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Donyi Polo tea hits record price

Telegraph 2018-06-14 02:20:54
Silver needles white tea from Donyi Polo

Guwahati: Donyi Polo garden in Arunachal Pradesh showed its class once again by fetching the highest price for white tea in the auctions here on Wednesday.

The garden fetched Rs 17,001 for a kg for its silver needles white tea, the highest price for white tea anywhere in the auctions in the country, at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. A total of 2kg tea was bought by a Rajasthan buyer and sold by Contemporary Brokers.

The previous best price was Rs 12,403 by Pipratoly tea garden in Tinsukia district.

"Our tea master took utmost care from hand picking to the end of processing. The buds were sun-dried. The presence of whitish pubescence hairs on the buds look true to nomenclature and light-bodied liquor with floral note make it a special white tea," Manoj Kumar, senior manager of Donyi Polo tea garden, said. The tea is dried only in direct sunlight, giving it a velvety texture.

He said 87 workers of a 1,000 strong workforce have been trained in specialty tea production. "On a conservative estimate, 3kg of silver needles white tea can be produced daily but that depends on weather and other conditions," he added.

"We have witnessed quite a good competition among producers and buyers in the past one year. The future of tea growth relies on competitiveness, innovation, skill and productivity," Kumar added.

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 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 tea was purchased by Bharat Tea Agency of Guwahati for its client Chandak Chai Pvt. Ltd at Jaipur in Rajasthan.

"It is a rare tea as the liquor is also white. There are many overseas customers who look for specialty teas at my retail counter and this one will surely delight them. We want to tell them India can make such teas," Brij Mohan Chandak of Chandak Chai Pvt. Ltd said. The tea will be sold at Rs 20,000 a kg in the market, he added.

"People should be aware that such teas are being made in the country and there is a dire need of promotion," he said. Rajasthan is one of the states which has a high rate of tea consumption in India.