HUFFINGTON POST

The Extraordinary Makers Of India's Most Expensive Tea

A 155-year-old tea estate in India's Darjeeling district recently sold the most expensive tea ever made in the country.

Buyers in Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. bought the specialty tea, named Silver Tips Imperial, for $1,850 per kilo from the Makaibari Tea Estate. The Japanese buyer told the Times of India that the tea will be served for $45 a pot at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo Roppongi Hotel.

Around 500 women picked the tea in June on the eve of the summer solstice between 12:01 a.m. and 3 a.m., Makaibari chairman Rajah Banerjee told the newspaper.

"Leaves plucked during a full moon night make for excellent tea," he said. "This full moon night of June 13 presented a unique planetary configuration that comes once in 108 years."

The Makaibari Tea Estate was established in 1859 in a forest in West Bengal in the eastern region of India, which is the world's second-largest tea producer after China. See below for photos of the extraordinary tea makers at the estate.

  • Workers hand-pick tea leaves on the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    Workers hand-pick tea leaves on the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • Workers hand-pick tea leaves on the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    Workers hand-pick tea leaves on the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • Workers carry baskets of hand-picked tea leaves at the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept.
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    Workers carry baskets of hand-picked tea leaves at the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • The Makaibari Tea Estate factory stands in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    The Makaibari Tea Estate factory stands in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker collects tea leaves in a basket at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker collects tea leaves in a basket at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A basket of tea leaves sits on the floor of the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A basket of tea leaves sits on the floor of the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker holds tea leaves for a photograph above a withering trough at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Ben
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker holds tea leaves for a photograph above a withering trough at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker arranges tea leaves in a withering trough at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Mo
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker arranges tea leaves in a withering trough at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker shovels coal at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker shovels coal at the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker sweeps spilt tea leaves at the bottom of a staircase a the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, In
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker sweeps spilt tea leaves at the bottom of a staircase a the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A worker shovels tea into bags at the packing section of the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A worker shovels tea into bags at the packing section of the Makaibari Tea Estate factory in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
  • A variety of premium teas are laid out for tasting at the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Se
    Sanjit Das / Bloomberg / Getty Images
    A variety of premium teas are laid out for tasting at the Makaibari Tea Estate in Kurseong, West Bengal, India, on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
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