By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: China hybrid tea will soon flavour Indian mornings
with a team of Indian scientists developing a new cultivated variety
of the orthodox tea from across the border.
The new cultivated variety or cultivar of China hybrid tea, developed
by scientists from the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology,
a CSIR institute, is rich in flavonoids that protect people from
cancers. It has enhanced flavours with a high percentage of a natural
chemical called catechin. Catechin brings down the problems associated
with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and fights fatigue.
The Indian team has named the new cultivar of China hybrid tea as “Him
Sphurti”. According to the IHBT researchers, the variety developed by
them contains 17.2 per cent of total catechin. “It is suitable for
making orthodox black and green teas. The aroma of orthodox tea made
from the clone showed high top floral with roast notes distinctive of
Kangra orthodox tea. The infusion is bright, astringent and flavoury,”
The scientists followed the conventional technique of selection to
develop the new cultivar from a vast heterozygous China hybrid
seed-raised population. The cultivar shows excellent performance with
respect to rooting and early establishment.
“The yield is 50 to 80 per cent higher than the recommended cultivar
in the tea-growing region. The cultivar has the potential of yielding
2500 kg made tea per hectare after the first pruning cycle,” adds a
CSIR research publication. The tea retains the characteristic flavour
of orthodox Kangra tea, a specialty tea without any astringency or
An interesting feature of this new variety is that the tea extract is
clear and the colour does not fade even after three extracts. Its
caffeine content is quite low and thus it can be consumed several
times a day.
The “Him Sphurti” is a free growing bush and attains three metres
height. It is an early flushing china hybrid type, with multiple
branched, erect and upright stem. Leaf is large, dark, green, matt,
non-lustrous, smooth, and turns wavy when mature.
China is the largest consumer of tea and India is now making forays
into the Chinese tea market. The new variety of China tea developed by
Indian scientists will not only give highly flavoured mornings back
home, but also boost Indian tea exports to China.
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