Published By World of Cruising, UK
The Brahmaputra flows through lush Assam in the shadow of the Himalayas. Wild tea plants were discovered here in 1834 by Robert Bruce of the East India Company, which led to this north Indian state becoming the world’s major tea-growing region.
At a plantation I learned about the history and production of tea while sipping the prized ‘second flush’ harvest that produces a more full-bodied brew. Afterwards we walked through waist-high bushes where women in jewel-bright saris picked the precious leaves, carrying them in baskets hanging from their heads. Another excursion, later in the week, took us to a tea factory where we saw how the jade-green leaves are dried, sorted and graded.