The Telegraph
Thursday , July 27 , 2017

Arunachal flavour at Guwahati auction

- Donyi Polo handcrafted tea gets record price

Tippy tea when brewed

Guwahati, July 26: A handcrafted tea from Arunachal Pradesh stole the show at the Gauhati Tea Auction Centre today by fetching the highest-ever price at the GTAC. This is the first time that handcrafted tea was auctioned at the centre.

The handcrafted tippy tea from Donyi Polo garden in East Siang district fetched Rs 2,565 a kg, beating the previous record of Rs 2,501 held by Deha tea garden of Jorhat district in Upper Assam. Deha had got the record price for its organic green tea on June 10, 2015. The tea was sold by Contemporary Brokers.

Tippy tea refers to tea that includes a greater portion of tips (leaf buds).

Today, the bidding started at Rs 1,500 and the auction was over in two minutes. Only 9.6kg of the tea was sold.

The tea was bought by Nilkanth Enterprise, Guwahati, and will be shipped to Anand in Gujarat.

An official of the Gauhati Tea Auction Centre said this was the highest price ever fetched at the GTAC and the first time that handmade tea was sold at the centre. "We will encourage such teas in the future too," he added.

Handcrafted teas are hand-rolled. Normally teas are rolled on rolling tables. When manually rolled, it is important to know just how much pressure to apply so that the leaves do not break.

"The plucked leaves are withered by placing them on shallow bamboo trays or mats for 14 to 16 hours under ceiling fan. After they wither to the desired level, the leaves are hand-rolled on bamboo mats. The oxidation process follows. Finally, they are dried in a small cabinet drier. Handmade teas are graded as whole leaf teas," senior manager of Donyi Polo garden, Manoj Kumar, told The Telegraph.

Handcrafted tippy tea from Donyi Polo garden

He said the company sells its tea abroad also and has been encouraging people to make handmade tea.

The garden, located 600km from Guwahati, belongs to Siang Tea and Industries Pvt Ltd. The garden plants tea on 420.94 hectares.

Nirav Patel of Nilkanth Enterprise said the tea has got a very nice taste with a good body. "The strength is just perfect here. One doesn't need to add sugar while having the tea," he added.

Teas from Arunachal Pradesh fetch an average price of Rs 140 at the GTAC. In 2016-17, 2.68 million kg of tea from Arunachal was sold at GTAC. The average price that orthodox tea from Arunachal Pradesh fetches is Rs 258.48.

"This kind of a price encourages us to bring in more tea of this kind and it also proves that there are buyers for it," an official of Contemporary Brokers told this correspondent.

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