Organic green tea made a pricey debut at the Gauhati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) today, plucking a record Rs 2,501 per kg and leaving all and sundry spellbound.
Organic green tea is non-fermented tea with pale greenish liquor and a raw, pungent flavour and has a lot of health benefits.
The tea belonged to Deha tea estate situated in Jorhat district of Upper Assam. The total quantity offered was 21kg and was produced in mid-May.
This is the best ever price fetched in the history of GTAC, which is known for CTC tea primarily, and industry observers say this will certainly give a big boost to the auction centre. Incidentally, this was the first time that organic green tea was auctioned at the centre.
The first bid started at Rs 801, which subsequently rose to 901, 1001, 1051, 1056, 2001, 2500 and finally closed at Rs 2501.
The best price fetched at the GTAC was Rs 402 last year. It was from Halmari situated in Dibrugarh district. It was CTC tea.
From the producer of Deha to the broker and some of the people who make good Assam tea, everybody was left spellbound. Today’s tea was sold by J. Thomas and Company, the largest tea brokerage in the world.
The tea was bought by Guwahati-based Madhuban Tea Company for the local market. It was bought for a Jorhat-based tea trading firm, Planter’s Choice.
“I am speechless and totally taken aback after I got the news that it has sold for Rs 2,501 a kg,” Bikash Agarwal, director, Deha tea estate, told The Telegraph. “I was told in the morning of somebody buying for Rs 900 but never thought of Rs 2,501,” he said.
Agarwal had told The Telegraph earlier that price was immaterial and this was more of an awareness move so that people got to know there were planters who make such teas in Assam.
“For the GTAC, this is a great thing to happen as it is known for CTC teas only and will certainly boost its image,” he said.
“This should inspire others in the state to make good green teas and send it to auctions as they now know it will fetch a good price,” he said.
Chairman and managing director of J. Thomas and Company, Krishan Katyal, who is also one of the best tea tasters of the country, said, “This is an absolutely outstanding price and the producers deserve a pat on the back.”
Katyal said the best ever price fetched for any Assam tea was Rs 6,999 at Calcutta tea auctions in 2012, which was an Assam orthodox tea from Duflating garden.
Rohit Surana of Planter’s Choice, who will sell the tea at his shop, Assam Tea Hub, said, “The best aspect of the tea is its smoothness and there is no element of bitterness in it.”
“There are customers who are ready to pay for good tea. It is not that all the good tea is exported as I keep expensive teas known for top quality,” he said.
Sources said the tea would not be sold for less than Rs 3,500 in retail.
Amit Daga, managing director of Calcutta-based Amarawati Tea Company Ltd, which owns Halmari tea garden that is known for its quality, said, “This is a superb achievement and the producer has done a great job.”
Kalyan Sundaram, secretary, Calcutta Tea Traders Association, said, “Such a price for green tea has never been achieved even in Calcutta auctions.”
Source: The Telegraph