GUWAHATI: A kilo of Dikom Tea Estate’s Golden Butterfly tea was knocked down for Rs 75,000 at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre, breaking the record for the highest price fetched by a tea at a public auction for the third time in a fortnight.
The Golden Butterfly is made of tea buds, not tea leaves. It is the bud which lends the tea liquor a full-bodies, bright-yellowish colour — unlike the usual leaf-based tea from Assam which gives the brew a black colour. The buds are plucked from bushes in the evening, when swarms of butterflies descend on them to rest.
“Hence, the name. It reflects the meticulous care and attention to crop husbandry in Dikom’s tea plantations. This surreal experience, of walking along rows of tea bushes teeming with butterflies, is out of the world,” said Dinesh Bihani, secretary of the Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers’ Association. /p>
Before the Golden Butterfly, the record was held by Maijan Orthodox Golden Tea, which had fetched Rs 70,501 for a kilo. It had broken the record set a day earlier by another specialty tea — Manohari Gold — from the Manohari Gold Estate in Dibrugarh, which had fetched a record price of Rs 50,000 for a kilo at a pan-India auction here. Unlike the Golden Butterfly, the Maijan and Manohari teas are made from buds plucked early in the morning before the sun alters the aroma and flavour.
“An exotic tea is judged by its aroma, taste and colour. The Golden Butterfly tea is extremely mellow and has a sweet caramel flavour,” said Lalit Kumar Jalan, owner of Assam Tea Traders, one of the oldest tea shops here, which bought the specialty tea.