Our tea tour takes you through the plantations to educate you on the process of how a humble leaf is transformed into a much sought after cuppa! See how colorfully dressed tea pluckers, predominantly women pluck the delicate two leaves and a bud dexterously with their nimble fingers. Discover the different steps involved in turning the leaf into your freshly brewed cup of morning tea - all very carefully controlled to ensure that the tea that you drink is only of the highest quality. A quality that has made Assam tea world famous.
05 nights / 06 days programme
Received at Dibrugarh airport and transferred to Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow. Afternoon option to take a tea walk in Mancotta Tea Estate. Evening enjoy a dance performance by an ethnic dance group on the bungalow lawns. Overnight at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.
Post breakfast, take a tea tour around a tea estate known for producing high quality CTC teas, i.e., Ethelwold Tea Estate. Also experience a Tea tasting session of different types of tea with one of the practicing Estate Managers.
Later we drive on to the river front and take a boat cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra river in a country boat (subject to weather conditions). Cruise upto a beach island in the midst of the river. En-route there is a possibility of your sighting flocks of migratory water birds and the elusive Gangetic River Dolphin. Enjoy the view of the Eastern Himalayas and take a nature walk in the vast expanse of grasslands surrounding the island. Enjoy your picnic lunch and the view of the Eastern Himalayas. Option to take a nature walk in the vast expanse of grasslands surrounding the island or go for Kayaking. Return to the mainland. Overnight at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.
A tea tour through a 157 years old heritage tea garden gives an insight into the different activities that vary from season to season. It teaches us all about tea- its origin, how it is grown, tea tasting and its quality. During the winter months the dormant bushes are pruned to ensure vigorous growth during the warmer months. Once the rains begin, and the temperature rises, the gardens come alive with teams of colourfully dressed tea pluckers, predominantly ladies as they are said to be better able to pluck the delicate buds and leaves. The harvest, which goes on continuously from March to November, is taken everyday to the factory where it undergoes an age old process of being turned into the finished product. All stages of the process are carefully controlled to ensure that the tea that leaves the factory is only of the highest quality, a quality that has made Assam tea world famous.
CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) tea is a 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 - over 80% of tea production is of the CTC type.
CTC teas produce a rich red-brown color when they are boiled, which adds a beautiful color to tea made in the Indian style. This is done by boiling leaves in a mixture of milk, water and sugar and some spices (producing Masala Chai). In this recipe, the tea does not become bitter, and its rich red colour comes through the white of the milk.
Today post breakfast we visit Mancotta Tea Estate known for its Orthodox type of tea. Take a tea walk around the plantation and later visit the tea factory followed by tea tasting session.
Afternoon visit a weaving centre, local village and local market. Overnight at Mancotta / Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.
Orthodox tea : The manufacturing process of orthodox tea is quite different from CTC. Instead of the tea leaf been crushed, the leaves are rolled in a machine that twist and break the leaves to release the natural chemicals that later react with oxygen in the air and give the tea its characteristic aroma and taste. It is the leafy variety of tea.
Post breakfast drive to Margherita (100 kms / 2 ˝ hrs) and visit the Inthem village inhabited by Singpho tribe producing traditional Organic Tea. Later drive to Tinsukia and check in at Wathai Heritage Bungalow, Limbuguri Tea Estate for 02 nights. Overnight at the Bungalow.
Singpho people are Theravada Buddhists by religion. The Singphos are divided into a number of clans, each under a Chief known as "Gam". They were the first to introduce the tea culture in Assam. Producers of Organic Tea coins, packed in silver foils and ready to use-dip the coin into a pot of hot water and it is ready to drink is gaining emense popularity in Europe and Southeast Asian countries. The entire process of manufacturing the tea is done in a traditional manner without the use of any machines or gadgets. The tea is sold under the brand name Phalap (meaning tea in the Singpho language). The loose tea is packed in bamboo containers so that the traditional properties are maintained and it is free from any preservatives or chemicals.
Today early morning we visit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Magori Bheel for a full day birding programme. We take several boat rides on the Dibru River, go for jungle walk, bird and Gangetic Dolphin sighting. Overnight at the Bungalow.
Today morning we visit Limbuguri Tea factory / tea plantation. Later in time transfer to Dibrugarh airport (45 kms / 01 hr) to board flight for onward destination.
Visit to tea factory is subject to being operational on the day of the visit. There is no tea plucking between December till mid March and hence the actual manufacturing process of tea cannot be demonstrated when one visits the factory during this period. Factory also remains closed on Monday’s of the week. Tea Tasting session can however be facilitated.