Assam’s Manohari Gold tea is the costliest tea sold at an Indian tea auction so far. This would make you ask: Why is the tea so special?
00Manohari Gold tea caused a commotion lately when it sold for a record price of Rs 99,999 per kilogramme at the Guwahati tea auction – the highest price ever paid for a tea in Indian tea auctions.
Since its introduction in 2018, it has been a popular item at special auctions.
Manohari Gold tea has been sold for Rs 39,100 per kg in 2018, Rs 50,000 in 2019, and Rs 75,000 in 2020.
In comparison, most normal tea varietals get between Rs 100 and Rs 300 per kg at auction.
There is a limited amount of output and there is no unpleasantness.
So, what’s the big deal about Manohari Gold tea?
Suntok Tea Co., which owns the Manohari tea estate in Dibrugarh, Assam, is founded and directed by Rajan Lohia.
Making Manohari Gold tea is an art, according to Lohia, and the cutting and rolling are done by hand with no equipment.
Suntok’s study led to the creation of Manohari Gold tea.
It tastes different from other teas and is produced with only hot water, no sugar or milk added.
Because it is expensive, production is confined to tiny quantities.
This year, the company’s total tea output across all types was 800,000 kg.
Expensive teas do not have regular purchasers and are only available at exceptional auctions and events.
White tea produced from tea buds by tea company Goodricke sold for Rs 27,000 per kg at the Guwahati auctions on International Tea Day this year.
Silver Needle white tea from Nilgiris-based Avataa Tea Co.’s Billimalai tea plantation sold for Rs 16,400 per kg at the Coonoor 2021 International Tea Day auctions.
In South India, this is a record price.
This tea is also prepared using a unique procedure that involves removing tea buds with more pubescent hair before daybreak.
Silver Needle is also manufactured in small batches of 5-10 kg.
Other speciality teas produced by the company include Oolong tea, Long Din green tea, and white tea.
These are made from specific clones and bush that maintain the same quality and taste all year.
As a result, they get repeat orders, despite the fact that they are priced beyond Rs 5,000 a kg in bulk, according to Sekhar.
According to Sujit Patra, secretary of the Indian Tea Association, such teas appear at auctions only seldom – perhaps once a year – and command a high price from select customers.
It is hardly a common occurrence, since Patra stated that manufacturing is limited to 5-20 kg.