For most of us, a good start to a day is usually with a cup of tea. Green or black, with milk, lemon or honey, we love our daily dose of caffeine.
With the rising trend in health consciousness, the tea market is going through changes in its customers' choice. Heavy liquors laden with sugar and milk is being replaced by matcha, oolong and other flavoured varieties.
With their products such as Dragon Well green tea, Golden Eyebrow black tea and Silver Needle white tea, Bangladeshi tea brand Halda Valley is gradually becoming a prominent name in local as well as international markets.
The Business Standard spoke with Brand Manager Azmain Rahman of Halda Valley about the brand's beginning and current exposure in the market.
He said, "Although targeted towards a niche market, Halda Valley tea is the perfect example of many years of perseverance and hard work. The brand produced nine lakh kilograms of tea last year, that too from a tea estate which was abandoned and later salvaged by founder and managing director of Pedrollo NK Limited Nader Khan."
Halda Valley's digital marketing head Shadath Shaibal said, "It was a great challenge for Nader Khan as the estate was deserted for many years. When the first seeds were planted, most of the plants died in the first year due to lack of irrigation."
The current tea estate is sprawled over 1 thousand 52 acres of land and an advanced irrigation process that Nader Khan adapted from Thailand is used.
As part of an added experiment, dragon fruits were cultivated in the estate, which too has turned out to be successful. In 2010, Halda Valley was nationally recognised for having the highest number of tea plantation in Bangladesh. Halda Valley tea is currently exported to China and Kuwait.
When asked about how they are dealing with the competition, Shaibal said, "Crushed tea is more popular in tea markets but our main focus is on green tea leaves. So comparing our products with other brands may not be appropriate for now. However, we are hopeful about our brand's future."
An 85gram box of Halda Valley's Golden Eyebrow black tea costs BDT595 where as its 50gram box (contains 20 sachets) costs Tk365. The Dragon Well green tea comes in boxes of 75gram, 55gram and 30gram with each costing Tk625, Tk475 and Tk265 respectively. The Grandeur Collection costs Tk3500 whereas the Inspiration Collection costs Tk2500.
Other than selling boxes of tea, Halda Valley has opened a tea boutique in Dhaka's Gulshan where you can sit back and enjoy a flavourful cup of tea.
Brand Manager Azmain Rahman said, "Despite knowing the negative impacts of dairy and sugar, many of us still prefer drinking sweetened tea with milk. Halda Valley tea wants consumers to know that the real taste of tea lies in its liquor.
Moreover, liquor tea also has many health benefits."