Aravinda Anantharaman

Koliapani Tea Estate

Advocating Artisan Tea for Smallholders in Assam

The Tea Leaf Theory team is very lean, choosing to remain independent, bootstrapped, refusing certifications, they represent a new kind of startup, modern yet rooted in something traditional, ancient even. There’s the social impact but Tea Leaf Theory is not an NGO working for small farmers. “We want to make them entrepreneurs, not beneficiaries,” say co-founders Upamanyu Borkakoty and Anshuman Bharali.

Temi Tea Pluckers

Sikkim’s Temi Tea

Sikkim’s Temi Tea has protected and sustained its legacy. But it also made this legacy a part of its brand story, one that complements its topnotch tea.

Forest Pick Tea

Forest Pick Wild Tea from Manipur

Three sisters from Manipur, India, and their brother launched Forest Pick Wild Tea about two years ago. Together they organized villagers to harvest tall-grown tea trees on a schedule, arriving with portable processing equipment to make artisan oolong, black, green and white teas. “Irrespective of the market size or market opportunity, Forest Pick Wild Tea is not another start-up, but an eco-system we are creating in which all the villagers participating will benefit.” — Julie Gangte

The Gentleman Planter of Craigmore

Given that the Indian tea industry is struggling, Craigmore Tea Estate’s profitability offers important insights. The estate produces orthodox green and black tea, with the former exported and the latter sent to the auctions. Over the years, the balance has tilted to favor more green tea production to meet the demand.

The Studio: Muskan Khanna

Tea Studio celebrated its second birthday in August 2019. What it offers is a new model for processing tea in India. Small has not meant few teas. Nearly 90% of Tea Studio’s teas are exported to Canada, United States, Japan, and Australia. Teas are made to order, production is a modest 20 kilos a day.

Forest Pick Wild Tea from Manipur

Three sisters from Manipur, India, and their brother launched Forest Pick Wild Tea about two years ago. Together they organized villagers to harvest tall-grown tea trees on a schedule, arriving with portable processing equipment to make artisan oolong, black, green and white teas. “Irrespective of the market size or market opportunity, Forest Pick Wild Tea is not another start-up, but an eco-system we are creating in which all the villagers participating will benefit.” — Julie Gangte

The Gentleman Planter of Craigmore

Given that the Indian tea industry is struggling, Craigmore Tea Estate’s profitability offers important insights. The estate produces orthodox green and black tea, with the former exported and the latter sent to the auctions. Over the years, the balance has tilted to favor more green tea production to meet the demand.