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Black Tea Manufacturing at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate

John Grams

Black Tea Manufacturing at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate

Wonderment best describes the feeling I had when I first entered the black tea factory at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate. I visited the tea estate for the first time in summer of 2015. Mainly, I came to see Avantika’s organic tea gardens. They impressed me greatly. But I could not help but feel awe at the factory. Something about big machines spewing fire brings out the boyish delight in me. The Chota Tingrai Tea Estate Black Tea factory merges the classic and the state-of-the-art. Avantika’s and Mritunjay’s great-grandfather installed many of the machines in the 1940s. These machines have man-sized...

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The Mana Difference: Healing the Soil Through Better Compost

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The Mana Difference: Healing the Soil Through Better Compost

Really, the Mana Difference is all about the smell. The first time I visited the Mana’s organic tea gardens at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate, the smell struck me the most. The scent of the dark earth, mixing with the warm tinge of coming rain and a faint waft of tea from the factory a mile down the road. The scent of living things. A chemically nurtured section does not have a scent, except when it is being sprayed. And that’s a horrible stench. Like bunt tires and dust. Mana’s gardens smell this way because they are more than just a...

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Composting on Chota Tingrai Tea Estate

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Composting on Chota Tingrai Tea Estate

Organic management has proven daunting for tea gardens in India. Nutrients in most tea soils have been leached off by years of over cultivation. This has encouraged the over use of chemical fertilizers, predominately urea, to provide the macro nutrients—Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K)—required by plants to prosper. In many tea gardens, this over use of chemical fertilizers has hardened the soil and formed a salt pan. These factors inhibit the tea bush's nutrient uptake. As a result, many gardens add even more chemical fertilizer to their soil to maintain the tea crop. This application of extra chemical...

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A Rendezvous with Tea Pluckers at Chota Tingrai

John Grams

A Rendezvous with Tea Pluckers at Chota Tingrai

As an outsider, you would not realize that the most critical success factor for a tea plantation is its pluckers. Obviously, tea gardens need large work forces for collecting the several tons of green leaf produced by the plants daily. But plucking tea is not easy- it is a skill learned over years, taught from mother to daughter for generations. Tea bushes require the plucking of specific leaves to maintain their health. When the tea pluckers taught me how to separate out the two leaves and bud from the bush, I was surprised at the specific type of twist it...

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Our Green Tea Factory is in the News!

John Grams

The Telegraph India has published an article about our green tea factory! We manufacture all of organic green tea at this first-of-its-kind, Japanese tea factory. We grow all of our tea within one mile of the factory. This improves the quality of our green tea by reducing leaf bruising and fermentation. At the factory, we merge this high quality leaf with the unmatched Japanese tea making technology. This has produced a stunning green tea. Bright green in leaf with a bright green brew. An earthly aroma with a lingering sweet aftertaste. Read all about our green tea factory here. To try the tea, check out Mana...

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