Tea tasting tour

Visit Coonoor , a place of the Nilgiri distict of Tamil Nadu state for your tea tasting tour and explore vast tea tourism attractions of South India.

A perfect tea tasting experience happens when you forget everything and dive into the aromatic zest of the Nilgiri teas. There is a myriad of flavors, aromas, and colors that you get to experience during the Nilgiris tea tasting tour. These tea vacations give you an insight of how tea leaves evolve from a plant to a commercially perfect tea packets for day-to-day use.


Tea tasting tour to the Nilgiris

Tea tasting tour
By Manan Mathur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Nilgiris tea tasting tour will let you savor the finest teas and make you understand the inherent complexities of various kinds of teas.  The myriad of tea collection ranges from the simplest to exclusive ones. They have the oolong tea that has traces of caramel while the oxidized black tea has a strong taste. The tasting will let you know the nuances and subtleties that are unique to each kind of tea bag or loose-leaf tea that you get to taste.

Apart from the tea tasting you also get to witness the picturesque surroundings during your tea tours India. The lush green tea plantations that are sprawled in acres and acres are breathtaking making your tea vacations even more memorable and profound.


Itineraries for the tea tasting tour

If you are planning to visit Coonoor in your next tea tours India and interested in the Nilgiris tea tourism then let me tell you some must visit places during the tour:

Highfield Tea factory:

The tea tasting tour to Coonoor is incomplete if you do not visit the Highfield Tea factory. The road taking you to the Highfield tea factory is through the woods where you get to witness magnificent views. The setting of this factory is amidst tea plantations where you get to see spectacular landscapes of Coonoor.

After reaching the spot you can always hire a guide who will take you on a tour of the place. You will get to know the complete process of tea production from the scratch. The picking of the tea leaves, processing, manufacturing, and packaging.

tea tasting tour
By Sandipanraha (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It is amazing to know that this much work is involved in the most common beverage of every Indian household. We gulp down like tons and tons of tea in our entire life but do not know how it is manufactured.  It is a great way to educate us about Indian tea and the background history of Tea plantations.

At the entrance of the factory and somewhere near to parking lot you can find several shops selling various types of teas, spices, oils, creams, and chocolates.

If you want then you can buy some sundry items from the shop but it is recommended that you enter the shop once you have completed the tour, tasted some mind-blowing teas and clicked plenty of pictures. There is also a small manufacturing unit that processes eucalyptus oil that Coonoor is famous for.

Tranquilitea Tea Lounge:

This place is spectacular and is worth a stay giving you a break from the mundane and conventional hotels. Staying amidst the tea plantations with greenery all around is the most rejuvenating thing that you can ever experience.

The luxury vacation suits, as well as the cottages, have teak and rosewood furnishings make it even more exotic and unique. This is a must thing to do during your tea tasting tour to the Nilgiris. You can surely afford a day or two in this heavenly abode. This is a great place for tea lovers who are interested in acquiring knowledge about tea processing more than sightseeing.

Gourmet tea tasting experience:  The Tranquiltea Tea Lounge also takes you on an amazing gourmet tea tasting journey. During your stay, you get to taste the finest teas and appreciate the flavors, aroma and exclusive colors of various kinds of gourmet teas.

At Tranquiltea Tea Lounge you get to taste the rarest of the teas like silver teas and also the exclusive handmade black and green teas. The teas produced by Tranquiltea Tea Lounge have been appreciated worldwide and achieved innumerable accolades from tea connoisseurs all around the globe.

Tea Nest in Singara Tea Estate:

tea tasting tour
By Sandipb [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Tea nest is a hotel located in the Singhara tea estate in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. You can reach Tea nest via auto by just asking them to drop you by Singhara tea estate. It will charge you around Rs 150-200.  During your tea vacations in Coonoor, you can plan your stay in this hotel. It is a wonderful hotel surrounded by tea plantations.

They also organize special tea tasting sessions for their visitors where you get to taste a huge variety of teas. The rooms are also good and scenic greenery can be witnessed from the room windows.

Tea Nest has some special tea infused recipes where each recipe has tea as an ingredient with a twist. This is a unique concept that you can experience only at Tea nest. The food is scrumptious that you will be bound to relish each and every morsel of it.

Tea Nest also has a subsidiary Teanest annex that can be booked by people looking for more privacy. They have two rooms named as Rosemary and Basil.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway toy train:

Tea tasting tour
By Prakhar [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This is another major highlight that you need to experience when you travel to Coonoor apart from the Nilgiris tea tasting tour. UNESCO declared the Nilgiri mountain toy train as world heritage site in the year 2005.

Route:

The route traced by the train extends for about 46 km from Mettupalayam to Ooty via Coonoor in the Nilgiri hills. The route crosses 250 bridges and 16 tunnels. The traveling experience from Mettupalayam to Ooty is breathtakingly picturesque so people make sure that they travel along this stretch. The tea plantation, forested green hills, and rocky terrain together create stunning scenery.

Bookings:

You can book tickets in advance through Indian railways website. It is recommended to book the tickets at least 3 months in advance because it fills up really fast. The peak seasons are April-June and then October-December so be extra conscious during these seasons.

Fare information:

A general class fare is Rs.15 one way while the second class is Rs.30 and the first class is Rs.205. If you travel by taxi then the fare may reach up to Rs.1200.

O’land Plantation Stay:

This is situated around 25kms from the Coonoor town. The place is quite secluded so you might end up with nothing in the radius of about 5 km. It is recommended to have your own mode of transport as it becomes pretty difficult to find a public transport nearby.

O’land plantation stay is peaceful serene situated amidst nature. If you stay there then do not miss the spectacular view during the sunrise. If the skies are clear then the experience will be etched in your heart for a lifetime. You can also go for a morning walk in the coffee gardens around and feel the fresh air.

Safety measure:

  • Try to reach this resort before sunset. The last 1-2kms stretch is muddy so the ride is not that smooth.
  • The place is located in the forest so it is recommended not to roam outside post sunset.

Other tourist attractions apart from tea tourism

We all have heard a lot about Nilgiri tea tourism but there are several other places that you can visit during your tea tasting tour to Coonoor.

Pykara Lake:

tea tasting tour

This place is located about 37 km from Ooty. It is a beautiful lake where you can sit and relax while contemplating the beauty of nature. Speedboat rides are also available that take you on a ride of about 20-25 minutes through the lively blue-green water.   In some terms, it is better than the Ooty Lake for it is away from commercialization.

P.S: It is a plastic-free zone so carry your own bottle and do not litter plastics or polythene bags.

Avalanche Lake:

tea tasting tour

The avalanche lake resonates with Pangong Lake in Leh. This place is untouched from any type of commercialization till date. If you just want to experience true nature without any adulteration then Avalanche Lake is a must visit. Reaching this place is not at all easy and takes a considerable amount of effort and hard work so be prepared for it.
Shooting Point:

This place became popular after a movie was shot here. You can locate this on the route between Ooty to Pykara. This place seems to be a lush green hill but after reaching the top you get a splendid view on the other side that is worth a visit.

Needle Rock Viewpoint:

A green meadow valley welcomes you at every step you take. This place cannot be described in words but it needs to be visited in order to witness the beauty.

Lamb’s Rock:

tea tasting tour

It’s a tourist viewpoint on the slopes of the Nilgiris and let you witness the splendid green meadows and hills. The view from this place is OK but it gets some brownie points for cleanliness and the path from Ooty to Lamb’s rock is utterly beautiful.
Dolphin’s nose:

tea tasting tour
By Ashwin Kumar (Dolphin’s Nose) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This place is one of the highest points of Coonoor and very much similar to the Doddabeta peak. It offers a picturesque view of tea plantations and the hills. You may need to pay some fees at the entrance that I feel is not needed though.

Droog Fort:

This is one of the offbeat destinations that you can explore during your Nilgiri tea tourism visit. The great ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan built this fort. It has underground tunnels to Mysore palace that were supposed to be used by kings during an emergency. The fort is not very well maintained, as people generally do not visit here. You may need to trek to reach the fort, as proper roads for transportation is not available.


Things to avoid during tea tasting tour in the Nilgiris

When you visit the place make a checklist of the places that you want to cover during the travel. This eliminates time lapse in searching and deciding which place to go.

Do not be fooled by unknown people who wish to sell you tea in the name of the authorized Nilgiri tea. Fraudulent people are looking for chances to fool you and flush out some hefty amounts in the name of exclusive teas.

Buy teas after proper assurance and authorization.


Best time to go for tea tasting tour in the Nilgiris

Summer season:

March marks the onset of summers in the Nilgiris and lasts until June. Tourists prefer this time of the year, as the weather is pretty pleasant with temperature ranges between 20 degrees to 35 degrees.

Monsoons:

Nilgiri gets heavy monsoons and it is not at all the best time to visit. All the services are stranded and you cannot travel and explore all the tourist attractions.

Winters:

The rosy winters that start from around October to November is the best time to visit Coonoor for your tea tasting tour in the Nilgiris. The temperature is balanced at about 20 degrees making it appropriate for sightseeing. The place is just heavenly during this time of the year. Try to make your itinerary around this time and you can have the best travel experience.

Watch the Video

The Nilgiris Tea Tasting Tour [Tea Tour India, Part- l]


How to reach Coonoor for your tea vacations during your tea tasting tour

Coonoor is well connected by road and air. By road it is 175kms away from Mysore, 18kms from Ooty and 68kms from Coimbatore. Important nearest railway station is Coimbatore Junction which is 68kms away from Coonoor.

You can also reach Coonoor by The Nilgiri Mountain Railway toy train from Mettupalayam and Ooty.

The Coimbatore International Airport has well connected flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Singapore and Sharjah.


tea tasting tour
By Darshanr1212 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
So, don’t think too much. Just fix your mind and visit this heavenly place next time around to explore more about tea tourism in India as life is really short.

So visit, explore, enjoy and leave with a lifelong memorable tea tasting experience.

Happy journey!!!


 


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