Oolong, gone in two minutes
Guwahati, June 14: Two minutes...and it was gone.
Altogether 31kg oolong tea, produced at the Doomni tea estate in Baksa district, was sold briskly this afternoon, setting a new record of Rs 1,901 per kg at the auction.
The earlier record of Rs 1,151 per kg was set last month.
Oolong tea made its debut at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) in 2015. The tea was bought by Baruah Innovation, a Guwahati-based firm and sold by J. Thomas, the oldest tea brokerage firm in the world.
A total of five buyers had bid for the tea, starting at Rs 1,101 before being sold for Rs 1,901.
Yuvraj Baruah of Baruah Innovation said, "This oolong, which was more flowery, was liked by my client and will be sold in the country."
Sources in J. Thomas said the Assam oolong sold today was much better than the one sold last month and stood a fair chance of getting a good price.
Oolong (black dragon tea), sometimes written as wulong, wu long or wooloong, originated in China. Partially oxidised and roasted, it is a variety between green and black tea.
Gaurav Jalan, director of Sublime Agro Ltd, which owns Doomni garden, said the price was very good. "It t is good to see people buying oolong," he said.
The garden makes 250kg of oolong annually. The highest price fetched by oolong variety in Calcutta auctions was Rs 2,860 per kg from Darjeeling's Thurbo garden in 2014.
According to TeaBox, a Siliguri-based tea e-commerce start-up, while Taiwanese and Chinese oolong is famous the world over, in India too, oolong is now beginning to gain recognition.
Darjeeling's tea gardens have begun to produce this variety in small quantities. Unlike the Taiwanese or Chinese oolong, which is more toasty and woody, the Indian oolong is floral and fragrant.
The company said the oolong teas have caught the interest of tea drinkers for health reasons. "It is thought to be beneficial for its antioxidant properties, as much or more than the average black," it added.