2020 India Tea Tour - Professional Development and Hands-on Training
Full Cost: Private Room: $5,500 Shared Room: $5,200
* $500 non-refundable deposit *
May 1st-16th, 2020
Optional Kumaon Add on: May 17th-22nd
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Traveling in India is a rich and unique cultural experience. Somewhere amongst the elephants, monkeys, tuk-tuks and trains, even the best laid plans may change. Please come with an open mind and flexibility as we do our best to make this one of your most memorable trips.
Day 1: Arrive Kolkata - the old British Capital and center of the Indian tea trade. Enjoy your first evening with whoelsome Indian food and evening stroll along the city streets.
Day 2: Orientation and Introduction to Indian Tea - We will spend the day visiting tea houses and getting to know the city’s history, as well as India’s history and relationship to tea.
Day 3: Broker and Auction System - Learn how tea moves from field and farm and into the global markets with a lecture and visit to an auction site.
Day 4: Travel to Darjeeling – India’s most esteemed tea growing region is situated in a high mountain valley with breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Day 5: Cultivation – Explore the traditional and modern ways of growing tea through a lesson centering on soil science and horticulture.
Day 6: Processing – Follow the green leaf from field to factory where you will see the leaves being withered, rolled and then dried. Lecture will include sorting, process and machinery.
Day 7: Biochemistry – Put on your scientist hat and uncover teas unique properties. Lecture includes topics ranging from tannins and taste, to aromas, the healthful effects of tea, L. theanine, caffeine content and much more.
Day 8: Explore Darjeeling – Drink tea in the many tea houses of the city while exploring on your own. Learn about the Tibetan community, the mountain climbing legacy, take the Heritage railway up the mountainside, and catch stunning views of Kachenjunga, India’s 3nd highest Himalayan peak.
Day 9: Travel to Coonoor – This major tea growing area in located in India’s southern Nilgiri mountains. It is the only place where tea can be grown year round.
Day 10: Cupping and Evaluation – Be prepared for the slurping and spitting that comprises any tea drinking session. Learn the process, art, and tradition of tea tasting and get the tools for effective evaluation.
Day 11: Problem Tea Producers Face Today – With climate change and youth migrating away from rural communities, tea producers have many challenges ahead. Discuss the future of tea with Nigel and people with diverse experiences in the tea industry.
Day 12: Visit to Tea Studio – get your hands dirty by working the tea leaves in this progressive tea making and educational facility. Learn from a female led production team in a factory challenging both the social norms of the industry as well as conventional tastes in Indian tea.
Day 13: Visit to Tea Studio – spend one more day on the grounds of Tea Studio learning more about traditional Chinese production methods applied to Indian tea leaves and taste the innovative teas emerging here.
Day 14: Travel to Bangalore – the tropical tech-center of India. Stretch your airplane legs on the busy city streets.
Day 15: Bangalore: final test, and certificates distributed. Congratulations! Drink some tea and kickback for a group debrief. Explore Bangalore by night.
"This trip was absolutely amazing. Traveling with Nigel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His scientific background combined with decades of experience and desire to teach makes this an incredibly valuable experience. In the 2 weeks traveling with him, during lectures and outside of lectures, I learned new concepts, confirmed theories, clarified concepts that I was fuzzy on, and had knowledge put in a new context. It is hard to articulate just how valuable this trip was to me. If you are hesitating about going, don’t. Just go."
Amy (Tea Shop Owner and Writer)
"Tasting fresh Darjeeling tea in India was magical. You can read about how tea is processed but there's nothing like seeing it first hand. We were able to pick tea in the fields and follow it through to production. Such an experience! It's nice to be able to share that first hand knowledge with your customers. In addition it makes you a more credible and a reliable source."."
Nigel has 37 years’ hands-on practical experience in the tea industry, as a field and factory trouble-shooter with Unilever, and since 1990 as owner of his tea consultancy company Teacraft, and his specialty tea e-commerce company Nothing But Tea. Nigel has assisted clients in 28 countries – from green tea in Australia to tea extracts in Zimbabwe – and is proud to boast having manufactured tea on six of the world’s seven continents. He has also just received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Tea Awards.
Raj has been traveling throughout India for the last decade and organizing trips for the last three years. He's thrilled to offer others the chance to experience the rural lifestyle that inspires Young Mountain Tea's work. In particular, street-side samosas with scorching hot gingery chai.
Terms and Conditions
What's Included: In-country accommodations, travel, food, site visits, activities.
What's Not Included: Round-trip international tickets, visas, immunizations, and travel insurance
We will be hiking up and down tea gardens as high as 7,000 feet. Many of these gardens do not have paved paths. As such, field days will be physically challenging, so we strongly encourage training in advance.
Next Steps: $500 non-refundable deposit secures your spot; the remaining balance is due January 30th, 3 months prior to the first day of the trip.