TRI to introduce Tea wine to local and world markets | Sunday Observer

TRI to introduce Tea wine to local and world markets

27 November, 2022

For the first time in the world, the Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute (TRI) will introduce ‘Tea wine’ to the global and local market early next year.

Director and CEO, TRI, Dr. Saman Hettiarachchi told Sunday Observer Business that they had done over four years of research before launching this product.

He said that they have already obtained a patent for this product.

“Since we felt that the private sector would be the best to market it to the globe as the first ‘made in Sri Lanka Tea wine’ we called for expressions of Interest (EOI) and 19 companies responded.”

He said that to ensure transparency in the EOI process, a committee was appointed with representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Plantations, Sri Lanka Tea Board, TRI and other scientists. “We then narrowed it to five and now two have been shortlisted.”

He said that Ceylon Breweries and Lanka Distillers company are the two short-listed companies which are already engaged in exports.

“TRI will come to an agreement with these two companies to obtain 10% of total sales value as ‘royalty’ fee. When the formalities are completed we expect the world’s first Tea wine to be available from March 2023 locally and for abroad.

He said that in the first year of production Sri Lanka will obtain around USD 300 million as export revenue from this wine, enabling it to obtain the much needed dollars and also helping to add a new product to the export catalogue. “TRI also will get revenue through the sales percentage and this will help to continue our research and development.”

He said that with soft wine licences issued for restaurants and hotels and with the import ban on wine, this product will be very popular in Sri Lanka as well. Tea wine contains 12.0% (v/v) alcohol and is made from tea infusions. It is unique in taste, aroma and stable in storage. “Aged, formulated liquor in wooden vats raises the soothing effect of the beverage,” he said.