tea garden diaries

Assam - From the land of Rivers and Wild Life

Lush and green, fed by the mighty Brahmaputra River, India's largest tea growing state of Assam is well known for its premium teas.
Both Orthodox and CTC Teas are produced and consumed in India and exported worldwide, mainly to the U.K., Middle East and Germany.
The teas are rich in color with body and fullness and are in great demand as the ideal invigorating drink.


The pioneer Col. Sir James Buckingham C.I.E., developed the Amgoorie Tea Garden and it was here that the CTC machine was first developed in 1931, revolutionizing tea manufacture forever. Amgoorie is situated on the South bank of the river Brahmaputra and shares a common boundary with Nagaland. The name itself comes from the word ‘AAM’ meaning Mango and ‘GURI’ meaning roots of the Mango tree, as there were a lot of old Mango trees in the area. Amgoorie enjoys the status of being amongst the top CTC gardens in Assam with a quality that is sought after, both within the country and abroad.


One of the oldest tea gardens in Assam, Harmutty was planted in 1870 by Major Gibb. The garden’s name has been derived from the name of Queen Hiramati, wife of King Arimatta, whose kingdom is thought to have been all of lower Assam. The remnants of the queen’s burial ground are still present next to the Maj (middle) Bungalow.

The picturesque location of this garden with the fast flowing Dikrong River alongside and the Northern boundaries extending into the thickly forested hills of Arunachal Pradesh, makes for a breathtaking and an unforgettable view. With the abundance of untouched forests in and around the garden and the gentle wild animals paying a regular visit, makes working in this garden a unique experience.

The fertile soil is most conducive to growing of Tea, and the handpicked clones that have been planted over the years have thrived at Harmutty, to offer the connoisseur a range of teas unmatched for both, their flavour and full-bodied liquors.


The tea estate was established in 1865 and is situated on the South bank of the river Brahmaputra, close to the Nagaland border.

The name Borbam is derived from ‘BOR’ meaning ‘very’ in the local language and ‘BAM’ meaning ‘highlands’, as it was located on the higher grounds on the banks of the river Jhanji. The garden has two divisions - Baghjan and Hulwating, which also have specific meanings to their names. Bagh means Leopard, which is found in plenty in Baghjan division while Hola means a big drain and Hulwating has a number of these Holas.

Borbam is ranked amongst the top CTC gardens of Assam, and its teas are known internationally as well as in the premium markets within the country for their quality produce.


High quality clones with a remarkable flavour.

The name Orangajuli comes from the Orang people who live by the juri (a small stream in local dialect). These people comprised the workforce when the first Tea seeds were planted here in 1894.

Situated in the Mangaldai district of Assam and bordered by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to the North, the environment here has been largely undisturbed over the years even during times of conflict.

Blessed with a special agro-climate, coupled with the foresight of the old Managerial staff, Orangajuli features a blend of high quality clones of which the P126A holds a position of pride world over.


High quality clones with a remarkable flavour.

First planted in 1928 by Mr. S. Adamson, this property of the then M/s Assam and Dooars Tea Company was handed over to the Goodricke Group Limited in 1977 from where it currently operates.

This beautifully located property borders the Nonai river on the East and the majestic Bhutan hills from the Northern boundary. Expertise in field and factory have ensured that this garden ranks amongst the top quality marks of Assam.


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It is popularly believed by some that the name Dejoo evolved from the Tibetan word “Dzong”, while others say it came from “DI” meaning river and “ZOO” the name given to rice liquor brewed by the local tribes.

This picturesque garden is located on the northern bank of the mighty river Brahmaputra at 1000 feet above mean sea level and bordered by the hills of Arunachal Pradesh to the North. The river Ranga forms the eastern boundary. A tropical climate with a good average rainfall is ideal for the high quality clones like N436, P126 and S3A3, which give Dejoo teas that unique quality. The quality at Dejoo has been recognized over the years by institutions like the Tea Board of India and other bodies.

The most significant aspect of Dejoo is that over the years utmost care has been taken to maintain the ecological balance and this has been done by preserving the water bodies and natural forest inside and around the garden due to which the garden is a wild life paradise.


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Sessa Tea Estate is located in the tea growing areas of Upper Assam in Dibrugarh district Assam. The garden was first planted in the year 1897 under the British India Tea Company.

This garden derives its name from the river Sessa, which flows around the Western Northern and partially the Eastern boundary of the main division. The word Sessa in Assamese language means 'COLD'.

Other rivers in the area are De Sang, De Khow, De Hing etc. The garden has two divisions namely Sessa and Temptoo. In the earlier days, transportation to and from Temptoo division was by means of Trolley. The Manager’s Gypsy of the bygone era can be seen at the factory.

The garden is proud of its latest upgraded factory. The superior field practices followed at Sessa have ensured recognition by the Tea Board through excellence awards, while this mark is keenly sought after by the upcountry markets.


Seeped in fascinating history

Borpatra Tea Estate is located in the foothills of Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh on the Assam Border. The Dilli River (also known as Disang ) borders the northern side of the garden. The rest of the garden is surrounded by the nearby villages with their paddy fields.

The garden's name has a fascinating history that dates back to the sixteenth century. Borpatra at its inception was managed by Jhanzie Tea Association Limited. In the year 1977, Borpatra Tea Estate was sold to Messrs. Stewart Holl (India) Ltd., and subsequently in 1990 the company got amalgamated with "GOODRICKE GROUP LTD".


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The Koomber garden is situated in the foothills of N C Hills of the Barail Range and shares a boundary with the airport.

This garden was established in 1830 under Jatinga Valley Tea Company. The name of the garden has been derived from cotton. This area was a cotton growing area, which the locals called 'Kumbha'. The Britishers started spelling Kumbha as Koomber, thus the name. Till 1977 this garden was under Jatinga Valley Tea Company and in 1978 it was handed over to Koomber Tea Company thus converting itself from a Sterling Company to a Rupee Company.

Koomber quality and production gained recognition under its Manager Mr. C. W. Morley. The first High School i.e Morley Higher Secondary School was also founded by him. During the early 70's a lot of replanting was done with Tocklai released clones and TV1 planted in 1971-72 achieved record yield over 5000 kgs. per hectare.


Coombergram is located in the Barak Valley, Assam and is 3 kms. from the Kumbhigram Airport. The garden is surrounded by Koomber Tea Garden, Dewan Tea Estate, Pollorbund Tea Estate and Air force Station.

The garden had suffered on a regular basis due to acquisition of land by the Government of Silcahr Airport, Refugee Colony, Army etc, thus resulting in lack of virgin area for expansion.

The garden is said to have started before the 1880s the only proof being a graveyard in the manager’s bungalow dating back to 1882. However, records are available only from 1913.

This garden was originally owned by Octavious Steel with Sterling interest. In 1978 this was acquired by Koomber Tea Company and is still maintained by it. The labour here are mainly Oriyas, Santals and Adavasis and a small percent of migrant Bangladeshi Muslims.

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