Arunachal tea sold at record Rs 40,000 per kg; what is so special in a sip?

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Updated: August 24, 2018 5:41 PM

Golden Needle, a tea variety from Arunachal Pradesh, has made a world record for being most expensive, with sale at a rate of Rs 40,000 per kilogram at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) on Thursday.

Golden Needle, a tea variety from Arunachal Pradesh.

Golden Needle, a tea variety from Arunachal Pradesh, has made a world record for being sold at the highest ever rate of Rs 40,000 per kilogram at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) on Thursday. This sale even broke an earlier record when in July, an Assam tea variety was sold at Rs 39,001 per kg at an auction, which was then claimed to be the highest across the world by the GTAC.

One of the oldest tea shops in Guwahati — Assam Tea Traders — purchased 1.1 kg Golden Needle tea from Arunachal Pradesh’s Donyi Polo tea estate, priced at Rs 40,000 per kg. Commenting on the latest record-breaking auction sale, Golden Needle producers said that a lot of private buyers were offering around the same rates as the last year. “But the GTAC has increased upper limit for speciality teas. So… tried through this ideal platform,” Manoj Kumar, Senior Manager of Siang Tea and Industries, the producer of Golden Needle, said.

This tea would be sold through AbsoluteTea platform. Golden Needle Tea — the origin of which goes back to Yunan Province in China — will be available to buy only through the online platform. Talking to FE Online over phone, Jayant Jalan, Founder and Owner at AbsoluteTea, said the product is priced at Rs 1,500 for 25 gms. Along with the price, Jalan also explained what makes this variety of tea so special.

Golden Needle — the new variety of speciality tea

Jayant Jalan calls the Golden Needle variety of tea a “masterpiece”, which depends on the weather, plucking of the leaves at correct time and carefully processing them. “The end product is velvety and soft with a golden hue. Upon brewing, the leaves produce a light bodied liquor which is clear and bright with a sweet floral taste which encapsulates the taste buds. Some people match it to the sweet smell of crushed sugarcane, something which is different and quite unique,” Jalan told FE Online in a conversation.

Jalan said the origin of Golden Needle Tea goes back to Yunan Province in China. “Replicating that in India is pretty hard because our’s is a completely different terrain, climate and tea culture.The topography of DonyiPolo also helps with it being situated in East Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh, which has the glacial fed Siang River flowing through it,” he said.

According to Jalan, the tea is already in demand from their customers. “Regarding this tea, we saw demand from our customers for speciality tea and this seemed a good one to have in our collection of offerings. For this particular lot we are witnessing good interest, with this being an online only product. We have had buyers from across the country and we have already sold around 30-40% of our stock via our webstore… with the deliveries beginning next week,” said Jalan.

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