Tea: The World’s Green Gold – History of the London Tea Auctions

March 2013| 445 views

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– The 319 year  history of the London Tea Auction began in 1680.

– East India House in London conducted Tea Auctions for a period of 156 years from 1680 to 1835.

– The London commercial sale rooms in Mincina Lane housed the Tea Auctions from 1836 to 1935 – a period of 100 years.

– The Plantation House auditorium, London took over this Auction from 1936 up until 1970 – a period of 35 years.

– Sir John Lyon House,  London subsequently  conducted auctions from 1971 to 1990, for a period of 19 years.

– The London Chamber of Commerce was the last venue of this historic auction from 1990 to 1998.

– The last Charity Auction of the London Chamber of Commerce was held on Monday, June 29th, 1998 auctioning a mere 20 lots comprising of 229 packges of an assortment of Assam Orthodox and CTC, Darjeeling Orthodox, Ceylon Orthodox,, China Keemun,  Kenya Orthodox and CTC tea.

– The highest price achieved was for the last lot which was a “Ceylon Hellbodde Orthodox Flowery Pekoe”  which fetched a  world recordprice of  GBP 555 per kilo, and was purchased by Taylors of Harrowgate.

– The total proceeds of this Charity Auction were donated to the following charities :-
1)  The Sir Percival Griffiths Planters Trust
2)  The Planters Benevolent Fund of Ceylon
3)  The Tea Trade Benevolent Society of London

– The Colombo Tea Auction remains the oldest and largest tea auction in the world.