After the tea plant Camellia sinensis was discovered growing wild in 1823 near Dibrugarh, Assam developed into one of the largest tea growing regions in the world and became famous especially for its black tea, noted for its body, briskness, unique malty flavour and strong bright colour. We feel, therefore, that a visit to our state is incomplete without gaining some understanding about the magic of tea.
Addabarie Tea Estate, owned by the Williamson Magor Group, is renowned for producing some of the company’s best leaf (specifically Reddish Bright quality tea) and lies just a few kilometers outside Tezpur. It is divided into two divisions, Addabarie and Balipara, and has a total of 700 hectares planted under tea with a labour force of over 1,500 people. The management welcomes our guests to visit the factory and administrative offices of this estate which is located a short 20-minute drive away from Wild Mahseer.
The 1/2-day visit includes a drive through tea gardens dotted with shade trees where, in season, the work force (typically women in Assam) dressed in vivid saris patrol the rows of bushes plucking the tea. Guests can watch as they deftly use the fingers and thumbs of each hand to nip off the 2 leaves and 1 bud at the tip of each stem, tossing it over their shoulders into the locally made woven baskets they carry on their backs. When the baskets are full they take them to a mobile weighing station where the yields are logged under each picker’s name.
Visitors then tour the factory itself where the machinery and different processes involved in producing the finished leaf of both Orthodox and CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) manufactured tea is explained. Tea processing is ongoing throughout the tea-plucking season (typically from May to October) and during this period the factory is fully operational.
Guests then have the opportunity to visit the tasting room where they learn about (and sample for themselves) the range of flavours of the different grades of tea produced by the Addabarie estate.