Guwahati: Going one better every time has become a trend for Halmari tea.
A first flush CTC (crush, tear and curl) tea of broken orange pekoe (BOP) grade from Halmari garden in Dibrugarh district on Tuesday bettered its own record of last year and fetched Rs 422 at sale number 14 at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre.
A total of 130.4kg of tea was offered which was auctioned by J. Thomas & Co Private Ltd, the largest tea auctioneers in the world.
The tea was bought by Guwahati-based Shree Krishna Tea Company for its client, Planter’s Choice, which has a retail counter in Jorhat.
The garden got Rs 401 on April 26 last year at sale number 17 at Calcutta tea auction in the same tea grade and variety. The first flush (March-April) is the first plucking after the dormant winter months.
BOP is a little bolder grade, which allows consumers to perceive the aroma and flavour to its fullest. It also provides a unique and very balanced combination of flavour and strength.
General manager of Halmari D.K. Arora said: “This tea was made out of first tender shoots emanating after four months of dormancy. Its unique malty and mellow taste mingles delicately with its subtle briskness. Its slow but meticulous firing helped pronounce its delectable flavour.” He added the tea was made out of leaf plucked during the first week of March. “Climate also played its part and had intermittent precipitation and good temperature.”
Soham Daga of Calcutta-based Amarawati Tea Company Ltd, which owns Halmari, said: “Bettering every time has become a lifestyle for Halmari tea. The entire team at Halmari is hoping to produce some of the best CTC and orthodox teas ever seen this year. We are expecting to break more records this year and hope we can ensure the finest cuppas to the buyers and consumers for many decades to come.”
Sources said the market opened to fair demand for new-season teas. The best category sold at levels slightly higher than last year’s opening levels.
“It is said that the best quality Assam teas are only exported and not available in the Assam market. We at Planter’s Choice have continuously been selling Halmari for the last decade and without doubt this buy is also a part of our endeavour to serve our connoisseurs the best quality tea produced in Assam.
“We will sell the tea in two parts – one at our retail counter Assam Tea Hub at KB Road, Jorhat, and the rest in our packet named ‘Lalbag’ which is a blend of Halmari and Darjeeling teas available at many premium stores all over Assam,” Rohit Surana of Planter’s Choice told this correspondent.