A Trip to the Tea Gardens of Assam…

Our 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 (64)
  • Ursula McDermott

    I love tea, tea and more tea, this would be my dream come true.

  • Ursula McDermott

    I drink it all day long, so pleased it is Fairtrade. I would love to visit.

  • Sue

    Having walked among tea bushes over 20 years ago, it brings back lovely memories.

  • maeve Cronin

    This is would be absolutely Fabulous and tantalizing experience :-)

  • Cathryn Anderson


  • Cathryn Anderson

    Tea fields of dreams, i wish myself luck!

  • Ellen Gordon

    What an amazing experience this would be

  • Lesley Morris

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

  • Christina Turner


  • Roy Howes

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

  • Sarah Collins

    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

    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

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

  • Karen

    Would love o go there

  • catherine warburton

    Great prize of an informative & worthwhile trip

  • Lorraine Wright

    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

    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

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

  • janet ashworth

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

  • Chris

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

  • Jade

    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

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

  • Christopher Lewis

    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

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

  • Susan

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

  • Peter Steward

    These practices are helping the planet besides helping the workers

  • Zuzana

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

  • louise

    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

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

  • Melanie Devine

    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

    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

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

  • Estelle Gee

    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

    it would have been very nice had he given more details

  • david baker

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

  • richard dobinson


  • Joy

    I would loSouth Assam and I love tea

  • Keith Deacon

    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

    Fantastic and positive development which bodes well for the future.

  • rita gribbena

    always wanted to visit this country love my assam tea

  • Graham Hardy

    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

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

  • Jane Trippett-Jones

    A fascinating insight, thanks, Jane

  • Lizzy

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

  • anne edmunds

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

  • Julia Shekleton

    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.


    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  • Jessica Jackson-Hudacek

    I love Clipper teas. They taste stupendilicous!

  • irene blair

    fingers crossed would be a dream come true

  • Greg Peters

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


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

  • angela cringle

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

  • david mccaughey

    would love to see how tea is made.

  • Susi Benjamin

    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

    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

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

  • James Malley

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

  • Jean Smith

    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

    love your tea


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