Our Blog - Tales Around The Teapot
Category: Our Tea Guys Journal | Posted on: July 8, 2014

A Trip to the Tea Gardens of Assam…

Kalachera division at JalingaOur amazing Tea Guy James has just returned from working in the tea gardens of India, to expand his (already rather impressive) understanding of the process of growing tea. Below he tells us about his recent time in Assam, at a Fairtrade organic tea estate.

 

“I’ve now returned from my time in Assam, and it was really fascinating. I’ve just visited a newly certified Fairtrade garden, the only one among a hundred others in the area, which also happens to be the only organic and Fairtrade tea garden in South Assam.

At first the locals were very sceptical about becoming Fairtrade, but now they can enjoy the benefits, such as the premiums coming in and the factory, which is far superior to others in the area, and much coveted!

A recent Fairtrade project means twelve cows and twelve calves are coming in from Bihar, as local cows only produce a litre of milk per day, and this breed of cow can produce almost ten times that. The surplus milk will be sold for extra income, and the manure will be purchased by the estate.

During the monsoon the flooding can be so bad that it floods all the way between Silchar and the estate, which is a two hour drive. The manager in the past has taken a boat, with wages and food, five hours to the garden through the floods!

The organic practices I’ve observed here are very different to others which I have seen, with special practices used for drawing nitrogen from the soil, for fighting mites, and for helping the bushes recover from terrible hail storm which happened early in May.

I have once again found my time in India to be inspiring and informative, and can’t wait to return!”

 

 



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Comments

  • Cathryn Anderson says:

    fanTEAstic!

  • Cathryn Anderson says:

    Tea fields of dreams, i wish myself luck!

  • Ellen Gordon says:

    What an amazing experience this would be

  • Lesley Morris says:

    Assam is the perfect tea for breakfast, I would love to wake up to a brew in India.

  • Christina Turner says:

    Ammasing

  • Roy Howes says:

    What a fabulous trip for a tea drinker to go and learn about their favourite tipple!

  • Sarah Collins says:

    All tea should be fairtrade! How wonderful that you now have this estate in beautiful India. Here’s raising a tea cup to many more.

  • mandy white says:

    what a wonderful trip, brings to mind fond memories for me of our trip to sri lanka, we helped harvest leaves for ceylon tea.very serene. every one should have this wish on thier bucket list.hope i’m lucky again.

  • Sue Turner says:

    How very refreshing – enjoying an Assam tea in Assam, so assamassing.

  • Karen says:

    Would love o go there

  • catherine warburton says:

    Great prize of an informative & worthwhile trip

  • Lorraine Wright says:

    Assam is one of my favorite blends of tea. Such a refreshingly, satisfying cuppa. It would be an amazing experience to walk in the Tea Gardens themselves and meet the people who care for the leaves :-)

  • Becky Mathew says:

    A fairly traded tea is a brew with a conscience. Well done to Clipper for being the company which means we can enjoy our favourite drink and do our bit to help save the environment.

  • karen says:

    a trip like this is on my bucket list love to enter

  • janet ashworth says:

    Nature at it’s worst & best, leafs me overwhelmed at the inspiring locals.

  • Chris says:

    What a wonderful experience to see this place where my tea grows

  • Jade says:

    How amazing in somebody’s lifetime to have experienced this trip to Assam. If ever I had the opportunity I would travel, explore, TRAVEL! I’m so interested in different cultures and broadening the mind to whats out there in our world.

  • Ian Bebbington says:

    With all that additional milk from the new cows, a lot more tea needs to be picked and brewed !!

  • Christopher Lewis says:

    I have been to Indonesia and seen the tea fields there, walking round you get the most amazing smell and feeling of tranquility, i love to learn about new cultures and this trip would definitely be my cup of tea!!!

  • Maxine Aschettino says:

    Its nice to hear that something is going back into the local community to help them

  • Susan says:

    Nice to have some uplifting news. Makes a difference to my day. Nice tea too!

  • Peter Steward says:

    These practices are helping the planet besides helping the workers

  • Zuzana says:

    This just sounds lovely, some positive news unlike what we get from the headlines all the time.

  • louise says:

    lucky man how amazing to be able to see the grass roots of the business up close and personal it must be inspiring

  • Rachel Pope says:

    This sounds so interesting and love the manager (and James) buying into the staff and estate heart and soul

  • Melanie Devine says:

    This is brilliant news – so pleased that Fairtrade is in action there, and hope the cows have settled down in their new home.

  • Nigel Cozens says:

    This story restores my belief that people are adaptable when shown better ways to develope their business, and at the same time protect their land with the use of natural products. It is also great to know that we can learn from others with their different organic practices.

  • david mason says:

    I love India so much, would love to go there soon.

  • Estelle Gee says:

    what a wonderful blog this is somewhere i have always wanted to go to my favourite tea is assam and i drink nothing wlsw so it would be good to see how it is picked and produced.

  • ranjeeva wijesekara says:

    it would have been very nice had he given more details

  • david baker says:

    thnx i enjoyed that very much-now for a nice hot cuppa!
    clipper of natural course!

  • richard dobinson says:

    SOUNDED LIKE A FABULOUS TRIP WELL DONE

  • Joy says:

    I would loSouth Assam and I love tea

  • Keith Deacon says:

    The scent and air of the Assam tea fields and bird songs must be something to remember, but never an upload easily portrayed to others on any social networks…

  • June Morcom says:

    Fantastic and positive development which bodes well for the future.

  • rita gribbena says:

    always wanted to visit this country love my assam tea

  • Graham Hardy says:

    A very interesting story which proves that buy paying a small premium for a quality product that we can help others improve their lifestyle and enjoy some of the things in life we take for granted.

  • Mary Parry says:

    An interesting project and it’s good to hear the poorer people are being helped by the fair trade intiative

  • Jane Trippett-Jones says:

    A fascinating insight, thanks, Jane

  • Lizzy says:

    Good to hear the reason we pay premium prices is for those at the work really benefit. Well done.

  • anne edmunds says:

    a trip to assam would be very interesting as tea is one of my favourite drinks

  • Julia Shekleton says:

    I’m so envious, as I’ve wanted to visit Assam since meeting a lovely student from there when teaching English as a foreign language in London many years ago. She told me all about the tea estates. Assam is also my favourite tea.

  • BILL LINDSAY says:

    The LAURENCEKIRK TEA FESTIVAL is to be held some time in August to commemorate James Taylor from The Howe of the Mearns who was the founder of the Ceylon tea industry

  • tony atkin says:

    hi would like to visit this tea plantation ,as i i found it very interesting in sri lanka when we had a day there around there plantation

  • Roy Callcut says:

    While I am impressed with James’s knowledge and skills and dedication to fairtrade tea I am even more impressed with the taste of your teas which I enjoy with lemon. Lovely!

  • Alan Witt says:

    Not only do I like tea but its health benefits are becoming better known all the time. I would love to drink some that hasn’t accumulated ‘tea miles’.

  • sally hiller says:

    sounds like super adventure amazed different breed of cow can give increased milk yield and help economy.

  • Jessica Jackson-Hudacek says:

    I love Clipper teas. They taste stupendilicous!

  • irene blair says:

    fingers crossed would be a dream come true

  • Greg Peters says:

    Assam sounds to be quite beautiful. An area of India away from the usual tourist tracks.

  • BRIAN HILL says:

    Thankyou for the information about your trip to assam.It helps us make an informed choice when we buy your teas.

  • angela cringle says:

    Me and my mum love a cup of your tea with cakes , best outside in the garden lovely

  • david mccaughey says:

    would love to see how tea is made.

  • Susi Benjamin says:

    I think it’s brilliant that Guy James has been so dedicated to helping the tea growers in Assam to bring them into the ‘fair trade’ family ! I love all your Teas, Coffees, and Hot chocolate ! All your products have great flavour ! And I do not buy any others now ! Thanks Clipper ! Great guys !

  • Barbara Chisem says:

    It is a definite win win project which benefits the whole community and enhances self esteem among the local people and climate change.

  • marian parker says:

    awesome, very interesting to know where the tea is from,,,,,

  • James Malley says:

    Enjoy hear more about the bio methods, what are the flooding, prevention, etc.. and explanation for the project of the cows.

  • Jean Smith says:

    The saying goes that the Lord helps them that help themselves & this community have proved this beyond a doubt.
    Much power to their elbows and how lucky they are to reap the rewards of their toil (Soil)

  • christine westlake says:

    love your tea

  • BRIAN HILL says:

    Thankyou for the details of your trip.It helps us to make the right choice in purchasing your teas.