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Himalayan tea retail sales hit by pandemic shutdown; hopes up for the next harvest season

Gangtok,Jan 23 (UNI) Eastern Himalayan state Sikkim and the neighbouring Darjeeling, the two well known Tea growing areas, have been badly hit due to the prolonged closure necessitated by the coronavirus induced restrictions.
As all business establishments resumed business as usual, the tea industry has been gradually limping back to normal and the retail tea business has also started to pick up.
Soumen Pal, a dealer of branded organic tea, spoke to this reporter about his experience about the Covid impact on tea business.
“There has been a bit of improvement in retailing since the unlocking process was set in. Tourist inflow is less as a result footfall in Golden Tips,has gone down,” said S.Paul who
Coronavirus pandemic crisis is the first trying experience in his ten years of tea retailing.

“Second Flush and Autumn Flush are sought after by the customers, especially during the tourist season. But, of course, there are some bulk orders also which are filling the demand gap to some extent,” he stated.
“Sikkim and Darjeeling Tea both are equally demanded.The First Flush is the first harvest of the season in this area. However, taste of tea also depends upon weather…good rainy season give the tea leaves good flavour…. foggy weather doesn’t help it,” said Paul.
“While the First Flush tea leaves are plucked from March to April. The harvesting time makes hand rolled first flush available…a huge buying is anticipated at this time.There are some people, who have passion and taste for First Flush. It is comparatively costly and not purchased by all !” he noted.
Sikkim’s Organic First Flush from Temi Tea Garden is sold locally like hot cakes.
In Paul’s opinion packaging makes difference for visitors and guests (Tourists), but tea connoisseurs for flavour and taste.
Most of them would order the brand they think the best, sit in the tea parlours, and after sipping comfortably, come out with the final decision to buy.
“Hope, gradually everything gets normalised and tea retailing also gains momentum,”concluded Paul.

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