The prized first flush from Namring’s upper tea estate in Darjeeling has made its way to Britain’s East India Company (EIC), often associated with colonialism in India, where it is estimated to fetch over Rs.40 lakh.
"(The) tea master has scoured 87 tea estates in Darjeeling to find this year’s best crop, 90 kg from the Namring upper tea estate," the London-based EIC said in a statement.
It has priced the tea at 20 pounds for a 40 gm packet and 35 pounds for 80 gm for retail sales.
The company said the tea it has sourced is "harmonious in flavour" and is a connoisseurs’ choice with the shipment being sourced from estates "at 5,000 feet above sea level".
According to the company, which once governed India having administrative and executive powers bestowed by the British crown, "Darjeeling tea enjoys a reputation for being a nuanced flavourful tea…The characteristic most prized in the Darjeeling First Flush is its fresh earthy notes and delicate floral aroma – similar to those observed in the finest green teas".
It said the tea procured from Darjeeling in West Bengal balances three notes of the beverage which is unique to the produce from Namring.
Originally founded as the The Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies by a royal British charter in 1600, the company was dissolved in 1874 following the Government of India Act, 1858. However, 33 shareholders continued to own the company’s shares until 2010 when an Indian businessman purchased its entire stocks.