Carolina Reaper.
Called by various other names like Bih Jolokia, Raja Mircha (King Chilly) etc, Bhut Jolokia is grown across Assam and several other states in India’s northeast.
“We did trials for over a month before coming up with the right blend. Those people who like to consume green chillies or pepper would want to try our fiery tea,” said Baruah.
Besides the innovative value, fiery tea is also said to have health benefits.
Capsaisin found in chillies has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. Chillies also contain Vitamin C, which helps in protecting from scurvy and develop immunity.
“Aromica fiery tea will be available in boxes of 70 gram priced at ₹400 each. The product will be available in stores across the country and tea connoisseurs from across the world can order it online from our company’s website,” said Baruah.
Started in November 2018, Tender Buds Teas and Crafts already have 18 different varieties of teas sourced from small tea growers from across Assam.
Over 90% of the company’s employees are women.
“The response to our blue tea, a variety blended with butterfly pea flower and launched in January this year, is fantastic. There’s lot of queries for fiery tea as well,” said Baruah.
Though production has increased, the 180-year tea industry in Assam is going through one of its worst phases due to a demand supply mismatch. Innovations like fiery tea could help boost the industry.
“People have been drinking tea the same way for centuries. We need to be innovative and add more value to the product so that the market for Assam tea keeps growing,” said Baruah.