Assam white tea betters own price

White tea from Pipratoly

Guwahati: White tea from a garden in Assam fetched Rs 12,403 a kg at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre here on Tuesday. This is the highest auction price for white tea in the country.

The tea was produced by Pipratoly garden in Dibrugarh district in Upper Assam which is selling the tea under Jogipather mark. The 2kg tea was sold by Parcon India Pvt Ltd and was bought by Mundhra Tea Company.

The garden has been selling white tea in the auctions since last year and hit a purple patch on Tuesday with the best-ever price.

White tea is known to be one of the most delicate tea varieties as it is minimally processed. It is harvested before a plant's leaves unfurl fully with the young buds still covered by fine white hairs, hence, the name white tea.

These buds and unfurled leaves from the newest growth on the tea plant are handpicked and then quickly and meticulously dried. The leaves are not allowed to oxidise after being plucked as in the production of green or black tea.

"The quality is exclusive and it is good to see that buyers/consumers have started taking a keen interest in the tea," Aditya Agarwal of Pipratoly told The Telegraph. The garden had fetched a price of Rs 11,001 per kg last week.

He said the plucking is extremely fine and a special variety of clone has been used to get an aromatic and soothing cup. "Extensive supervision is required to maintain the quality of white tea," he added.

Ramesh Mundhra of Mundhra Tea Company said there is a huge demand for white tea. He said the Pipratoly tea had been bought for two companies - Namhah Marketing, a Guwahati-based online tea company, and Jaipur-based Maheswari Tea Co. Pvt Ltd.

"The demand is coming from online companies especially," he said, adding that he was getting orders frequently.

Dinesh Bihani, secretary of Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers' Association, said, "We have to put more emphasis on packing and storing of such speciality teas. If teas are fresh in aroma due to good quality packing and storage, I think more upcountry buyers and exporters will buy teas through the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre," he added.


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