P-126 (Panetola126) is the clone used for most of the fancy "Tippy Assam" orthodox teas. It has a very large bud and a small leaf which gives that very tippy style of finished tea -full of golden buds. P-126 came in to use in the late 70s early 80s and was developed by the TRA at Tocklai. As a plant it is very hard to get started as it grows slowly and is popular with all insects. The soft tasty bark is also popular with goats. It has a shorter lifespan than most of the other cultivars by around 10 years living to 60-65 years instead of 70-75. It does not make good CTC and is really only good for making Orthodox FTGFOP in Assam growing conditions.
Producing a good Orthodox whole leaf Assam with this type of cultivar gives us a chance to enjoy the potential complexities of this rich leaf. The complications of growing it and the relatively small yield require a superior market price but with record breaking Assam prices in this year's Kolkata auctions that doesn't seem to be a problem.
Duflating, Halmari and Doomni are some gardens that excel in Tippy Assams.
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