Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Visit to a Tea Estate in Kangra

I have visited tea gardens in the Palampur area in Kangra earlier also but this time I was able to see the process of making tea as well. Kangra is the tea capital of North India.

A Tea Garden in Palampur, Kangra, Himachal

I was staying at the Himachal Heritage Village which is on one side of the town whereas the tea garden that I visited was on another side of the town and we passed through pristine pine forests to reach the gardens and factory of the Himalayan Brew.

Green tea leaves being processed

This is a 150 year old tea estate that has its own tea plantations, processing and blending unit where the tea is produced under strict quality controls. They mainly produce the green tea with various flavours.

A woman sorting tea leaves at the tea factory

After reaching the tea estate we were welcomed by Mr Rajiv Sud, the owner of the estate and Himalayan Brew. In fact Mr Sud is a Singaporean national but came back to take care of his family’s tea business. He showed us around the processing factory and explained how the blending and processing is done right from green leaves to the steaming, pressing, retention of the flavour etc to the final product. Most of the staff at the factory was female and he explained that the work done by them was better than the males.

Various stages of process of tea making at the Himalayan Brew factory

Later on he took us around his estate including the meadows where he sometimes camp. From the meadows the view of the surrounding area was majestic. After this we went to one part of the tea garden where some women were plucking the leaves.

Women plucking tea leaves at a tea estate in Palampur, Kangra

The background of snow capped Dhauladhar Mountains did produce a magical effect and I wished that I could own a small house in that surrounding. Some of the plucking is done by hand though he has some Japanese machines also which does the plucking and pruning.

Mr Rajiv Sud, Ownder Himalayan Brew at his tea estate

Mr Sud prefers the hand plucking systems as it generates employment in the region. One thing I did notice was the fact that the persons employed at the factory were the locals whereas the ones doing the plucking work were mainly migrants. The migrants though were provided housing facility on the estate itself. There is of course division of labour with plucking at the lower end, in terms of wages, and the factory workers at the upper end.

The Himalayan Brew products

After this we went and saw the packing process and also bought some of the tea flavours like the Kangra Masala tea, Malouthi tea, Pinewood smoked Tea. I am even now enjoying a cup of the Kangra tea that I had bought from my visit.

Also read:

In the Lap of Nature – Himachal Heritage Village Palampur
When I flew Like a Bird
McLeodganj, Dharamshala, Himachal
Why I love to go to McLeodganj
Skywatch Friday - Sunset at McLeodganj, Himachal
Places to visit in McLeodganj: Bhagsunag Waterfall
Places to visit in McLeodganj: The Church of St John-in-the-Wilderness

2 comments:

Jagdish Thakur said...

Kangra Valley is the tea capital of North India.
Nice Place to visit in himachal pradesh.

George Tom said...

Buy Loose Leaf Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Royal Masala Chai, Assam Tea offer finest flavor & health benefits