Our time in Thailand included a range of sensory experiences, one of which was tea. One might think that living in India, we have little more to learn about tea, but that is far from the truth. Our experience with tea in our adopted home has been more visual than experiential; drives through the beautiful, sculpted tea landscapes of Munnar, or the tea tours near Thekkady, for example.
In the northern Thailand we visited a 60-hectare tea plantation near the Lisu Hilltribe village in Chaing Mai Province. One of the oldest plantations in the country, the owners are working on expanding the quantity of tea produced while offering the full range of tea experience for visitors, from planting a seed that will be lovingly cared for over a 2-year period before being transplanted, to hand plucking the tender green “silver tips” of the tea, to hand roasting and finally enjoying the “fruits” of one’s labours, both as a smokey-sweet nibble and a hot beverage. In the process we learned that this shade grown tea requires a range of protection from the sun with 3 levels of trees and many other details that were different from Indian production.
In my next post I’ll include a short video sharing the roasting process. Stay tuned!