White tea is becoming more and more expensive like gold in the tea market. For this reason, those involved in the tea business have named this tea ‘White Gold’. In the last auction held on February 3, 2021 the price of white tea has gone up to Tk 5,010 per kg, which is the second highest price at the auction so far. Earlier, in August, the highest price per kg of tea was Tk 6 thousand.
Talking to tea gardeners and tea traders, it is learned that for the first time in the current auction season (2020-21), white tea has been put up for auction. The tea was auctioned for the first time this season on July 27, 2020. Then the government-owned National Tea Company picked up 10 kg of white tea from their Champarai garden for sale at the auction market in Chittagong. In the first auction, the tea was sold at Tk 2,500 per kg. The following month, white tea from the same garden was auctioned again. At the August 2020 auction, the tea was sold at Tk 6,000 per kg. A company called Aria Trade International in Chittagong bought four kg of tea at auction.
In the first week of February, 2021 the white tea sold at the auction held at Srimangal, the capital of tea, belonged to Brindaban Tea Garden in Habiganj. Three kg of white tea made by Nasir Uddin Khan, the manager of the garden, has been sold in this auction. Mohammad Jamal Ahmed, owner of Selim Tea House in Srimangal, bought it at Tk 5,010 per kg. In just two days, the tea was again sold to four buyers. Also at Tk 7 thousand per kg.
Jamal Ahmed said, ‘Many tourists from home and abroad come to visit Srimangal. They often look for this tea. Although Srimangal is the capital of tea, white tea is not made much here. So I bought it as soon as I got it in this auction. ‘
Meanwhile, although the name is white, this tea is not completely white. Again the process of making it also does not match with the production process of ordinary tea. White tea is made from the only emerging bud of the tea tree. When the bud is dry, it looks like a needle of silver. Hence it is also known as ‘Silver Needle Tea’. The liqueur of this tea is light golden, just like white gold. Made from the buds of the growing part of the plant, this tea contains a lot of anti-oxidants.
White tea is becoming more and more popular in the country due to its taste and quality. Due to this the cultivation of this tea is also increasing. It is known that the first white tea was made in Bangladesh about a decade ago, at the Kazi & Kazi tea garden in Panchagarh. The white tea they produce is exported abroad. After Kazi, Halda Valley in Chittagong started white tea production in 2017. However, the white tea of these two gardens has not been auctioned for so long. National Tea is the first white tea to be auctioned this season. And in the latest auction, white tea from Brindaban tea garden made by Nasir Uddin Khan has been sold.
Nasir Uddin, manager of Brindaban Tea-Garden, said, Although the big companies were able to cope with this loss, it was very difficult for the small tea gardens to overcome this loss. If you want to make up for the loss, you have to sell more, or you have to make high quality expensive tea. Searching for that goal, I saw on YouTube that white tea from a tea garden in India was sold at Rs 75,000 per kg at auction. Seeing that, we started making white tea in the country too. ‘
Nasir Uddin said only buds are needed for white tea. One kg of buds requires 10 acres of tea leaves. Then the buds are dried in a special way. Nasir Uddin did that work with his own hands. According to him, if Bangladeshi tea can be made world class, properly, then white tea of Bangladesh will take a big place in the world market.
According to tea gardeners and traders, the country produced 8 crore 63 lakh kg of tea last year. The amount of white tea was about one and a half thousand kg. Although less in quantity, the price is higher and the interest of gardeners in making this tea is increasing.