No wonder, she happily paid $1850 (or Rs 1.11 lakh) a kilo for this tea. Michiko, vice-president of Makaibari Japan Ltd (an independent entity that sells Makaibari tea in Japan), says a sip of this tea is a "cosmic experience".
This tea — the most expensive Indian tea ever sold — is indeed related to the cosmos, or specifically planetary positions on the full moon night just before summer solstice (June 21).
The leaves for this special lot of tea were plucked on the full moon night of June 13, from a minute past midnight to 3am, by about 500 female garden workers. Makaibari chairman, Rajah Banerjee, told TOI: "A lot of preparation went into this. The ladies plucked the two leaves and a bud by the light of tallow torches (animal fat-fed torches). The plucking time of 2 hours 59 minutes was fixed after intensive study of the biodynamic calendar and precise astronomical charts.