One no longer has to buy a bottle of mineral water or coke when thirsty; instead get a can of Tea Cola, a proven health drink. And if one is in a hurry but still in the mood for a cup of tea , just pop a tea pill and get refreshed.
Indian scientists who have developed the exotic health drink and the pill from tea extracts are jubilant with the two products hitting markets in Assam soon after being granted provisional patent rights.
"It would be a milestone in the history of tea when these products would be made available in the market for commercial use," said Mridul Hazarika, director of the Tocklai Experimental Station in Assam's Jorhat town.
A four-member team of scientists, headed by Hazarika, developed the two products in 2005 and was waiting for the patent rights before making it commercially available.
"We are expecting to get the final patent rights very soon although we can commercially launch the products even with the provisional order," the scientist said.
The new drink named 'Tea Cola' would have two varieties. "We have developed two varieties - one from extracts of black tea and the other from green tea to cater to different palates," Hazarika told IANS.
"The drink is made from pure natural tea extracts having a lot of medicinal properties in them."
The Tocklai Station, located in the tea-growing town of Jorhat in eastern Assam, was set up in 1901 and is currently the world's biggest facility for tea research.
Apart from tea extracts, Tea Cola contains certain permissible additives and some sweeteners. "The idea to develop Tea Cola is nothing but value addition to tea. The idea is to cut into the bottled mineral water market - a litre of Tea Cola would definitely be cheaper than a bottle of water," Hazarika noted.
The production cost for a litre of Tea Cola is estimated at about Rs.10.
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