Regional Trading: The Indian Sub-Continent
Generally, the tea trading activity is dictated by the auction process. Samples go out to prospects and interested parties bid at auction for the tea lot they’re interested in. This process is prescribed by the government-driven tea boads e.g. the India Tea Board.
Often times, buyers go through brokers (or tea companies performing as such) at the source country to buy on their behalf.
Some tea companies own their own estates and production facilities, so whilst the auction dance can be skipped, the prices they offer are meant to be the same as that which are set at auction. However, some small organic producers are exempt from having to put their teas up for auction. In any event, Tea Craft selects from tea garden owners directly in this region. It’s simpler to do in this part of the world because the variety is small. Currently for us, it’s just three cuts of organic Assam (CTC, TGFOP, TGBOP), an organic Darjeeling and three Ceylonese (conventional OP, organic OP, organic FBOP).
Estates we currently buy from are: Chardwar Estate (Assam), Giddapahar (Darjeeling) and Mooloya Estate (Sri Lanka).