A kilogram of silver needle white tea powder from a private factory in Coonoor from the Nilgiris district has fetched a record price of Rs 16,400 at an international tea auction.
The factory-produced special tea powders from various tea factories have recently come up for international auction which is currently being conducted online from the Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) as part of the Tea Board’s celebration of International Tea Day (ITD). Among them was the auction of white tea called Silver Needle by Avataa from the Coonoor Billimalai Tea Estate. This special tea powder was auctioned for a maximum of Rs 16,400 and it has set a record as the highest price in south India.
The tea leaves need to be plucked before sunrise with occupied snow. Only 5 kg of leaf tip green tea is available that covers an area of about 10 acres and by continuously processing them to a certain temperature, 1 kg of white tea called Silver Needle is obtained. This is the primary reason behind the speciality and its high price. A total of 4 kg silver needle white tea has gone up in the auction and the same has been reserved for exporters abroad.
Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district specializes in tea production and produces a wide variety of special tea powders such as Green Leaves, Orthodox Tea, Green tea and Silver Needle tea. Here, not only government and state-controlled tea factories operate but over 100 private tea factories run their business. More than 60,000 farmers in the Nilgiris district are engaged in tea cultivation. The tea powder produced here is collected and taken to the Tea Auction Center in Coonoor for international auction.