Located south of the eastern Himalayas, and one of the biggest tea producing regions for Suki Tea. Sourcing trips cover a broad range of activities from quality checks to Fairtrade report updates. Following the journey from Belfast to Assam , find out what the shade grown tea estates look like.
Day 7 – Friday 2nd November 2014. Yesterday I had requested a cake and along with the balloons I bought from Belfast we had the place decorated in the morning for a surprise as it was Annies birthday. Breakfast Birthday before we hit the road again. After a quick goodbye to Everest from our trip in Darjeeling with a beer from a viewing platform/restaurant on the hillside. Not until we had a quick stop off in Nepal though. Onwards to Bagdogra airport – fly to Guwahati to be picked up by Capt Sameer Joshi who was running a touch late and so guided us through the airport at lightning speed (4 mins) though check in, baggage, security and we are on the plane. Bam. A 2 seater Cesna 206. 30 minute 1000ft asl flight across the lowlands of Assam and landed on the grass strip in the centre of the TE. Mr Dwipen Bordalai greeted us with Navaprakesh and Digbijoy. The Borengajuli Estate manager, who we stayed with and acting manager and factory assistant or ‘tea artist’.
After a lengthy welcome party which went on well past midnight, a fantastic meal and stories of how Puma's can get into the houses at night our host and friends let us get some sleep and we ventured into the estates the very next day to taste teas and have a tour of the facilities. The tea estates are very well managed, in great condition and we got a sneak peek at the accommodation of the workers which had electricity, running water and a good facilities inducing a sports field nearby with changing rooms, a primary and junior school and a medical center which was all supported by the Fairtrade foundations contribution. We sipped tea and the rest of the day was down to business and quality checks.