Arunachal tea fetches record price of Rs 40,000/kg in auction

A tea variety from a garden in India’s northeastern Arunachal Pradesh has created a record by being auctioned at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) at Rs 40,000 per kg.

Last month in July, an Assam tea variety scripted history after being sold at Rs 39,001 per kg at an auction, a price that the GTAC had then claimed to be the highest across the world.

A 1.1 kg lot of Golden Needle from Arunachal Pradesh’s Donyi Polo tea estate was sold at Rs 40,000 per kg to Assam Tea Traders, one of the oldest tea shop in Guwahati, Dinesh Bihani, secretary of the Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers Association told media.

The Golden Needle are small buds which are carefully plucked, the leaf has a coating of golden colour which makes it soft and velvety to touch. This special golden needle tea liquor is bright golden with sweet taste and rich aroma.

Earlier there were Silver Needles White Tea from the same garden which had fetched Rs 17,001 per kg. Such type of teas are produced only when natural forces align with precise tea making skills.

In July this year, Manohari Gold Tea, an orthodox tea variety, fetched Rs 39,001 during a pan India auction at the GTAC. The tea was sold by Contemporary Brokers and purchased by Saurabh Tea Traders of Guwahati for their upcountry buyers at Delhi and Ahmadabad.

This variety was prepared by C K Parashar under the guidance of Rajan Lohia, owner of Manohari TE, who described the variety: “The leaves are like crystals of gold. It was a work of art — and the outcome of hard work.” Lohia said only 50 grams of this variety can be produced in a day, with “hand-plucking of very delicate buds” only in the early morning. For context, there are some varieties of which 20-25 kg can be plucked in a day.

India has six tea auction centres —Kolkata (the oldest, set up in 1861), Guwahati (1970), Siliguri, Kochi, Coimbatore and Coonoor.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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