Assam tea scripts history at Rs 50,000/kg

Guwahati: In what is said to be the highest price ever paid for tea at any public auction, a variety of Assam tea set a new record by fetching Rs 50,000 per kg of tea in Guwahati on Tuesday.

The Manohari Tea Estate gold special tea was bought at Rs 50,000 per kg by Sourabh Tea Traders Pvt Ltd at the Guwahati Auction Centre. Mr Maheshwari of Sourabh Tea Traders had bought 2 kg of Manohari Gold tea in 2018 too. “A seller who purchased a kilogram liked it very much and had asked me to keep an eye out when the tea hits the market again,” Mr Maheshwari said, adding he retailed the remaining tea at a whopping price of Rs 8,000 per 100 grams.

Earlier, Manohari Tea Estate of Mohanbari in Dibrugarh had created history on July 24, 2018 by selling gold tea at Rs 39,001 per kg, which was soon broken by the Golden Needle variety from the Donyi Polo Tea Estate in Arunachal Pradesh, which sold for Rs 40,000 per kg.

The secretary of the Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers Association said: “The price that Manohari Gold has fetched is the highest for tea in a public auction so far.”

Rajan Lohia, owner of Manohari Tea Estate at Dibrugarh in Upper Ass-am, told this newspaper this year only 5 kg of the exquisite speciality orthodox tea was produced.

 Noting that the weather was not very supportive, he narrated how the gold tea was made from small buds, and not tea leaves.

Pointing out that it was a tedious and difficult process, he said: “It is made from the finest clones, the P-126, which is said to be the best clone. He said the buds are plucked early morning in the second flush season in May and June.

Mr Lohia, however, regretted that while they were producing exquisite speciality orthodox tea, the condition of the Assam tea industry was not good, and heading for a major disaster. Saying the industry was in dire need of governmental support, Mr Lohia warned: “If drastic course corrections are not done, the industry may not survive long.” He appealed to the Assam chief minister and finance minister to rescue the state’s tea industry.

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