Halmari tea sets CTC world record in auctions

Guwahati: Halmari tea set a world record for CTC at Rs 700 a kilogram at the Calcutta auctions on Tuesday.

This is the highest price ever for CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea in auctions in the country or abroad.

The Halmari first flush tea of broken orange pekoe grade beat the garden’s own second flush price of Rs 600 set in 2016.

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“The tea was manufactured on March 27. This batch of tea was made out of tea leaves which had experienced congenial weather conditions in the preceding fortnight. It was an ideal mix of sunshine and rain which proved a catalyst in producing a unique blend of strength, body and flavour in it,” Halmari general manager D.K. Arora said.

The tea was sold by J Thomas and Co. Pvt Ltd, the world’s oldest and largest tea auctioneers, and bought by Partha Sarathi Dutta of Mahabodhi Tea House, which has two retail shops in Calcutta.

The total quantity sold was 312kg. Another invoice sold for Rs 501.

J Thomas and Co. Pvt Ltd chairman and managing director Krishan Katyal said the price was quite a “phenomenon” and that Halmari was in a different realm now.

“It is just brilliant and they make some superb first flush teas too,” Katyal added.

Partha Sarathi Dutta of Mahabodhi Tea House said this was the best CTC tea ever.

“It is going to be sold at Rs 1,000 at my shops. There are people who are willing to buy CTC at Rs 1,000, the market is there,” he said.

“I liked the sweet taste and flavour of the tea,” he added.

“It is God’s grace,” Soham Daga of Calcutta-based Amarawati Tea Company Ltd, which owns Halmari tea estate, told The Telegraph.

“I was calling my head office for some work when I got the news of the tea being bought at Rs 700. I was amazed and happy,” he said.

“This world record price is in honour of everyone – from the tea estate to the head office. This, of course, would not have happened without the kindness of the Almighty,” he added.

Halmari garden, situated in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district, has had an incredible run in the first flush, breaking records at will.

Only on April 19, it had got a record price of Rs 479 at the Guwahati auctions for its first flush tea by breaking its first flush record price of Rs 469 fetched at the Calcutta auctions on April 17.

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