Wine from pure tea? India says yes

Did you hear the one about the Indian company that brewed wine out of pure tea?

Now you have.

Experiments conducted at the Tea Research Association's Jorhat, Assam, facility have resulted in a new product that will be put on the market in about six months.

Mridul Hazarika, director of the TRA’s Tocklai centre in Jorhat, claims, “We brewed wine out of pure tea. Of course, we have used some other requisite ingredients to whet the fermentation.”

“The uniqueness of our product is that unlike the Japanese tea-based wine we don’t mingle red wine with the beverage," Hazarika told Commodity Online.com. "The Japanese tea based wine producers mix the red wine in specific proportion to make the drink. But our base would be pure tea with some added flavors to exude the exotic aromas of Darjeeling and Assam teas.”

The TRA earlier created tea tablets, ready-to-drink tea and tea biscuits.

Pradeep Ghosh, a TRA senior consultant, explained: “The tablet is basically a fine form of quality brew carrying the flavor of popular varieties like Darjeeling and Assam. Consumers can chew it or can dissolve it in a cup of hot or cold water and then relish it as a drink.”

No one at the TRA explained precisely how its new product differs from other "wine teas" made and consumed in Asia and Oceania. For example, here is one recipe I picked up from the ABC Tasmania television station which featured it on a broadcast several years ago after it was submitted by a viewer.


4 pints cold tea
2 pounds granulated sugar
½ pound raisins
2 lemons

Cut the raisins and slice the lemons thinly, and put them in a large bowl or jug. Add the sugar, then pour on the cold tea. Stir till the sugar has dissolved, then cover the bowl or jug and leave it for a month. After this time you will find a scum on top, remove this carefully, then strain off the liquid and bottle.

Serving suggestion: Tea wine can be drunk at once, but is best when kept a few months. Keep it in a cool dark place, and don’t push the corks in too hard at first.

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