Tea Trail through East India
I have created for you the perfect tea trail across eastern India. Be it the quite essential everyday brewed tea, the green tea for the weight watchers, the earl grey for those black tea lovers or my favorite Masala Tea with hint of Cinnamon in it.
Explore the therapeutic aromas and the freshness of the tea as you stay amidst the plantations in heritage properties where luxury is the combination of simplicity and warm hospitality.
I bring to you the top places along with the plantations you can stay at for the best tea experience in India. You can visit just one of these places or combine them for the perfect tea trail.
From Kolkata fly to the very important tea center of Dibrugarh in Upper Assam area where you tour some of the best Colonial style Tea Estates in the country.
If this is not enough and you want to become a storyteller too, head over to the EthelWold Tea Estate, located at the banks of the majestic Brahmaputra river, this estate with an interesting back story promises Assam’s best black tea. Don’t miss the opportunity of taking a tour around the plantation and get an insight into how your breakfast tea came into being! On your visit to this plantation just outside of Dibrugarh, you may also see a variety of resident and migratory birds and if you get really lucky you may also spot a Leopard.
At Dibrugarh, take a break from tea picking and tasting, go on a village walk to get close to the people and their ways of livelihood. In the evening, explore the New Market which is located just behind HS Road market and is the biggest shopping area and also has a big food market
Drive from Dibrugarh to Jorhat (about 138 kms distance)
Here, Learn about CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) method of processing tea. In this process the leaves instead of being rolled, are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp “teeth” that Crush, Tear, and Curl. This style of manufacture has the advantage that the finished product brews quickly, gives a dark infusion rapidly, is well suited for tea bags, and yields more cups per kg. In the Indian domestic market, this type of manufacture has virtually taken over about 80% of tea production
Adds a beautiful color to tea made in the Indian style – RECIPE – Boil leaves in a mixture of milk, water and sugar and some spices (producing Masala Chai). With this production method, the tea does not get bitter, and its red colour comes through the white of the milk.
Here you visit the Glenburn Tea Estate. Explore the estate in the evening on foot with an audio-visual presentation on the history of Glenburn, and a brief overview of how tea is grown, manufactured and tasted. Visit the Tea Factory where you will be taken for a guided tour on how the leaf is brought in from the fields, weighed, and then taken through the processes of withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting.
When you Darjeeling, DO NOT miss a ride in the famous Toy train with a steam Engine that takes you through the city and hill tops from where you can soak your eyes with the beauty of its lush green tea plantations. Toy Train tickets can be booked in advance and you can work the schedule of the train into the rest of your day and specific interests. There are morning trains that leave from Ghoom and head to Darjeeling Station, where our car will meet you, and afternoon trains that connect from Darjeeling to Ghoom on the way home.
From Darjeeling drive back to Bagdogra for a flight to Kolkata for your connecting flight back home.
Trust me, this tea trip for the soul is so wholesome that it will have you come back for more.