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Mana Organics

Bohag Bihu Celebrates the Assamese New Year

John Grams

Bohag Bihu celebrates the beginning of the Assamese New Year which coincides with the harvest. It is a celebration of diversity. The festival unites the population of Assam regardless of their religions or backgrounds. Bohag Bihu has 7 phases: 'Chot', 'Raati', 'Goru', 'Manuh', 'Kutum', 'Mela' and 'Chera'. Each are celebrated separately, recognizing an agricultural cycle of the paddy crops. Raati Bihu is performed beneath an ancient tree or in an open field illuminated by burning torches. It is a gathering for local women. Men would participate by playing the pepa (a buffalo hornpipe) or the bamboo bholuka baanhor toka. Raati...

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U.S. Reduces Tariffs on Tea

John Grams

In mid-February, the United States import tax on approximately $75 million in Chinese tea will be lowered to 7.5%, a reduction by half since duties were first imposed in September 2019. Specific details have yet to be disclosed, but tariffs on coffee and tea, will be lowered as part of the Phase 1 agreement signed Jan. 15. The lower rates are effective on February 14. Last September, brokers had little choice but to pay duties and pass along the 15% expense to retailers, most of whom increased prices. Tariffs impact more than just the tea. According to the article in World...

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Mana Organics shares the significance of Holi

John Grams

Holi is celebrated as a festival of the triumph of good over evil. It is part of the legend of the Hindu God, Vishnu, and the Legend of Dol Purnima. There are similar stories in all cultures. Holi is a bit like the story behind Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth is told he is invincible; that he cannot be killed by any man born of a woman. He will never be vanquished until the forests of Birnam march Dunsinane Hill. Like Macbeth, King Hiranyakashipu of the demonic Asuras was promised five special powers to protect him. He could be killed by: neither...

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Holi Festival celebrates a legend of the Hindu God Vishnu in Assam

John Grams

Holi, or the festival of love, frolic and colour is a favorite at the Chota Tingrai, Dinjoye and Durrung tea estates. It lasts for four days. It is a crazy fun time that has grown beyond its Hindu roots to be celebrated around the world. The best-known part is Rangwali Holi, the free-for-all Festival of Colours. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People smear each other with colours which turns into a city-wide frolic. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then...

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Tea Garden to Tea Shop: How to Transition to Growers Direct Tea

John Grams

Many of us rely on tea brokers to open and establish our business. In 2020, we can see challenges on the horizon from tariffs to weather and political disruptions. Our global business is becoming more complex, pressuring margins. Sixteen years ago, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Company in Portland, Oregon transitioned from broker to grower direct. Georgie Rhein of Mana Organics spoke with Chuck and Heather Agosta, the founders of The Jasmine Pearl. “When we started The Jasmine Pearl, we purchased month-to-month from a few stateside tea importers/brokers. We paid more per carton and set our pricing accordingly,” said Chuck. “We...

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