How’s that dust tasting to you?

Sunday’s article in the Hindu Business publication titled “Firm trend in dust tea at Kochi sale” reported on the current tea auctions taking place in Kochi, Kerala (India).

“Bucking the downtrend of the last few weeks dust tea prices appreciated at the Kochi tea auction. There were 11.49 lakh kg of dust and 2.35 lakh kg of leaf on offer at the Kochi auction.” I was certainly surprised to read that more than 5 times as much dust sold than leaf tea. Tea bag dust, having more surface area per unit weight, is used to make about twice as many servings per kg than leaf tea. Therefore, what’s being sold at auction upholds the US consumption trend of about 10:1 teabags to loose leaf tea ratio. The article indicates that “the demand was strong and widespread at the dust sale.”

This unfortunate piece of information has left a bitter taste in my mouth, because I’ve seen the look that comes over people when they try their first cup of fresh steeped loose leaf tea and especially because I’m aware of the difference in tea health benefits between tea leaves and dust.



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