Kalyan Debbarma, a small tea grower of Tripura, has now entered the limelight for developing a green tea powder manufactured using self-designed indigenous techniques. Debbarma, who used to make hand rolled organic tea, has now developed an arrangement of indigenous tools and prepared the tea, earning recognition for himself as the lone green tea powder manufacturer.
Now, Debbarma's ideas have been widely appreciated by the Tea Board of India's regional office and Tripura Tea Development Corporation.
Speaking exclusively to Inside Northeast, Debbarma said that being a small scale tea grower based in a rural helmet of Manadai under the West Tripura district, Kalyan had no access to any factory or highly equipped tools. But, after his success, he is now mulling his own factory to ramp up production of his signature tea.
“I use the tribal traditional system to process my tea. And the end product is 100 percent organic in nature” Debbarma revealed, adding that he had adopted this method after visiting some of the organic tea gardens of the North East region, specifically Assam.
“I have been sent to several tea gardens of the Eastern India by the tea board for study. After studying the manufacturing methods in the gardens, I decided to develop my own technique as per convenience and availability of resources to make organic green tea powder”, he added.
Explaining his technique, he said that the basic tools that are being used to make powder of the tea are mortar, pestle and a grinder machine; the oiling of the leaves has also been done using indigenous technique: a bamboo made net based steam heater that is largely used to make traditional food items similar to biryani, Kalyan told us.
"After plucking, we dry the leaves. In rainy days with rain soaked leaves, it is near impossible. After that, the leaves are subjected to fanning for moisturizing. After that, the leaves are oiled properly before putting it in the mortar & pestle. And, then the process goes with another spell of heating in the traditional steam machine and grinder to find the end product”, Kalyan added, describing his technique.
When asked about his sales, he said, he has already sold many kilos of his organic tea, and he has started talks with bank officials in order to set up his own factory.
Reacting to Debbarma's success, Tea Board India Deputy Director Diganta Barman, said, “In Tripura, he is the first man to manufacture such a variety of tea and the Tea Board is constantly trying to promote small growers of the rural pockets. Kalyan, along with a team, has been sent for studies in several parts of the country."
"The Tea Board assisted him with tools and technologies too and now the government has come forward with a loan. So, we hope that many more people will come forward to produce more quality tea in Tripura”, Barman further added.
Edited by: Rana Pratap Saikia
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