AMN / GUWAHATI
A rare variety of tea in Assam was auctioned for Rs. 70, 501 a kg at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) on Wednesday breaking the record set by another specialty tea-the Manohari Gold-that was sold for Rs. 50,000 at the same auction.
Orthodox Golden Tips, tea comes from the Maijan garden in Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The garden is owned by the Assam Company India, the oldest tea company in the world.
The rare tea is produced from original tea plants, sown over a century ago. The aromatic tea creates a unique and exotic experience for tea lovers.
In a statement, the company said that the rare tea was purchased by the Mundhra Tea Company of Guwahati. It will be shared between their Belgian client and a Guwahati based online tea store.
Inspite of the astonishing prices fetched by such varities, experts say they are not the solution to the slowdown in Assam’s tea industry. “The Assam tea variety setting a new record is an encouraging development for those who are trying to develop specialty tea. In fact many growers are now focusing on specialty tea which still fetches excellent prices, but industry cannot survive on specialty tea since its production is minimal,” said Bidyananda Barkatoky, a renowned planter and a member of the GTAC governing body.
Last year, India saw a record tea production of 1,325.1 million kilograms and over half of the total produce (630 million kg) was from Assam alone. Only about 256.6 kilograms was exported from the country’s total produce. The average price in domestic auctions for the CTC variety has remained stagnant at about Rs.132.7 per kg.