Your daily Assam tea is fake, the authentic one costs a bomb

Expensive cuppa

Your daily Assam tea is fake,  the authentic one costs a bomb
Millions of people begin their day with a cuppa. But how authentic is the tea that they consume? If Assam government officials are to be believed, what people consume in the name of tea is actually an admixture of chemical substances. Authentic tea is just too expensive, they say.

The cheapest authentic Assam tea comes at Rs 5,000 per kg, according to D M Kakati, assistant director, Tea Board of India.

The Assam stall at the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is giving people a glimpse of the authentic varieties of Assam tea. You have consumed green tea, but ever heard of white tea? At the Assam stall, you could sip white tea. But this exotic variety is too expensive. The cheapest costs Rs 10,000 per kg. The price tag prompted the Assam government officials to bring just two packs of white tea — to be gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. None of it is on sale.

Subtler and less bitter than green tea, white tea has a delicate flavour and feels light. Early buds of the tea plant are hand-picked and sun-dried for making this variety. “It has a tinge of black. Though it costs Rs 10,000 per kg, it is not the best variety of tea. The best variety is auctioned for crores of rupees,” Kakati said.

Several other varieties of Assam tea are available at the Assam stall. CTC tea, the most affordable and most common, is made by the crush-tear-curl method. CTC Orthodox, Assam Oolong and Assam Orthodox Golden are the other varieties available at the stall. Kakati said authentic tea sellers could be contacted through their official website (teaboard.gov.in).

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