The Story of Chai – an introduction to Tea in India

What this tour is about: It's been a long journey for tea in India. From being used simply as a medicine in the 18th and early 19th centuries, tea has today become an integral part of life in India.

Tea plantations were started in India by the British in 1830's, primarily for export to Britain. Among Indians, tea drinking in the modern sense started only in the early 1900's, when the British-owned Indian Tea Association began an earnest effort to popularise tea in India. They organised several promotional campaigns – tea stalls were set up in cities and towns, factories were encouraged to give tea breaks to their workers, and even home demonstrations were organised. When the railways arrived, tea stalls were set up at rail stations as well. After a slow and dispiriting start, tea drinking gradually spread in India, gaining momentum after the Second World War. By the end of the 1900's, Indians were drinking almost 70 percent of a huge crop of 715,000 tons per year.

The most popular form of tea in India is masala chai; sweet, milky tea spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. "Proper" English tea is also drunk among many communities and classes, especially those who had trading and social relations with the British.

Tea is now grown widely in India. There are over 2000 producers of tea, with the majority of the estates located in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Many of these estates produce very high quality teas and have earned a place for themselves in the international tea market.

How this tour works: This tour is an introduction to the world of Indian tea. The tour starts with a tea appreciation and tasting workshop, conducted at an indoor venue. The workshop is led by a knowledgeable resource person who will explain the interesting story of tea and its history in India. You will be introduced to the various tea growing regions and estates, the tea production cycle and tea culture in India. You will learn the art of making the perfect cup of tea, including masala chai and specialty teas. After the workshop, we will visit one of Delhi’s delightful tea shops selling hundreds of varieties of specialty India teas. Here you can chat with the knowledgeable owner, and purchase some tea if you want to. The adventurous can also try masala chai at a roadside tea stall!
Total Duration: 3 hours
Group Size: This tour is designed for groups of 4-15 people
Tour Start/end: We will pickup and drop from/to your hotel
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On the Old Delhi Food Trail – Sitaram Bazaar Walk and Haveli visit
Heritage Walk through Nizamuddin
The 1857 Mutiny Walk - The gripping story of the Siege of Delhi
Bhogal Bazaar Walk and rickshaw ride
Good Morning Delhi
Delhi - A tale of eight cities
Lutyens Delhi – A city of grand avenues, monuments and spaces
Lodi Gardens, Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb
The People of Delhi - Many Faiths, Many Cultures
Cuisine Tour
Delhi Shopping Trou
Delhi by Metro – An offbeat look at New Delhi and Old Delhi
The Delhi Art Trail - A look at the vibrant art scene in Delhi
Living traditions of India – Music, Art and Craft
The Story of Chai – an introduction to Tea in India
Day Trip to the Taj Mahal
Visit to Wildlife SOS Bear and Elephant Rescue Centre
Birding trip to Sultanpur and Basai Wetlands
Golden Triangle with a difference - Finally, a tour that shows you the REAL Golden Triangle
Art and Craft Trail Through Golden Triangle and Shekhawati
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Bangalore Magic
Bhopal Magic
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Bikaner Magic
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Cochin Magic
Colombo Magic
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