Tea Taste May Be Altered By Climate ChangePublished:January 2nd, 2011
Rising temperatures might influence not just the production of tea in Assam state of India, but also the tea flavour. Assam is the main region for growing tea in northeastern India and is the source of the some of the finest black teas. Assam teas are often sold as breakfast teas due to their strength but tea planters say that the taste is now weakened.
Tea growers are concerned as Assam tea’s strong flavour was its hallmark and have asked the Indian government to fund studies to examine the change of flavour due to climate change.
Assam produces 55% of the tea crop in India, and 31% of the global tea production comes from India. However, as the temperatures rise and the rainfall patterns change, tea production in the region dropped significantly. The drop in production has caused a 10% increase of price in 2010.
Scientists at the Tea Research Association started to analyze temperature statistics in order to establish links between temperature rise, fluctuations in rainfall and their effects on tea yields. Besides temperatures, dampness also affects tea crops as it can aggravate bug attacks. Tea mosquito bugs multiply in damp and cloudy weather and attach fresh shoots of tea bushes, which prevents the plant’s regeneration. Three million people are employed in the tea industry in India.