Sunday, March 18, 2012

So when was the last time you visited a Tea Factory?!

So, when was the last time you visited a Tea Factory?!

Recently I went to a Tea Factory which was also promoted as "Tea Museum" during my trip to Ooty. A museum that is dedicated to Tea with a capital T if I may. If you have been to Nilgiris you wont be surprised with this, as Tea is indeed such an intrinsic part of the people, livelihood, culture and history there.

This museum/ factory in question sits admist enchanting scenic beauty on on the way to the the highest cliff within Ooty called Doddabekal- the sunset view from where will be so break taking that all your hushing and pushing to reach up there will seem like a neat bargain.

Well, actually this 'museum" is more of an old over run tea 'factory' that has undergone a desperate overhauling and turned into a popular 'tourist spot' by the government for obvious reasons. There are a passages built around the even currently functioning factory for tourists to walk around, elbow each other, take pictures or plain stand in someone's way! You can take a stroll around and actually witness the different stages of Tea production all happening live right here.

The trip starts with a series of huge pictorial boards that gives you many fascinating facts about Tea. Did you know that India is the largest producer AND consumer of Tea in the world? Did you know Tea was brought to the Nilgiris by the British in the 1800s? Did you know a number of factories were built around the time to expand and commercialize the Tea production in the area by the great lords?

Neither did I. Or atleast hadn't given enough thought.

A large variety of tea is available all over the local market in Ooty ranging in price, quality, flavour, fancy packaging, authenticity and what have you. A great treat for a true Tea Connoisseur for sure.

The freshly plucked leaves go through huge conveyor belts and reach a a grinder. The leaves are shredded and made into finer pieces there.

The shredded leaves are passed further through the rolling belts to dried and grounded..

The leaves leaves goes though a hot air drier, which wit further remove all the mositure..

The shredded, dried leaves then pass though the final stage where the final addition of flavour is done.

Last but not the least, the leaves are then passed through a sieve to segregate different qualities
of the leaves.

Th leaves are collected separately according to the grain size to be packaged accordingly.

Now here is the best part of the trip.
At the end of the little excursion, everyone is given a hot cup of tea to sample. Now inst that sweet?! Different varieties of tea is available for one to take home too.

Do try to drop by if you happen to be in that area and want a nice cup of hot tea!


Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Accidentaly stumbled upon your blog. A really good read. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas

mymissingshoe said...

Hey thanks, Anu! See you there! :-)