New honey tea sells for 3,100 Tk per kg

As natural honey is added to tea leaves that are rich in antioxidants, the tea will help consumers boost their immunity, said Md Rashedul Islam, deputy director of Sabazpur Tea Company who proposed the new variety. PHOTO: STAR

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As natural honey is added to tea leaves that are rich in antioxidants, the tea will help consumers boost their immunity, said Md Rashedul Islam, deputy director of Sabazpur Tea Company who proposed the new variety. PHOTO: STAR

Shahbazpur Tea Garden in Sreemangal upazila of Moulvibazar district recently introduced a new variety called honey tea.

It is made by infusing BT-2 English tea leaves with natural honey, similar to that of the very popular Earl Gray variety which is made by combining the same leaves with Italian Bergamund flowers.

“Also, there is no need to mix the ingredients with sugar for consumption as the drink is naturally sweet,” said Md Rashedul Islam, deputy director of Sabazpur Tea Company who proposed the new variety.

Its official entry into the domestic market was marked by the purchase of one kilogram (kg) for 3,100 Tk by Alamgir Tea House at an auction center in Sreemangal.

The garden also produces varieties popular overseas such as white tea, yellow tea, and rose tea, according to Islam.

Lemon tea, world famous matcha tea, and Japanese sencha tea were also auctioned off while the Earl Gray variety was sold at a Chattogram auction house.

White tea sold for 4,000 Tk per kg, lemon tea 2,420 Tk, matcha tea 1,500 Tk, sencha tea 2,500 Tk, orthodox tea 750 Tk and green tea 1,300 to 2,500 Tk.

“I took this initiative with the aim of spreading modern gardening traditions throughout Bangladesh,” said Islam, who is also an internationally certified tea sommelier.

Regarding what makes this new type of tea special, Islam said its main motivation is its health benefits, which are much needed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“‘By adding natural honey to tea leaves that are rich in antioxidants, the tea will help consumers boost their immunity,” he added.

Islam went on to say that tea carries a distinct aroma and flavor from the honey used.

And although the drink looks like green tea due to similar production processes, honey tea is a standalone product, he said.

Although a little expensive for ordinary consumers, tea was not developed for the sake of profitability.

However, this does not mean that the variety is not profitable and thus Islam plans to continue its efforts to bring new types of specialty teas to Bangladesh.

“Our efforts are to give the gift of innovation to the people of the country,” he added.

Helal Ahmed, managing director of Sreemangal Tea Broker who organized the auction on June 23, called the prices “good”.

Md Riyam Chowdhury, owner of Asian Tea House who bought lemon tea and matcha tea, said there was good demand for both in the tourist center of Sreemangal.

Jahar Tarafder, member secretary of the Bangladesh Tea Planters and Traders Association, said it was the first time that five new varieties of tea were auctioned at the same time in Bangladesh.

“There is a strong demand for yellow tea in the country and abroad. If this type of tea is produced commercially in the country, it will be possible to earn a lot of foreign currency,” he added.

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