Golden Leaf Judges Select 21 South India Teas

COONOOR, Tamil Nadu, India

Annually The Golden Leaf India Awards: Southern Tea competitions are presented to south India gardens with the most desirable qualities in CTC (cut, tear curl) manufacturing.

This year a special auction involving all six auction centers validated the effort of winners with a handsome return of INRs 155.57 kg ($2.95) for leaf grades and a top price of INRs 1,200 kg ($22.72) for Chamraj, TGFOP Supreme purchased by Premier Tea Limited, Kolkata.

The award program, now in its eighth edition, is a joint initiative of the India Tea Board and UPASI (United Planters’ Association of Southern India). The competition highlights the various regional attributes of South India tea and raises the visibility of South Indian tea brands.

Judging took place at the 4th Global Dubai Tea Forum the first week of April where the final evaluation determined 21 prizes among 122 entries.

World Tea News

Golden Leaf Judge Kurush Bharucha, Supply Director, Beverages for Unilever in Dubai judges the finalists in the competition.

The top teas were then offered at a special auction Apr. 16 on India’s e-auction platform. The online bidding involved 88 tea buyers registered at the six tea auction centers. These include Coimbatore, Coonoor, Guwahati, Cochin, Kolkata and Siliguri. There were 165 lots entered with 50,265 kgs on offer. The majority of lots were leaf grade (119) with 46 lots of dust grade teas. Sales of leaf grades were 105 percent greater value than the conventional auction of South India tea. All but six lots were sold. The Paras Tea Company, Coonoor was largest buyer with 36 lots and R J Tea Corporation, Coimbatore picked 23 lots.

A dozen observers from the Tea Association of Pakistan witnessed the proceedings, according to competition spokesperson C. Shreedharan, Convener of the TGLIA Organizing Committee.

UPASI, founded in 1893, represents planters of tea, coffee, rubber, pepper and cardamom in the Southern States of India which include Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.