The Meghalaya Tea Industry shall make its debut in the orthodox sector by auctioning the first orthodox lot in the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre next week. An important development, it will surely bring cheer to the industry and inspire planters to raise the bar to make high quality teas. Sources in the industry said, 623.60kg orthodox tea under the “Meghalaya Tea” mark would be sold by tea auctioneer, J Thomas, during Sale 35 of the auction scheduled from next Tuesday.
The orthodox tea categorized under four grades – TGFOP1, TGFOP, GFOP and FBOP have been manufactured at the Arengh Tea Factory set up at Rongram, in West Garo Hills back in 1997. Godfrey Nongbak Arengh, the director of Arengh Tea Industry Pvt Ltd said that he has been making CTC (crush, tear, curl) teas for over a decade but started making orthodox teas only last month in the 10-hectare garden.
The tea garden, located about 4km away from the factory, produces about 2 lakh kg CTC teas annually. Currently, there are 18 workers engaged in the garden and 25 employees in the factory. Arengh says that he plans to convert his garden into a fully organic estate after two years as there is a growing demand for such varieties in markets of the country and overseas.
Orthodox teas have good demand in the export market. Of late, there has been a growing demand for not just good quality teas but specialty teas, as the beverage is also considered a health drink.