A number of experts feel that luxury tea prices would remain upward this year
Compared to the normal Darjeeling tea, which sells at Rs 700-1,500 a kg for whole leaf and Rs 300-500 a kg for the broken and fanning variety, speciality teas, considered as luxury items, normally sell at Rs 6,000-14,000 a kg.
Makaibari Tea Estates was able to craft five kg of luxury tea from its Kurseong plantation, which sold for Rs 19,365 a kg ($302) in a private sale, its best price realisation from the first flush (first plucking of a plant’s harvest season) until now. Goodricke Group was able to sell 20 kg of white tip luxury tea from its Badamtam plantation at Rs 12,900 a kg. Namring Tea Estate, owned by the Poddar Group, was able to increase its price realisation from luxury tea by 10 per cent this year at Rs 11,000 a kg.
Other industry officials and he felt luxury tea prices would remain upward this year. For example, the prime muscatel tea from Goodricke Group’s Castleton estate has risen above Rs 7,000 a kg from the earlier Rs 6,700 a kg. White tea from the Margaret Hope garden scaled up by 13 per cent.
“Luxury and prime tea from the Darjeeling gardens have a loyal and different set of buyers, who look for quality and are ready to pay exorbitant prices. This type of tea doesn’t react to market forces but depends on quality and the volume offered,” said Dutt.
The price of such teas are worked out in the same way as its usual counterpart. First, right after the harvest, a garden appointed tea taster provides an estimate, based on the taste. The garden then proposes to sell the lot at that price.
Rudra Chatterjee, director at Luxmi Group, which owns the Makaibari estate, added that this year so far, the quality of luxury tea had been superior.
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