Tea has for long been an integral part of the Indian culture. While it has been synonymous with the milky version consumed by everyone, in recent times, this has seen a shift. Millennials are experimenting with the beverage which has given rise to newer versions of this essential drink, one among which is cold-brewed teas. According to Goldstein Research analysts, the Indian tea industry is set to reach $1 billion by 2025 growing at a CAGR of 5.8%, and cold-brewed tea is something that will increasingly play a vital part in this growth.
The trend is picking up thanks to the desire for natural, fresh, exotic, and healthy beverage choices. Indian brands are taking a heads-on approach to incorporate functional ingredients such as herbs, spices, and flowers. They are creating several fine blends with the aim of appeasing the adventurous nature of the modern tea aficionado. Apart from the wide range of tea blends and assortments available in the Indian market today, it is the process of cold-brewing which extracts a different dimension from tea leaves. The process essentially produces a more subtle and less bitter flavour as cold water extracts fewer tannins from tea leaves in comparison to hot water.
Some might even argue that the tea trend is taking a leaf out of the cold brewed coffee book. However, the textual complexities, and variables in colour and taste alike take cold-brewed teas to another level altogether. For instance, the purple tea from Kenya not only has a visually striking colour that leaves consumers awe-struck, but also more antioxidants than green tea.
Cold-brewed tea offers several health benefits, something that is the need of the hour given the deteriorating atmospheric conditions we live in today. Cold brewing for instance enhances the levels of polyphenols and Vitamin C which together strengthen the body’s immune system. In addition, cold brews have a smoother taste and the process leading to the brew enhances the beverage’s natural sweetness. Consumers therefore are not required to add sugar which allows them to keep their sweet tooth in check.
Tea is also typically packed with crucial dietary nutrients such as Vitamin A, B2, B9 (Folic Acid), D, and E; apart from minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese. Such diverse nutrients essentially contribute to the ‘health’ wish list of consumers today, making cold-brews an increasingly viable option.
The bonus is that cold-brews not only battle the heat, but also get consumers to appreciate the true taste of tea leaves. The need for the refined palate does not necessarily have to be obtained
from Kenyan tea itself. Indian brands are plucking and packaging the finest tea leaves from the tea gardens of Darjeeling and Assam while creating rare blends using jasmine, coffee infusions, lemon, honey, basil, mangoes, and blackberry among a dozen other options.
Cold-brew tea trend has indeed set its sails this year, and while there are several factors in its favour, millennials’ urge to experiment with tea will only accelerate the phenomenon. Indian brands are indeed pulling all stops to deliver wide ranges of tea blends to sustain the trend for years to come.
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