The Tea Tour 2017 is the perfect opportunity to go to India - like you've always wanted to! Led by Amy Dubin, Owner of Janam Tea, who has personally created this tour from scratch 2 years ago by visiting places we'll actually stay and curating experiences that are not accessible to the general public.
Tour Dates: November 27, 2017-December 10, 2017
Places visited: Kolkata, Guwahati Tea Auction Center, Orthodox Tea factory, CTC Tea factory, Small farmers (people who make their year's wages producing only what they can cultivate from less than 5 acres), Specialty Tea producers and the Nagaland Hornbill Festival.
What you will get to do: Visit private tea gardens, stay on tea gardens, learn to make your own tea, See the last of the world's 1-horned Rhinos, attend a major tribal cultural event, see how teas are professionally tasted, graded and sold. Chances of you riding an elephant are pretty high. :)
Who you will be with: There is only room for 6 of us Americans including Amy, your guide. The tour will be led by 40-year tea industry veteran, Jayanta Kakati, with whom Amy has cultivated a friendship over the past 15 years.
What is included: All transportation from New York (to and within India), all food from arrival in India to departure from India), all tickets for events, all accommodations within India and all education relating to tea.
What is not included: US-based transportation or food, travel insurance for your belongings, health insurance for your trip.
Total trip cost: $5000. $500 deposit required by September 30th to hold your spot. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance due by September 1st so that all flights/hotels may be secured.
Want to learn more? Please email Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more detailed information and to get answers to your questions, if you don't see them below.
Do I need any special equipment?
No. Standard travel gear will do. Good walking shoes, sunscreen, nothing too heavy.
Are there any hidden costs?
No. We've planned to make this an all-inclusive experience for you and a portion of the proceeds of your trip fees go to support farmers that you will get to meet face-to-face.
Is this dangerous?
One should always take precautions when traveling but at this time, there is no civil unrest in the area that would affect our trip. Please call the State Department if you are concerned and certainly, you can always register with them so they know you're in the country.
Do I need a special permit?
Yes. We'll be going to Nagaland and possibly Arunachal Pradesh (weather permitting), both of which require a Visa for foreign tourists. I will arrange for these at the same time as securing your Visas to India.
Are we free to explore on our own?
Absolutely! We will define ourselves as a group of Americans arriving to learn about tea and we can do/go/experience whatever we want. The point of the group is to educate people about Indian tea and make it fun to do so, but none are beholden to the other with the exception that I will deliver all that I'm promising to you. Whether you take it or not is up to you at your own expense. For example, if you'd rather play around of golf instead of learn about tea on a certain day-you're free to do that. We'll meet back up with you after. We will never just 'leave' you anywhere!
What if I get sick?
Despite whether you have travel insurance, we might be in a place that will only reimburse your expenses rather than cover them outright, so please plan for some emergency funds in the event this happens. We will go above and beyond to ensure food is safe and water clean, but please keep in mind this is rural India and only you are responsible for your own health.
Is there an age minimum/maximum?
This tour is ideal for those between 25-55 who are natural adventurers. There will not be any 'extreme' hiking or conditions.
How will we get around?
Planes, trains, cars, elephants, rickshaws, motorcycles...just about anything is possible, so please keep an open mind!
What is the food like?
Amazing! A little spicy, but avoidable. Vegetarians can easily be accommodated. It's all fresh and cooked daily. I LOVE Assamese food and Indian food in general.
Why should I do this?
Because you've been wanting to go to India, but not alone or wanting someone who speaks English to be a travel liaison. You might be curious about tea or about this part of India and are interested in where your food comes from. Because you've been working too hard and need to get out and see the world!