With help of Tea Board, manufacturers showcasing their products in London

As Indian athletes sweat it out for medals in the London Olympics, a team from The Nilgiris is out there to provide the flavour of the country in the form of a popular beverage: The Nilgiris tea.

Facilitated by the Tea Board, some of the tea manufacturers in The Nilgiris are showcasing their products in the Olympics village. Tea tasting session, buyer-seller meets and free sample distribution are some of the activities at the Olympics village to promote awareness on south Indian teas.

Executive Director of the board R. Ambalavanan told The Hindu on Monday that the products of two corporate sector manufacturers, Billimalai Estate of the Glendale Group and Chamraj Estate of the United Nilgiri Tea Estates Company Limited, and those from the State Government undertaking Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation (TANTEA) limited are displaying their products.

Describing it as an initiative to promote The Nilgiris tea among the thousands of Olympians and visitors, he said coordinated by Mangat Ram Sharma, Director (Tea promotion) in London, the manufacturers are making available their products, particularly the speciality teas such as the green tea and organic tea, in different places.

For south Indian teas, the focus markets now are West Asian countries, Egypt, and Pakistan. Exports to Europe are not much. This is an opportunity to promote speciality teas from South India in Europe, he said.

G. Udayakumar, director of the Glendale Group, said that their Avataa (meaning fresh in Sanskrit) brand is among the south Indian teas available at the Olympics. Each gift hamper produced by it exclusively for the Tea Board for distribution in London contained three speciality grades specially manufactured from the leaves hand-picked from the Billimalai estate located 6,400 feet above the sea level.

Tea grown in Korakundah Estate, 8,200 feet above the sea level, is also part of the teas being promoted.