Do you believe in the Six degrees of separation theory? It basically states that anyone can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
Well, I can tell you that I’ve visited Glenmorgan Tea Estate in the Nilgiri Hills and had the pleasure to meet Mr. and Mrs. Vadera through a chain of three intermediaries! My friend and Tea partner Mariana worked with Veronica in London, who’s really good friends with Sonali, whose parents own Glenmorgan Tea Estate and kindly invited me the visit them.
I had less than 24 hours but I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity and I am so glad I made it. I had the amazing opportunity to meet this wonderful couple who welcomed me to their home as if part of their family, see the amazing views of Nilgiri Hills, a visit to Glenmorgan Tea Estate, tasted a lot of Tea while chatting with Indu and even tasted fried Tea leaves.
The Family History:
Rasik and Indu were born and got married in Uganda. Rasik’s father, a man with a great business vision, had coffee, Tea and sugar cane plantations in Uganda but in 1958 decided to invest in land back in India and bought Glenmorgan Tea Estate which had around 250 acres at the time. During Uganda’s independence in 1962, Rasik and Indu got back to India and started developing Glenmorgan Tea Estate.
Glenmorgan Tea Estate:
India has always been known for Black Tea but in 1969, Glenmorgan Tea Estate started making green Tea to Japan. At the time, everything was done by hand but after a while they imported machinery from Japan. Over a period of time, they developed the market for US and Morocco. Nowadays, their biggest client is Lipton US.
Glenmorgan Tea Estate now has 500 acres, 400 workers (plucking and sorting is all done by female and male work in the factory) and produces around produces 3000 to 4000 kg. of made Tea per day. Glenmorgan Tea Estate is certified by the Rainforest Alliance which means they follow the three pillars of sustainability — environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.
Rasik showed me all the steps which starts with the plucking, followed by roasting, rolling, rotary drying, sorting and packaging.
When asked about what has changed in the world of Tea during the last years, Rasik explains that interest in Green Tea has increased even in India, where Black Tea is King.
Rasik’s favourite Tea is Glenmorgan. He believes you get used to a particular taste and Glenmorgan green Tea has a light, mellow and smooth taste.
If you’re ever in Southern India I highly recommend that you visit the Nilgiris. The Nilgiris, which literally translates into “Blue Mountains” are located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The hills are beautiful and are named after a local flowering shrub that blossoms once every twelve years, covering the hills in purple-blue flowers.
I already promised Indu and Rasik that I will be back to Glenmorgan during the next purple-blue flower blossom.
Thanks to Mariana, Veronica, Sonali for this introduction and to Rasik and Indu for the amazing experience.
Happy Tea Break.