Ever wondered about the origin of your morning cuppa? Moving a little ahead of your kitchen, let’s look at Assam—the state that produces the gorgeous Assam Tea. Already a household name, all over the world, Assam Tea is popular because of its distinct malty flavour and bright colour.
The tea history goes back to 1830s East India Company, London. Back in those days, huge portions of land were transformed into tea gardens. In present day Assam, some of these tea plantations are still functional and they produce the unmistakable black tea. Some of the big tea estates in Assam are Williamson Tea Estates, Tata Group of Companies, Ambika, Jamirah, among many.
Assam tea come in two forms—Assam Orthodox and Assam CTC (Crush. Tear. Curl). Assam Orthodox are the ones that come as loose leaves produced in the traditional hand-rolled way. Assam CTCs on the other hand are the results of tea leaves passing through cylindrical rollers with serrated blades that finally give the granulated form. But be it loose or granulated, Assam tea has made a place for itself globally, and they are there to stay. Let’s look at some of the finest tea plantations in Assam, source of this lovely brew we call ‘chai’.
Monabarie Tea Estate: Located in the Biswanath Chariali district, Monabarie Tea Estate with an area of 1158ha is the world’s largest tea garden. The plantation is owned by McLeod Russel India Limited of Williamson Magor Group.
Halmari Tea Estate: This 374ha tea estate in Dibrugarh has a reputation of producing only the finest and the same quality tea for more than a century. This for sure makes drinking Halmari tea an experience!
Harmutty Tea Estate: Located in Lakhimpur, this beautiful tea estate not only produces high quality tea, but also is a sight for sore eyes. With Dikrong River flowing along the tea garden and distant hills of Arunachal Pradesh in sight, Harmutty Tea Estate is a must-visit tea destination.
Wild Mahseer: This 1864 tea estate by British Assam Tea Company located in Sonitpur district is also a very well known tea estate resort. The 22-acre tea garden with Raj-era heritage bungalows gives its guests the experience of finest quality tea as well as the luxurious feel of Colonial past.
Sonapur Tea Estate: The tea estate was first run by the British in 1924 but the present-day Sonapur Tea Estate is a privately owned estate known for their strong tea. The estate’s produce is popular with brands like Tata Tea, Levers, Wagh Bakri, among many others.
Beesakopie Tea Estate: Located in the Tinsukia district, Beesakopie Tea Estate is not only home to one of the largest tea factories in the state, but is also the third largest tea estate in the country.